Institutional Accreditation Process: an invitation to the debriefing with external experts
Institutional Communication Service
24 September 2021
Between 2020 and 2021, USI committed to the Institutional Accreditation Process, the independent procedure led by the Swiss Quality Assurance Agency (AAQ) that regularly assesses Swiss higher education institutions' internal quality assurance system. The procedure includes checks on quality in governance, education, research and services.
Institutional accreditation is a prerequisite to qualify for the title of "university" and is also indispensable for obtaining federal and inter-cantonal subsidies.
The procedure consists primarily of two stages: first, the university must draw up a self-evaluation report based on the criteria defined in the Federal Law (see attachment on the right). Second, a group of external experts visits the site, interviews various members of the community based on the self-evaluation report and draws up the final report for submission to the Swiss Accreditation Council. Thus, it is a participatory procedure in which more than 60 representatives from all parts of the university - students, academic staff and employees - have taken part.
The quality assurance system in place at USI (described in detail in the Self-Assessment Report) is managed by the Quality Service, is divided between various bodies and can be summed up in two keywords: "processes", i.e. the raw material that formally describes the organisation's actions, and "Senate", i.e. the place where - thanks to the Quality Commission - the processes are examined and where proposals for possible improvements are formulated.
A series of interviews organised by the external experts with a large number of community members will take place on 28, 29 and 30 September on the top floor of the Lugano University Library. On Thursday, 30 September, at 2 pm in the multi-purpose hall of the East Campus, a session will be held, open to all interested parties and to all parties involved in the accreditation process, during which the experts will draw up an initial informal assessment of the visit.
The experts' report will be submitted to USI by mid-October. USI will then have the opportunity to comment on it by December, and the Swiss Accreditation Council is expected to reach a decision by March 2022.