Quality Management in Complex Organizations

The ComO QM was co-developed by the Center for Quality Assurance and Development (ZQ) and the Center for Quality Development in Study and Teaching at the University of Potsdam (ZfQ) and is funded by the DAAD until 2018. At the center of the project stands a procedure called Collegial Audit which promotes the exchange with two renowned Vietnamese universities, namely the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) and Can Tho University (CTU). Different operative roles – university management, faculty management, university lecturers and QA staff – are brought together to discuss specific topics. A joint development of instruments provides a basis for comparative student surveys at the four partner universities.

The project contributes to the systematic international exchange of experiences at the university level and thus centers on the perspectives of players in research, teaching and science management.

Collegial Audit Procedure

In contrast to a classical audit model, the Collegial Audit does not focus on forms of evaluation but on collegial exchange. Based on results from higher education research about the effect of evaluation procedures and the experience that the primary beneficiary of such procedures is the reviewer and not the reviewed – as usually intended –, the dominant external reviewing perspective is reversed here. Consequently, the externals are interested enquirers and may reflect their own situation through the practice at the partner university.

The first Collegial Audit, took place in Vietnam in October 2015 and focused on topics compiled by the German partner universities. The following four thematic fields took effect

  1. Increase of autonomy and the thereto relating change in universities as well as the internal effects in terms of a change management
  2. Development of visions and strategies of the participating universities
  3. Strategies and perspectives of internationalization and regional orientation
  4. Teaching and studies with focus on aspects of competence development, the relationship between teachers and students as well as the bond to the university

The second Collegial Audit took place at the universities of Potsdam and Mainz in June 2016 and focused on the following thematic fields developed by the Vietnamese partner universities:

  1. System accreditation: quality assurance and -development at the JGU and the University of Potsdam
  2. Strategy development and quality measurement in research
  3. Promotion of young researchers
  4. Quality measurement in teaching and learning

The second specific of the Collegial Audit procedure is the inclusion of various players who systematically address questions of higher education development from their distinctive perspectives. This way, representatives of the four partner universities are brought together in their respective operative roles – university management, faculty management, university lecturers and QA staff; conclusively, the discussion results are being compared, analyzed and systematized.

Implementation of Joint Surveys

In addition to the Collegial Audits, during a joint workshop the partner universities developed survey instruments, based on which a student survey at all four universities took place during the summer term of 2017. The survey addressed the following three topic areas – in reference to themes of particular interest during the Collegial Audits: study motivation, achievement motivation, and university community. The survey results were discussed and evaluated during a joint workshop in Vietnam in December 2017.

Closing Conferences

The survey results as well as experiences gained from the Collegial Audits will be presented to the interested public at closing conferences both in Germany and Vietnam. On September 11, 2018, the Johannes Gutenberg- Universität Mainz will host the closing conference in Germany, the closing conference in Vietnam will be hosted by the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City on November 9, 2018.