HAMK’s education was evaluated to be at the level “excellent”
HAMK’s education was evaluated to be at the level “excellent” in an independent audit. The operations and quality system of Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) were audited during spring 2022.
HAMK performed very well in the audit: The areas of education and quality management were both evaluated to be at the level “excellent”. Research, development and innovation activities (RDI) and societal engagement were evaluated as “good”.
In Finland, all higher education institutions are audited every six years. An audit is an independent evaluation carried out by an external audit team. HAMK’s audit was carried out by FINEEC (Finnish Education Evaluation Centre). The audit focused on education, RDI and societal interaction, and the development of the work community and the effectiveness of the quality system.
An international group evaluated HAMK’s operations through a self-assessment report, other materials, student workshops, and interviews with stakeholders and staff. Nearly 100 people participated in the workshops and interviews.
The voices of students and shareholders are heard when developing education
“HAMK’s operations are based on a functional quality system that delivers results. Our strategic, long-term development work is reflected in the audit result in each evaluation area,” says President Pertti Puusaari.
Vice President for Education Heidi Ahokallio-Leppälä explains the development work:
“Regularly updated curricula ensure the learning outcomes needed in the world of work. Three different study methods have been designed so the student can choose the most suitable way to study. The studies are carried out as compatible modules, and study projects solve genuine assignments of the workplace. Study guidance and counselling has been renewed, and the competence of the teacher teams is ensured and developed by a dedicated coaching and training programme.”
Eva Werner, Chair of the Audit Group, points out the student-centred and workplace-oriented nature of HAMK’s education.
“Good practices include systematic updating of curricula, continuously developing the pedagogical competence of the staff and utilising a comprehensive feedback system. As one development area, we identified ensuring that the workloads of different study methods are even,” Werner says.
According to Werner, the whole organisational culture is inspiring. “In the interviews, staff confirmed that they feel supported, and that the stimulating working atmosphere fosters wellbeing, equality and personal development. Constant and well-targeted competence development plays an essential role in strategic management, and, at the same time, is one tool for maintaining employee wellbeing, in addition to other activities and services.
Design Factory combines workplaces and students with the help of design thinking
As its voluntary target for the evaluation, HAMK selected Design Factory, which is a multidisciplinary operating and learning environment for product and service development. The students carry out their studies as projects and solve company assignments by means of service and product design.
“Design Factory has been created based on Aalto University cooperation. It is our novel way of delivering benefits to all parties. Design Factory brings together companies, students, teachers and researchers. It combines the needs of workplaces, the fresh perspectives of students, applied research, and design thinking and methods. We are determined to expand Design Factory activities to more campuses,” Puusaari says.
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