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Health's study programmes are doing well – but there is a small ‘but’

Health's 17 study programmes are generally well-functioning and of high quality. However, work still needs to be done on improving the teaching evaluations. This is shown by this year's degree programme report for Health.

2017.11.30 | Mette Louise Ohana

[Translate to English:] Studerende

In the coming years, Health will continue to work with the students on how they can receive more feedback, which is something they call for in the study environment survey. Photo: Lars Kruse, Aarhus University

The work of improving the study programmes goes on throughout the year, but each year the faculty carries out a status report on the quality of the programmes in a degree programme report (in Danish only). In general, the degree programmes are of high quality when measured on factors including e.g. the ability to recruit and retain students, how well the degree programmes are structured, how the teaching is carried out, how good the study environment is, and the strength of the degree programmes relation to the labour market.

In order to improve quality, 2017 has seen particular focus on, among other things, monitoring the research-basis of the degree programmes, which is one of the items that the Accreditation Council has emphasised in connection with the institutional accreditation of Aarhus University. Health is very close to meeting the criteria here, as there is – with very few exceptions – a high level of academic staff coverage of the teaching as required by the Accreditation Council. Similarly, there is almost the right balance between how many external employees (part-time academic staff) carry out teaching compared to the number of AU employees – and thereby research-active – members of academic staff are teaching.

In addition, the students have been given more influence in the past year, so that student representatives are now also represented at the annual status meetings and the five-year degree programme evaluations.

During 2017, there has also been a lot of focus on preparing visions and strategies for all of Health's degree programmes so as to have some long-term guiding principles for how the degree programmes should develop. This relates to factors such as what should be taught, how the teaching should take place and how the students should be tested. Work on the visions is in full swing at medicine and all the dental degree programmes, while the degree programmes under the Department of Public Health will begin the process in December 2017.

The course evaluations are an outlier

The degree programme report also highlights areas that need to be worked on. One of them is the course evaluations that the students must complete after each semester. The response rates are too low while the students' level of satisfaction is not high enough. Health will therefore now draw up a joint procedure for how to get more students to respond and how to ensure that the evaluations subsequently have consequences. The new procedures will be taken into use in spring 2018.

In the coming years, some boards of studies, directors of studies and studies administrations will also continue to investigate why some students drop out of certain degree programmes and find new ways to retain the students. Drop-out is in general not a big problem at Health, but some Master's degree programmes face challenges, in particular those that admit professional Bachelor's students.

As with the year that has passed, the students' progress towards degree will also be closely observed in 2018 because the faculty will be hit by a study progress reform fine if the students are delayed. The research year is one of the reasons why some students take longer to complete their degree programme. Depending on the overall progress, the number of research year places available will in future either be increased or decreased. At the same time, the heads of degree programmes are currently looking into how research can to a higher degree be integrated in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. They will also make it easier to begin a PhD already while still taking the Master's degree programme. 

Read more about the plans for Health's degree programmes in 2018 in the degree programme report.

About the degree programme report

The degree programme report is part of AU's quality assurance system for the degree programmes and it is the system which is assessed by the Accreditation Council in connection with the institutional accreditation.

Health's report has been reviewed and approved by the academic council, the Forum for Education and the faculty management team at Health. It will now be sent to the Education Committee, which collates all of the faculties' reports in a single cross-organisational degree programme report for AU.


Vice-dean for Education Charlotte Ringsted
Health, Aarhus University
Mobile: (+45) 9350 8222
Email: charlotte.ringsted@au.dk

Education, Administration (Academic), Technical / administrative staff, Health, Health, Academic staff, Students