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Culture of quality

A culture of quality in all activities

UCM’s quality culture encompasses the foundations, principles, values, standards of behaviour, and attitudes that guide its employees, students, and other stakeholders to achieve high quality in the delivery of education, creative activities, and other related activities at UCM.

The quality culture at UCM is ensured and implemented in accordance with clear principles.

  1. The development of quality culture at UCM is systematic.
  2. Staff, students, and other stakeholders provide feedback and suggestions for quality improvement in the areas of education, creative activities, and other related activities, in particular through regular questionnaire surveys of students, alumni, staff and employers, and other stakeholders.
  3. Staff, students, and other stakeholders have the right to make suggestions for quality improvement to the relevant structures and to receive feedback on these suggestions.
  4. Quality culture also means regular, systematic, sophisticated quality assurance and assessment in all educational, creative, and other related activities.
  5. The evaluation shall emphasize independence, impartiality, objectivity, expertise, transparency, and fairness.
  6. Where deficiencies in quality are detected, they are corrected in accordance with the relevant internal regulations.
  7. New activities or changes are conditional on a reasonable expectation of quality improvement or their introduction or implementation is necessary to maintain quality. This does not apply in the case of changes caused by force majeure.
  8. The results of the evaluation are only published once it has been fully completed. This is not the case for interim evaluations.
  9. The rules, criteria, and indicators for quality assurance and assessment and their application are regularly evaluated and optimised.
  10. UCM transparently evaluates and makes publicly available information about these processes through its website, social networks, and internal information system.

The policies of the VSK UCM ensuring a culture of quality at UCM have an institution-wide scope. They are based on international and national standards, in particular the European Standards for Higher Education ESG 2015, the Higher Education Act and subsequent regulations, the Quality Act and subsequent regulations, the SAAVS standards for the internal system, the study programme, and the habilitation and inauguration proceedings. They are in line with the UCM mission, the UCM long-term plan, and other strategic and conceptual documents of UCM. In justified cases, institution-wide internal regulations are followed by the internal regulations of UCM divisions, in particular when defining criteria according to the customs and specificities of the SO based on institution-wide indicators or the specificities of individual UCM divisions.

The VSK UCM structures ensuring quality culture at UCM are part of the integrated VSK UCM system. The powers, authority, and responsibilities of the relevant structures, including senior staff, other staff, and other stakeholders in the area of quality assurance and development of the UCM quality culture are defined in the relevant internal regulations (in particular statutes, rules of procedure, organisational rules and structures, charters, directives, and procedures). The structures of the VSK UCM ensuring the quality culture at UCM form a three-level system in both vertical and horizontal planes.

Vertical structures ensuring a quality culture are primarily responsible for the execution of policies and the implementation of the quality culture.

  1. The UCM Rectorate is an institution-wide structure. In accordance with the Higher Education Act, the Act on Quality Assurance, the SAAVS Standards for Internal System, the UCM Statute, the VSK UCM Directive, and the RVHK UCM Statute, the person responsible for the policies, structures, and processes in the field of quality assurance culture at UCM is the Rector. His/her powers, responsibilities, and competencies in the field of quality assurance at UCM are defined in the UCM Statutes, the Statutes of the RVHK, the Rules of Procedure of the RVHK, and the Directive of VSK UCM.

The area of quality culture at UCM is primarily focused on the Vice-Rector for Quality and the Department of Quality in accordance with § 36 of the UCM Statute.

The administrative, self-governing, academic, and advisory bodies of UCM with university-wide competence in the field of quality culture, according to the powers, responsibilities, and competencies defined by internal regulations, are:

The competence, powers, competencies, and responsibilities of the Bursar and other UCM employees in the field of quality assurance at UCM are regulated by the Higher Education Act, the UCM Statute, and other internal regulations.

  1. The division of UCM (faculty/institute) is a lower-level structure. The person responsible for the quality culture at the UCM division is the Dean of the Faculty/Director of the Institute. His/her responsibilities, powers, and competencies in the field of quality culture are defined by the Statute of the Faculty/Institute, the Statute of the Quality Board of the UCM division, and other internal regulations.

The area of quality culture at the UCM division is primarily concentrated in the department of the relevant Vice-Dean and the relevant department/quality clerk in accordance with the UCM division’s organisational regulations, as defined in Article 36 of the UCM Statute.

The following are the self-governing, academic and advisory bodies of UCM with competence at the level of the UCM division in the field of quality culture according to the powers, responsibilities, and competencies defined by the internal regulations:

  • Academic Senate of the Faculty,
  • the Faculty’s Scientific Board,
  • Dean’s Board/Director’s Board,
  • other advisory bodies and committees of the Dean/Director.

The relevant agenda of the institutes as university-wide divisions of UCM is discussed by the UCM VR, the UCM AS and other relevant university-wide structures in accordance with internal regulations.

  1. The workplace (department) is elementary level. It is represented by the management of the department (head of the department, deputy head of department), clerk/coordinator/designee in the department in accordance with the applicable Departmental Organisational Structure.

Horizontal structures primarily ensure a culture of quality.

  1. The Internal Quality Evaluation Board of the UCM (hereinafter referred to as “RVHK”) is the university-wide structure for quality assurance of education at UCM. The RVHK is an independent advisory body to the Rector. The composition, competencies, responsibilities, and powers of the RVHK are defined in the Statute of the RVHK and the Rules of Procedure of the RVHK. For the assessment of the education agenda, the RVHK establishes temporary working groups in accordance with the Principles for the Establishment of the List of Assessors and Temporary Working Groups at the RVHK at UCM.
  2. The UCM Division Quality Board (hereafter referred to as the “UCM Division RK”) is a structure for quality assurance of higher education at the UCM Division level with the participation of stakeholders. The UCM Division RK is an independent advisory body to the person responsible for the UCM Division (Dean/Director). The composition, responsibilities, competencies, powers, procedures, and rules for the selection of stakeholders in the UCM Division RK are defined in the Statutes of the UCM Division RK.
  3. Study Programme Board (hereafter referred to as the “RSP”) is a structure for quality assurance of higher education at the level of the department with the participation of stakeholders. The RSP is the body for monitoring, designing, adapting, and developing the SP. The composition, responsibilities, competencies, powers, procedures, and rules for the selection of stakeholders in the RSP are defined in the Statutes of the RSP at UCM. Each third-level study programme is monitored and evaluated by the relevant Field of Study Committee for Doctoral Studies (hereinafter referred to as the “OK”). The responsibilities, competencies, powers, procedures, and rules for the selection of stakeholders in the OC are defined in the Directive on UCM Doctoral Studies.

The VSK UCM processes ensuring the quality culture at UCM are managed by the relevant structures according to the applicable policies (laws, decrees, regulations, statutes, rules, regulations, codes, directives, guidelines, measures, orders, procedures, and rules).

  1. Use of university insignia.
  2. Use of visual identity.
  3. Valuation at UCM (Rector’s Award, J. Sambucus Award, Dean’s Award).
  4. Implementation of external relations.
  5. Workflow.
  6. Admission procedure.
  7. Course of study.
  8. Student evaluation.
  9. Awarding of degrees and issuance of educational qualifications.
  10. Filing and handling of complaints and grievances.
  11. Creation, modification, and approval of SP and OHIK.
  12. Carrying out a creative activity and producing outputs of creative activity.
  13. Carrying out other related activities.
  14. Quality assessment.

Quality management at UCM consists of:

  • v prijímaní a aktualizáciách strategických dokumentov UCM,
  • v aplikovaní všeobecne záväzných právnych predpisov, európskych štandardov, štandardov kvality vzdelávania, aj vlastných špecifických a rozvojových kritérií a nástrojov,
  • v aplikovaní príslušných metód zabezpečovania a hodnotenia kvality,
  • v každoročnom monitorovaní a vyhodnocovaní plnenia štandardov kvality vzdelávania,
  • v reagovaní na spätnú väzbu kľúčových zainteresovaných strán na identifikované problémy a riziká,
  • v prijímaní a plnení opatrení na odstránenie zistených nedostatkov,
  • v následnom odstraňovaní nedostatkov, zavedení nápravných opatrení a kontrole ich uskutočňovania,
  • v komunikovaní a zdieľaní prijatých opatrení s externým prostredím.
  • in the adoption and updates of UCM strategic documents,
  • in the application of generally binding legislation, European standards, education quality standards, as well as its own specific and developmental criteria and tools,
  • in the application of appropriate quality assurance and quality assessment methods,
  • in the annual monitoring and evaluation of the fulfilment of the quality standards of education,
  • in responding to feedback from key stakeholders on identified issues and risks,
  • in taking and implementing measures to remedy identified deficiencies,
  • in the subsequent remediation of deficiencies, the introduction of corrective measures, and the monitoring of their implementation,
  • in communicating and sharing the actions taken with the external environment.

The quality assessment follows appropriate methods, in prescribed forms, procedures, and periodicity, and its results are made public. (See Periodic quality assessment for more details.)

Publicly accessible UCM documents are structured into generally binding legal regulations (laws, decrees, methodological guidelines, quality standards) and internal regulations of the University (statutes, organizational regulations, charters of incorporation, rules of procedure, electoral regulations, and election policies, constitution, studies, academic area, library, staff, internal administration, information technology, science and research, creative activity, habilitation and inauguration, projects, quality, ethics, control, internal regulations of UCM divisions, collective agreements). They are published in the Legislation section of the UCM website.

Internal UCM documents are also available on the UCM intranet. They consist of the following sections: Internal Regulations, Personal Data Protection (GDPR), Forms, Model Contracts and Documents – Personnel and Legal Department, Model Forms and Documents – Public Procurement. Internal regulations are Rector’s measures, Rector’s orders, Rector’s decisions, Rector’s directives, Rector’s guidelines, Bursar’s guidelines, Vice-Rector’s guidelines, and others. They are available on the UCM intranet, including an archive of repealed regulations.

AS – akademický senát

DPS – dočasné pracovné skupiny

ESG – európske štandardy vysokoškolského vzdelávania

KR – kolégium rektora

OHIK – odbor habilitačného a inauguračného konania

RŠP – rada pre študijný program

RK – rada kvality

RVHK  – rada  pre vnútorné hodnotenie kvality

SAAVŠ – Slovenská akreditačná agentúra pre vysoké školstvo

SR – správna rada

ŠO – študijný odbor

ŠP – študijný program

UCM – Univerzita sv. Cyrila a Metoda v Trnave

VHS – Vnútorný hodnotiaci systém

VP – vnútorný predpis

VR – vedecká rada

VSK – vnútorný systém kvality