Arcada strives for a continuous development of its activities and to be a nationally and internationally attractive and competitive institution of higher education. This is done by developing methods and routines of continually evaluating the relevance, effect and impact of the education and research activities.
Arcada's quality management system is based on the PDCA-model or the so called Deming cycle. The purpose of the system is to create and establish improvement in everything we do by four steps: Plan – Do – Check – Act.
The Arcada quality culture
The Arcada quality culture is based on result awareness, individual taking of responsibility and an open climate/dialogue and interaction with the environment. Everybody – both students as well as staff – contributes to Arcada' reaching the goals by taking personal responsibility, common activity and an open communication.
The direct communication between heads, lecturers, instructors, tutors, researchers, students and administrative staff constitute an important ingredient in the Arcada quality structure. The personal contact areas are of the greatest relevance when collecting information on the contents of the studies and study environment.
Student involvement on all relevant decision-making levels at the university is decisive for a good quality structure.
In addition to personal channels, response from the students is collected through electronic feedback systems. Arcada is in continuous contact with alumni, working life, co-operating institutions of higher education, and other interest groups/societal actors.
Who is responsible for the quality?
Each member of staff is personally responsible for the quality of their activities. The students can affect the quality of Arcada’s operations through engagement in the central decision-making organs, working- and expert groups of Arcada. The students are represented in the Board of the University, quality councils and different committees and working groups.
Auditing of the quality management system
The quality in the activities is monitored with the support of annual quality reports and in two internal quality discussions with the departments and units. The Management group regularly follows up on how Arcada’s operations are running and how the development work is actualized.
The Quality Teams of the departments develop and continuously follow up on the quality of the education, and under the direction of the head of department are responsible for seeing that the student reconnection works and that the information/data is used to improve quality.
The Board of the University follows up on how the functions are developed in accordance with the strategy of the university and how the functions are adapted to changes in the operational environment.
When assessing quality, the efficiency of modes of operation, processes and systems in relation to goals and purposes are examined.
Auditing of the quality management system is concerned with verifying the methodology in the quality effort and that the whole organisation acts in accordance with the defined modes of operation. The quality management system comprises all activities. The auditing model that the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) follows is based on the European principles (ENQA) and recommendations for quality assurance at universities and institutions of higher education.
The quality assurance at Arcada is based on these guidelines and recommendations, which entails regularly recurring auditing of both degree- and non-degree oriented education with a methodology structured on self-assessment and external evaluation by an expert group in which students, outside experts and international assessors participate.
Arcada was last audited in 2017 by The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC).