Stockholm University’s quality system for education is the result of dialogues between the senior management team, the education committees, the university administration and the Student Union. The purpose of these dialogues has been to develop a unitary and commonly accepted system for enhancing and ensuring the university’s courses and programmes at all levels. The President’s advisory body for university-wide educational issues and systems for quality assurance (Rebus) is responsible for developing and revising the quality system.

The university's quality system for education can be described as comprising six areas: 1) organisation and governance, 2) establishment, revision and discontinuation, 3) planning, implementation, and follow-up, 4) admission and degrees, 5) employment and skills development and 6) student support and information.

Each area includes conditions, processes and activities that contribute to ensuring and enhancing the quality of the courses and study programmes, e.g. decision and delegation procedures, syllabi, establishment of courses and study programmes, course evaluations, constructive alignment, well-conceived teaching methods, issuance of degrees, expert review in teacher appointments, and study and career guidance.

As a whole, the system meets the requirements of the Higher Education Act (1992:1434), the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) and The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), as well as the university’s own quality criteria, which are expressed in various governing documents regarding education.

Quality assurance processes

Quality enhancement activities form part of each teacher’s everyday work. However, within the quality system there are a number of especially important processes, which are aimed at ensuring the quality of the university’s courses and programmes. These processes are the following:

•    evaluating the preconditions of new study programmes, set of related courses and PhD programmes during establishment
•    course evaluations
•    programme reviews
•    preparing for, and taking care of the results from, national programme evaluations, national reviews of the HEIs quality assurance processes and compliance with the applicable national legal rules and regulations
•    quality dialogues
•    focus reviews

The processes are summarised in the figure below and are also described in the text below.

Quality assurances processes
Quality assurances processes


Evaluating the preconditions of new study programmes, set of related courses and PhD programmes during establishment

The purpose of evaluating the preconditions of new study programmes, set of related courses and PhD programmes is to ensure the quality of the process for establishment of education at the university. During the establishment of a new study programme e.g., the aim of the programme, the students’ attainment of qualitative targets, the programme’s teaching capacity and ability, research basis, internationalisation, gender equality, educational environment, student influence and economic preconditions, are all subject to review.

This process is described in Regulations and procedure for establishing and discontinuing courses and study programmes (document in Swedish).

Course evaluations

In order to ensure the students’ right to influence their studies, Stockholm University has established rules and routines for the university-wide work with course evaluations. They are described in Regulations for education and examination at first-cycle and second-cycle level. Templates for course evaluations and course reports are available as appendices to the rules. All course evaluations shall include some common (university-wide) questions. The students’ as well as the teachers’ evaluations are analysed and included in a published course report, available to all students. It is the Head of department who is responsible for this process.

There is also an IT-support system available in order to facilitate the work with course evaluations. The purpose of the IT-system is to ensure that the university follows the law, while at the same time enhancing the quality of the process.

The results from the course evaluations are included in the programme reviews.

Programme reviews

Stockholm University has developed a local system for evaluating the quality of study programmes, set of related courses and PhD programmes, based on peer review. It is called “programme review” (“utbildningsgranskning”). The purpose of the process for programme reviews is to systematically generate knowledge that is needed to ensure and enhance the quality of the university’s courses and programmes. Each study programme, set of related courses and PhD programme is reviewed every sixth year by a review panel consisting of academic members from the different faculties and student representatives, with operational support.

The scientific area boards are responsible for planning and conducting the programme reviews. The work is guided by Regulations for programme reviews and each scientific area board shall establish a procedure document for programme reviews within the scientific area as a complement to the university-wide regulations.

The assessment basis of the reviews is a programme report based on a compulsory university-wide template, produced by the responsible department, and other documentation such as a teacher/supervisor table, a qualitative target matrix, and compiled statistical material. The quality of the courses or programmes is assessed against university-wide quality criteria.

Work with and the result from programme reviews forms part of the quality report that each scientific area board produces once a year.

Read more about the programme reviews here.

Handling of results from national evaluations and reviews

Since 2011, the quality system at Stockholm University relates to the national system for quality assurance, conducted by UKÄ (the Swedish Higher Education Authority). During a national evaluation or review of the university’s performance, the process of preparing for it, and taking care of the results from it, is ensured using an internal support system, based on peer review. The support system offers advice to the departments regarding the writing of the self-evaluation during the national programme evaluations, and reviews the action report in case a programme has to address deficiencies.

The work with and the results from national programme evaluations, legal supervision and other reviews forms part of the quality report that each scientific area board produces once a year.

Quality dialogues

The purpose of the yearly quality dialogue between the President, the Vice president and representatives from the Scientific area board, is twofold. Firstly, to create a platform for information exchange and reflection on quality enhancement work in education, and secondly, for the President to follow-up ongoing quality enhancement activities in education within each scientific area. Student representatives participating in the dialogues are appointed by the Student Union. The quality dialogues are based on a quality report that each scientific area board produces, using a compulsory template (document in Swedish). The quality report contains results from programme reviews, national programme evaluations and reviews, and other quality enhancement work, which the education committees within each scientific area have handled the previous academic year.

The results from the quality dialogues are used in the university’s overall strategies and in the scientific area boards’ and the university administration’s respective action plans.

Quality reports – Human Science (in Swedish)

Quality reports – Science (in Swedish)

Focus reviews

The purpose of the focus review is to evaluate university-wide educational issues in need of special attention. The focus review is thereby a complement to the ordinary programme reviews, conducted by the scientific area boards. The focus reviews consider strategically important educational issues, which the President, especially through quality reports and quality dialogues, has identified as particularly important in order to ensure and enhance the quality of the university’s courses and study programmes and PhD programmes.

A focus review is normally conducted by external reviewers, appointed by the President, and academic representatives from each scientific area.

Other quality enhancement work

There are several other quality enhancement activities within the university’s quality system for education, e.g. regarding student influence, the President’s funding for quality,  the Teachers’ conference and the University-wide quality conference.

Read about student influence here.

Read about the President’s funding for quality here.

Read about the Teachers’ conference here.

Read about the University-wide quality conference here. (in Swedish)