Implementation of a quality management system at the Fulda institute for higher education

Academic support of the "Implementation of an IT-supported and process-oriented quality management system" project at the Fulda higher education institute

The implementation of an IT-supported quality management system at the Fulda higher education institute in 2007 is aimed at different quality levels and should, in accordance with the EFQM model, improve both the prospective results and the achievement of these results through the available means and methods. The aims include creating a university-wide, process-oriented organizational structure to provide optimal support for the creative and individual "teaching and learning" and "research" processes, improved consideration of the stakeholders' requirements (students, potential employers, government institutions, society, teaching staff, employees etc.), and greater quality assurance and transparency through better controlled processes. In January 2008 the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation awarded the quality management concept at the Fulda higher education institute funding of 300,000 euro.

The Center for Quality Assurance and Development is providing academic support for the project. The essentials of the EFGM model are reflected here in the sense that the issues, differentiated according to the objectives at the level of the enabler and the results, are taken into account. The academic support is provided in the form of written surveys. It is differentiated methodically according to the perspectives of the different stakeholders, as well as their self assessments and assessments by others. Members of the university administration board, heads of departments, professors, academic employees, administrative employees and students are surveyed. Panels are set up for the higher education institute employees, so that individual assessment differences, presented in aggregate, can be measured. At the student level, different study cohorts are compared.

A total of four data collection waves are planned, so that the changes in the assessments of those surveyed over a period of time can form the basis for evaluating the project. To date surveys have been carried out at the start of the project (December 2007) and after the first implementation phase (August 2009). Further surveys will be carried out it in 2010 and 2011 in order to record the impact following the establishment of the system. As part of a formative evaluation, the survey results are communicated to both the individuals responsible for the project and the university administration board, so that they can be incorporated into the further development of the project.