Ms. Weiler as head of the Quality Assurance Office and Ms. Büser in her position in the study quality development of the RhineMain University of Applied Sciences kindly agreed to an interview with us about their experiences with qurricula.
Dear Ms. Weiler, dear Ms. Büser, why did you decide to implement qurricula?
We were faced with the challenge of conducting internal accreditation for over 70 study programs within eight years as a result of the change from program to system accreditation. That’s a pretty big chunk to begin with. In the System Accreditation Forum, we heard about qurricula from other universities that were already using it successfully. qurricula is a software that can illustrate the quality cycle of the Rhein-Main University of Applied Sciences with its sub-processes in such a way that you can keep track of everything. The decision to use qurricula was made very quickly and, in retrospect, 100% correct.
Please let us participate in your everyday life with qurricula. What particularly inspires you in your daily work?
Core element of the internal accreditation at Rhein-Main University of Applied Sciences are fields of action, which are identified at any time within a quality cycle and are worked on from there until the end of the procedure. Fields of action are linked to the test criteria of the StakV or the university – only if they are successfully processed the associated test criterion can also be fulfilled.
Within the scope of accreditation, fields of action can be converted into requirements and recommendations if necessary. The fulfillment of requirements is also controlled in qurricula, recommendations are immediately transferred as fields of action into the next procedure. This completes the control loop. All the mentioned steps are documented.
This distinct structure is complemented by a planning tool that, based on an algorithm, schedules all the necessary steps and work of an 8-year process.
The whole is enhanced by the wide possibilities of a reporting system that enables the efficient creation of reports adapted to the needs of the university, as well as an evaluation system that allows meta-level analyses.
In everyday life, we are convinced by the intuitive way of working. Qurricula is practically self-explanatory. We have all the relevant documents for the processes in one place, which makes work much easier for everyone involved.
What would you tell colleagues at other universities when they are looking at implementing qurricula?
The change from program to system accreditation is in itself a piece of change management. The special challenge for us was to develop the quality cycle and its mapping in qurricula in parallel. All sub-processes had to be questioned, redefined and implemented in qurricula.
Wolfgang Grabow’s support during the conception phase helped us a lot to structure ourselves.The first sub-process of our quality cycle illustrated in qurricula was a real “aha” experience. We would tell our colleagues that it is worthwhile to actively manage the implementation process according to the individual requirements of their own university.
It is especially important that the data contained in qurricula is continuously maintained and updated in order to achieve the optimal benefit from the system. This may sound time-consuming at first, but in the end it provides a much better overview and comfort than working with Excel and Word files, for example.