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Internal action plan for Quality Assurance

1. The Quality Assurance Committee  (QAC) is responsible for ensuring that the high quality standards are maintained (1) in all VHEI courses and (2) in every aspect of the educational experiences provided to students by the Institut The goal of these standards should be quality assurance in relation to learning and teaching, based on learning outcomes.

2. The QAC is appointed and reports directly to the Academic Council (AC). Its members are appointed among the academic staff and senior management, based on their qualifications or experiences in the field. A quality management system expert is also appointed to support the committe

3. The AC, consulting the QAC, establishes the quality objectives of VHEI. This document of quality control policies establishes the guidelines that the various units of the Institute must follow and on which they must develop the required internal procedure

4. The main responsibility of the QAC is the supervision of all internal policies and procedures relating to the quality of the educational experience offered, to ensure that appropriate academic standards and integrity are constantly maintained and improved. It manages the quality management system to ensure (1) that it is well defined, with all the academic and organizational units required and properly created and functioning, (2) that all the requirements of the National Quality Assurance Framework in Malta are extensively fulfilled and (3) that the expectations of the students and interested parties are regularly satisfied.

5. The QAC must ensure that the QA policies are:

  • accessible to all, with all updates published on the VHEI website or portal:
  • regularly updated, in consultation with the parties concerned (students, staff, industry, etc.);
  • fully implemented through the right channels and mechanisms set up by VHEI;
  • periodically reviewed by external evaluators.

6. Through its role, the QAC confirms that the programs offered by VHEI are relevant to the needs of societ All programs developed should respond to specific needs, that can be identified through national policies, strategies, studies, surveys or other relevant reports. They should also be designed in consultation with industry. Therefore, the QAC checks that this crucial element of the Institute’s educational ethics is respected – offering programs that are relevant and useful to all interested parties, combining theoretical and practical perspectives and bringing students closer to the opportunities of the labour market.

7. The role of the QAC is vital in ensuring that students are satisfied with their learning experience during the cou The structure of the latter and the teaching methods must place the student in the centre of the teaching environment, focusing on teaching that provides the students with an  autonomous  and  active  role  in the  educational  processes.  Quality  audits  evaluate the teaching methods and the training results obtained, thus leading to the strengthening of the educational experience and facilitating a wider diversification of the learning processes.

8. The QAC fulfils its role be developing and implementing the mechanisms of VHEI’S Internal Quality Assurance (IQA). These include professional peer reviews, consultation with stakeholders and experts, gathering feedback from students, staff and industry partners on standardized methods, unit and program surveys, data analysis of the student’s progress, examiners’  recommendations,  reports  on  corrective  measures  taken, external  and  ad  hoc reviews, and similar action

9. The QAC examines each educational program through a comprehensive quality audit, according to established procedures and under the guidance of experts in quality management systems, over a three-year cyc It takes into account the data collected during this period by all interested parties, as well as by the analysis of such data and by the current political institutions. The appointed experts guide the QAC in applying the most appropriate mechanisms, so that the review is as effective as possible.

10. During the IQA cycle, all interested parties will be asked to provide their feedback. On each study unit delivered, feedback can be provided of specific questionnaires at the end of the semester, or as students see fit. The QAC must collect and analyse this information, and ultimately make recommendations for the AC to consider and implement.

11. The QAC also  monitors  the  quality  of  all  other  academic  and  related  activities,  such  as internships, student support services offered inside or outside the campu It regularly collects the necessary feedback from student, staff, industrial partners and from other identified external parties. Surveys conducted through interviews or the distribution of questionnaires are carried out to assess the satisfaction of the interested parties.

12. In addition, the  QAC  supervises  all  aspects  relating  to  the  learning  environment  and  its organization, including both governance and research carried out through the Institut QA practices should confirm that the established learning objectives are satisfied and that the learning experience meets the expectations of the stakeholders.

13. The QAC seeks input from industrial partners to ensure that the content of VHEI programs are regularly updated in terms of new research or practical commercial developments, dealing with changes in the industry and corresponding transformations in societ Its quality audits should assess the relevance of curricula in these rapidly changing fields, in order to keep students’ education and training experience as up-dated as possible, taking into account both research findings and the most recent industry practices.

14. IQA practices require  the  involvement  of  all  teachers,  students  and  companies  offering internships or that in some way participate in the educational activit The response received is analysed by the QAC, with the support of experts in the specific topics and the recommendations are then drawn up for consideration and possible implementation by the AC. The relevant unit and the representatives of the interested parties (students, staff, host organizations, etc.) are consulted during the analysis of the data collected and invited to offer their suggestions.

15. Consulting the QAC and the relevant units, the AC implements any recommended improvements at the end of an IQA cyc These changes must be brought to the attention of all interested parties through the appropriate channels, and updated information must also be published on the website. Subsequent quality audits will then highlight the effectiveness or  not of the measures introduced.

16. The QAC can also examine the responsibilities of each unit or official of the Institute concerning the quality cyc If its quality monitoring practices indicate that it may be more useful for certain functions to be managed by a different unit – existing or to be set up – or for the unit to carry out additional tasks or assignments, the QAC will contact the parties involved and will make appropriate recommendations. All interested parties must be informed of the outcome of these consultations.

17. The QA system applies to all parties involved in VHEI’s activities, including visiting lecturers and bodies responsible for tasks or actions for the Institute that in any way contribute to its academic program, in Malta or It These external parties (such as companies hosting interns or organizing events) must be informed, through written instructions given to them prior to the engagement, that they may be required to follow the Institute’s QA policies, depending on the nature of their business. The QAC applies quality screening controls and procedures to all faculty alike.

18. The QA practices adopted by VHEI apply to the two campuses and the QAC must ensure that the Institute’s police is adequately followed in both. The Italian campus is managed by FCM in accordance with the policies of the Institut The same level of control must be carried out consistently in the two campuses, and quality control practices are therefore aimed at engaging insiders from both, including companies that offer internships to students on each campus.

19. VHEI will commission external quality assurance (EQA) audits at least every five years to review IQA result These audits provide the Institute with both a development and accountability perspective. Before undertaking an EQA audit, the QAC must try to get the approval of the MFHEA to ensure that it is in accordance with the national authority’s guidelines on QA.

20. The QAC ensures that the recommendations made by the EQA reviewers are applied whenever possib The AC is ultimately responsible for implementing these recommendations, while the QAC monitors how the new procedures are applied and reports accordingly to the AC.

21. The QAC may add further detailed QA procedures to this document, based on the latest version of the European standards and guidelines for quality assurance within the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the Higher Education Area (ESG) and contemplate Maltese legislation on the field, when necessary.