Since 2013, ZEvA is entitled to conduct quality audits at Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria.
The central purpose of an audit is to assess the internal quality management system of a higher education institution, its effectiveness and fitness for purpose. To this end, all core procedures and activities are taken into account (teaching & learning, research and development, support structures & administration, faculty and staff development, internationalisation etc.). In case of a positive evaluation, ZEvA certifies the institution’s quality management system for the duration of seven years.
The audit procedure is designed according to the requirements of Austrian higher education legislation.
For each audit, ZEvA assembles a panel of experts with long-term experience in the management, governance and/or quality assurance of higher education institutions. On principle, there is a student representative in each panel. All experts receive an intense briefing on the special features of the Austrian higher education sector, current trends and developments etc.
ZEvA provides continuous support and advice to the university throughout the procedure. By request, the agency offers in-house seminars to introduce the university to the general design and the requirements of the audit, the assessment criteria etc.
The final decision on the certification is taken by the ZEvA-Kommission (ZEKo).
Appeals to decisions of the ZEKo may be directed to the ZEvA Appeals Commission within a period of one month after notification of the decision. Higher education institutions may also lodge complaints regarding procedural errors or irregularities. Based on the recommendation of the Appeals Commission, the ZEKo may revise its decision or prompt the agency to repeat the review procedure completely or in parts.
The comprehensive ZEvA Manual on Quality Audits in Austria (in German) can be downloaded here:
Leitfaden Qualitätsaudit in Österreich (PDF-File)