Internal and External Quality Assurance and Evaluation
The Higher Education Act imposes on every higher education institution the obligation to introduce and maintain a system of quality assurance of educational, R&D, creative and related activities. The obligation involves the necessity to carry out regular evaluations of the aforementioned activities.
The system of quality assurance and evaluation at TBU in Zlín is built in accordance with the mission of the University in compliance with the Higher Education Act and with respect to the role which the University fulfils within the region, Czech Republic as well as abroad, from the concept of development of the University and its vision and mission that are formulated in the Implementation Plan of the Strategic Plan for Educational, R&D and Creative Activities of Tomas Bata University in Zlín for the relevant calendar year. In accordance with the organizational structure of the University, this system defines relevant scope of activities, competences and duties of the bodies and chief executives of the University and its component parts, standards and procedures for the assurance and evaluation of quality and principles for adopting corrective and preventive measures.
The mission of the system of quality assurance and internal evaluation of quality is to support the development of the University in accordance with the standards and criteria used in the academic world in the Czech Republic and abroad, particularly with the principles formulated in the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, adopted by the European University Association (EUA).
The whole process of assurance and internal evaluation of quality at TBU in Zlín is embedded in the internal regulation Rules Governing the System of Quality Assurance of Educational, R&D, Creative and Related Activities and Internal Evaluation of Quality of Educational, R&D, Creative and Related Activities at Tomas Bata University in Zlín and further systematised in the Report on Internal Evaluation of Activities of TBU in Zlín (hereinafter referred to as “Internal Evaluation Report”) and its relevant amendments. The system is based on a set of intertwined principles, rules and procedures that aim to systematically monitor, assess and enhance the activities of TBU in Zlín in the sphere of educational, R&D, creative and related activities. Within the monitoring of the evaluation of the internal and external quality, five basic modules (A. to E.) with the internal indicator (An to En) structure have been set, that serve for quantification and standardization of the quality system management. The very system of quality assurance and evaluation is set so as to be fully functional. At the same time, it is continuously enhanced by gradual introduction of tools and other elements in order to create a comprehensive intertwined whole in accordance with the aims embedded in the Higher Education Act, government decree on the standards for accreditations in higher education and methodological materials issued by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education.
The assurance and evaluation of the quality of educational activities include mainly the sphere of the internal evaluation of the quality of degree programmes. The evaluation of quality is carried out not only as a part of the examination of the proposal for the accreditation of a degree programme, but also as a part of evaluation of the quality in the course of the validity of its accreditation, and that at least once every five years. The quality of educational activities in degree programmes is assessed mainly at the level of a comprehensive evaluation of degree programmes, feedback from the members of the academic community and graduates about the quality of classes, about the organization of studies, about facilities for students and infrastructure, assessment of academic qualification theses or advanced Master’s (rigorosum) theses, monitoring of the requirements, process and results of admission procedure and studies, including the provision of equal access to admission procedure and to studies, monitoring of the graduates’ success in the labour market and cooperation with business and industry.
The very degree programme evaluation report submitted to the Internal Evaluation Board by its guarantor is the background material for the evaluation of a degree programme. The process of evaluation verifies whether degree programmes are implemented in accordance with the quality standards and defines measures and recommendations proposed to ensure the quality of the programme and its development. In the event that the Council detects deficiencies following the evaluation, it may impose a corrective measure. The evaluation is carried out in all types and modes of study.
R&D and Creative Activities
TBU in Zlín puts emphasis on the sphere of R&D and creative activities and cooperation with the industrial and application sphere. R&D and creative activities are carried out in accordance with the National Research, Development and Innovation Policy of the Czech Republic. The aim of the system of quality assurance and internal evaluation of quality of R&D and creative activities is to strengthen the status of the University in the Czech Republic and in Europe. The system is created and modified in accordance with a valid methodology for the evaluation of the results of research, development and innovations of the Czech Republic.
The quality of R&D and creative activities at TBU in Zlín is ensured individually according to the specific features of disciplines within particular areas. The evaluation is carried out at the level of the University, Faculties, University departments and particular constituent parts, but also at the level of academics and researchers. The evaluation shall examine the excellence of the results in international terms and the standards of R&D and creative activities.
The sphere of supporting activities that include, for example, University management and administration, use of resources, mainly human resources, financial and information resources, infrastructure, information systems, services in the sphere of technology and knowledge transfer and intellectual property protection, Library services, information and counselling services for students, editorial and publishing activities, services provided by the Halls of Residence and Refectory also forms an inseparable part of the system of assurance and internal evaluation of quality at TBU in Zlín. The evaluation of these activities is carried out at the University by means of various tools relating to particular activities, for example, in the form of feedback from the users of relevant services, annual activity reports issued by selected component parts or in the form of analyses of relevant data.
Organizational Arrangements and Staffing
The system of quality assurance and internal evaluation of quality falls mostly within the competence of relevant Faculties and component parts with methodological supervision and support by relevant offices of the University Rectorate.
The guarantor of the system of quality assurance and evaluation is the Internal Evaluation Board, which is made up of distinguished members of the academic staff representing all Faculties of the University, and also includes students as members. The Internal Evaluation Board inspects whether the requirements of the University for the quality of educational activities in educational programmes are fulfilled and carries out their assessment. It is also in charge of the sphere of accreditations; it prepares and approves of the regulations of quality assurance and internal evaluation system within the specific features of relevant areas and scientific disciplines. It approves of the related methodological materials and is focused on further development of the system of quality assurance and internal evaluation at TBU in Zlín. Its activities are defined by the Higher Education Act, by the Statute of Tomas Bata University in Zlín and other internal regulations of the University. The record of its regular activities is posted on the website of the University by means of minutes taken during the meetings. It is the Scientific Board that is in charge of further development and evaluation of the quality of R&D and creative activities carried out at the University. The Board of Governors is also entitled to express its opinion on the results of the activities and that mainly in the sphere of financial management of the University and related activities or within the discussion of strategic plans or annual activity and economic reports. All the key documents related to quality assurance and internal evaluation of the University are discussed by the Academic Senate.
Internal Evaluation of Quality
Internal evaluation of quality is carried out at TBU in Zlín by means of the aforementioned bodies and persons. The key document for the internal evaluation is mainly the Internal Evaluation Report and its annual update. This document includes the assessment of the establishment of rules, achieved quality of activities and the results of the monitoring of the level of the quality of activities. Fulfilment of particular requirements in all the defined areas of activities carried out by TBU in Zlín is assessed and examined by the Internal Evaluation Board according to verbal or numerical indicators. The outputs achieved in the sphere of quality assurance and internal evaluation are, besides the aforementioned internal evaluation report and its amendments, generally described also in the TBU annual activity reports and annual economic reports. The internal evaluation of quality is carried out in such a manner as to fulfil the aims of the University that are specified in the updated Strategic Plan.
External Evaluation of Quality
In accordance with the Higher Education Act, external evaluation of educational, R&D, creative and related activities of the University can be carried out by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education or by a generally recognized institution in accordance with its status. TBU in Zlín uses for its external evaluation not only the feedback from the NAB, but it also participated in two external evaluations in 2019: Institutional Evaluation Programme (EUA) and MICHE 2019 (Monitoring Internationalization of Czech Higher Education) which give the University a valuable feedback on strategic management and the processes of quality assurance at TBU in Zlín. Last but not least, within the external evaluation of quality TBU in Zlín conducts, either directly or indirectly (in cooperation with the MEYS – Eurograduate survey), a survey on the feedback from graduates and employers that serves as another important source of information for the development of the quality of its activities.