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Internal Quality Assurance System - Vigo University School of Business Studies

In order to ensure continuous improvement of the degrees offered at the school, and guarantee their quality, the Vigo University School of Business Studies (E.U.E.E.) has designed and implemented an Internal Quality Assurance System (S.G.I.C.), which received a favourable report from the Agency for Quality of the Galician University System (A.C.S.U.G.).

The system is structured around nine criteria and 26 procedures, all of which are in the public domain and available on the centre’s website, for access by relevant interest groups (students, employers, university staff, etc.). Below is a summary of its fundamental purpose, with a link to procedural text and the improvement plan. The following procedures affect the whole centre (and all of its degree courses). The Degree sections of the website show full, detailed information for each one.

1.- Rationale for the E.U.E.E.'s Internal Quality Assurance System

The SGIC of the University of Vigo’s Business School includes a procedure to develop the design and revision system of the centre's policies and quality objectives: Procedure for the Definition and Review of Quality Objectives and Policy and Quality Objectives - [PE01].

The purpose of both the E.U.E.E.'s Management Team and the Quality Assurance Commission is to progress improvements in the definition of their objectives (i.e. improve the definition so that they are both comprehensible and measurable, and impact on the greatest possible number of quality-related processes and activities, etc.). Also, to track and monitor these (thus improving the scope of action taken to achieve compliance). In order to do this, the following general guidelines have been established to constitute our Quality Policy - [IT01-PE01].

2.- Objectives of the E.U.E.E.'s Internal Quality Assurance System

The University of Vigo Business School's ' Internal Quality Assurance System uses procedures aimed at the review, tracking and improvement of degrees courses - [DO-0102], such that information received from diverse sources can be used to propose opportune improvements. In relation to objectives, this improvement takes place thanks, in part, to the continuous thought and revision put into student entry profiles (desirable characteristics of incoming students) and graduate exit profiles (qualifications, etc. that the graduate must have achieved) which are implemented in the corresponding procedure (Promotion Of the Degrees - [DO-0202]) and the application of improvement plans. Supporting Documentation:

3.- Access and Admission of Students to the E.U.E.E.

The system also defines who should determine the student selection system and how this should work. The Student Selection, Admission and Registration Procedure - [PC04] standardises and clarifies the student access system, meaning that the competent body must report and make public the specific entrance requirements used for selection purposes. Each one of the degrees issued by the University Business School has its own selection system. The commerce degree refers to the pass mark that the student obtains in the PAU, while the masters’ degree has specific requirements related to entrance and exit profiles. Supporting Documentation:

4.- E.U.E.E. Teaching Plan

The range of degree courses on offer at the Vigo University School of Business Studies originate firstly from the university’s formative tradition, which over time has formed an institutional mission and vision. It has also been adapted to the socio-economic requirements of the university’s sphere of influence, and both these factors have added to the success of our range of degree courses, though of course this is also always subject to current legislation.

These aims have resulted in the range of degrees on offer at the E.U.E.E., but also, the degrees, masters or doctorates, must adhere to the afore-mentioned principles, along with certain design procedures and approvals in accordance with state legislation and the guidelines of the University of Vigo. The E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. determines these procedures and the responsibilities of the various entities involved: Design, Authorization and Verification of the Official Degrees - [DO-0101].

As well as the procedures for review and improvement of degrees courses, the definition of profiles, selection, admission and registration of students; the E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. also includes procedures that ensure the planning and implementation of degree courses meets the provisions of the Degree Report (Procedure for Planning and Implementation of Teaching - [PC06]). This, amongst other factors, consists of: approval of the teaching plan, the class schedules, examination calendar and the subject.

Improvement of the above processes focuses on rationalisation of class schedules and the examination calendar, improvement in the teaching guides and co-ordination of subjects.

A key factor in the design and implementation of E.U.E.E. degrees is the management of mobility of students studying in other Universities (Mobility Management - [DO-0205 P1]), and of students from other Universities who study at the E.U.E.E. (Mobility Management - [DO-0205 P1]), also the external practices undertaken by our students in companies and institutions (Management of Externals Academic Practices - [DO-0204 P1]).

Practical study is a key differentiating factor at the E.U.E.E. All of its degree courses include an obligatory practical subject in the study plan. This means that all of the centre's students, whatever degree course they are doing, spend time at an external company or institution as part of their academic curriculum. The E.U.E.E. has 500 signed agreements, which means that all students will have adequate provision for practical study.

Likewise, the E.U.E.E. has entered into exchange agreements with numerous foreign universities, to both send and receive students.

One of the envisaged improvement actions is to improve planning of students' final examinations, spreading out these tests as much as possible.

The E.U.E.E. is open to suggestions or complaints from the student body, teachers, administration or services personnel, etc. There is an incidents, complaints and suggestions procedure in place (Procedure for the Management and Review of Incidents, Complaints and Suggestions – [PA04]) to provide communication channels and clarify the processes and responsibilities of the management team and the person or entity involved.

Improvements in the coming term will focus on improving the dissemination of formulating complaints and suggestions from interested parties.

Finally, the standardisation of processes linked to planning and implementation of teaching concludes with the procedure for the issuing of the School's official qualifications (Procedure for Filing and Issuing Degrees – [PA09]) which regulates the reasons for any suspension of a qualification, the bodies responsible for their approval and the rights of any student whose studies have been suspended (Suspension and Termination of a Degree - [DO-0103]). Supporting Documentation:

 

5.- E.U.E.E. Human Resources

Human resources are critical element in the correct performance of the functions and success of the E.U.E.E. and the University. Although basic human resources guidelines (design of personnel policy, selection, recruitment, training, performance evaluation and recognition) depend on the vice-rectorate of teaching staff (PDI) and management (PAS), under the current framework of regional and autonomous regulations the personnel policy should also include the individual nature of teaching centres, in order to broaden their scope for manoeuvre. In any case, the E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. includes:

 

 

One improvement measure is the training aimed at adapting staff to the new framework established by the EHEA, together with the selection and retention of the best experts for the MCI (Masters in International Commerce), which is an independent degree of the Academic Commission.

 

6.- Material Resources and Services of the E.U.E.E.

The E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. includes a procedure for standardising the purchasing of material resources (refurbishment of classrooms, computer equipment, facilities, etc.) run by the centre's management team (Procedure for the Management of Material Resources – [PA07]). In addition, and in co-ordination with the University's Management, the centre's existing support services will be defined, planned and managed, e.g. cafeteria, printing services, cleaning, library, etc. (Procedure for the Management of Services – [PA08]).

As part of the centre's Improvement Plan, we plan to adapt the teaching areas (classrooms, lecture halls) for group sizes to favour implementation of the new teaching-learning methodology.

Supporting documentation linked to this procedure follows below:

 

7.- Expected Results of the E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C.

Students feel strongly about the evaluation of their work. Changes in teaching models also usually involve a revision of the evaluation system, which affects both teachers and students. An evaluation system determines the method of studying, influences student and family satisfaction and highlights the knowledge, skills and aptitudes that a graduate will bring to their profession - hence, student evaluation is also of interest to employers. For all these reasons, the E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. incorporates a procedure aimed at ensuring the evaluation systems are coherent with the goals and competences defined in the study plan and with the centre's policy. (Procedure for Teaching Assessment – [PC07]).

The procedure, amongst others, establishes a system for proposal of evaluation dates and communication of results, analysis of academic indicators, incidents and complaints (procedure described above) and satisfaction of the interest groups (Procedure for Satisfaction of Interest Groups – [PA03]).

This analysis forms part of the Measurement, Analysis and Improvement Procedure - [PM01]. Its conclusions are in the public domain (Public Information and Accountability - [DO-0301 P1]) in order to inform interest groups about the evaluation of learning, academic indicators, results of satisfaction surveys, incidents and complaints, and propose corrective measures where applicable (Monitoring and Improvement of Degrees- [DO-0102]), as explained above.

Both the E.U.E.E. management team and the Quality Assurance Commission seek to improve monitoring of academic indicators, satisfaction surveys, complaints and suggestions related to the evaluation of learning (results broken down by subject or course, timely retrieval of data, etc.).

They will also drive the debate aimed at improving any of the University of Vigo's current guidelines which remain ambiguous and/or incomplete, in relation to the evaluation of learning, clear delimitation of competencies in student evaluation and the possibility of establishing a homogenous evaluation system for the various centres (the responsibilities of subject co-ordinators, teachers and centres), the compulsory nature or otherwise of attending class, and attention to special educational needs, curricular evaluation, etc.

Supporting documents:

 

8.- Internal Quality Assurance System (S.G.I.C.) of the E.U.E.E.

The Internal Quality Assurance System (S.G.I.C.) of the E.U.E.E. is intended as a tool for improving the centre’s degree courses and to contribute towards ensuring a level of quality for the accreditation and renewal of qualifications.

The Spanish Royal Decree 1393/2007 states that any reports of official qualifications must include the Quality Assurance System of the study plan, including the procedures relating to assessment and quality improvement for both teaching and teachers, procedures to guarantee the quality of external practical study, mobility programmes, procedures for job placement analysis, attention to suggestions or complaints, and specific criteria in the event of early termination of a degree course.

Quality assurance can be described as systematic, structured and continuous attention to quality in terms of maintenance and improvement. Within the framework of the educational policies and processes within universities, quality assurance has allowed these to promote ongoing improvement in the quality of their teaching programmes and qualifications, and commitment to implementing measures that ensure and demonstrate quality.

The system is designed to determine student needs and expectations, and those of other interest groups, in relation to the education provided at universities, and commitment to these needs. It implies transparency in performance and of information provided, continuous improvement and systematic forms of action.

Specifically, transparency of information means informing interest groups of the Annual Results Report - [PM01], providing details and analysis of: student satisfaction survey results, teachers and PAS, the degree of compliance with quality objectives, academic indicators (dropout, success, performance, etc.) and analysis of complaints and suggestions.

The S.G.I.C. encapsulates all the above procedures. It consists of thirteen chapters and twenty six procedures (strategic, support, key and measurement-related).

A body has been set up in the centre to cover design, updating and implementation, and involves the management team, the quality coordinator, the quality assurance commission and various improvement groups. The responsibilities of each organisation within this structure is set out in Chapter 3 of the Manual (Structure of the E.U.E.E. for implementation of the S.G.I.C.). The structure and duties of the Quality Assurance Commission can be found in the supporting documentation [IT01-PC01].

Other S.G.I.C.-related procedures, for which the objectives and content have been described above, are:

 

The E.U.E.E.'s S.G.I.C. of the University of Vigo has been approved by the Galician Commission for Reports, Assessment, Certification and Accreditation (CGIACA), of the Galician Agency for Quality in the Galician University System (ACSUG) on the 26th of April 2010. And can be seen in the Final Report of the Internal Quality Assurance System Design of the Business School of the University of Vigo.

Using the S.G.I.C. improvement plans, the E.U.E.E. proposes to implement and improve the system (by management of supporting documentation, analysis of information, setting up a complaints and suggestions procedure, etc.), with the aim of simplification and turning it into an effective improvement tool at an affordable cost; reducing bureaucracy, eliminating overlap and procedures that do not provide real improvement, driving reflection on key procedures for quality improvement, and improving areas where the centre lacks capacity for change, etc.