Quality Assurance

1. Basics of quality assurance at JMLU

The quality of a university results from the achievement of goals which it defines for itself in the areas of teaching, research and administration, and by the achievement of which it is measured in the long term from an internal and external perspective. The Quality Assurance System (QAS) of JMLU includes all content-related measures implemented by the Quality Management (QM) of JMLU, which is why the QAS is an integral part of the overall strategy of the QM of JMLU, which is based on the contents of the development plan and the statutes and the long-term institutional objectives depicted therein.

The strategy of the QM with its QSS aims at the further development of study programmes, teaching, research and administration, for which the Vice Rectorate for Research and Quality Assurance on the one hand and the Commission for Evaluation and Quality Assurance (KEQ) on the other hand are responsible. This is done with the involvement of representatives from the areas of deans of studies, students, teachersand administration in mutual co-responsibility.

In accordance with the PDCA cycle (PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT), the quality assurance strategy is continuously evaluated, improved and developed by means of internal and external quality assurance measures. The effectiveness of those measures that are finally implemented is also reviewed in longer-term cycles. The procedures applied are based on international standards, in particular the Handbook for Internal Quality Assurance in Higher Music Education of the Association Européenne des AEC. Internal processes are based on control instruments (written regulations and digital tools) and measures derived from the results of regularly conducted evaluations (cf. Quality Manual). External processes are based on legal requirements and cooperation in university study and research as well as event management and include peer review, further education offers and external advice (e.g. in university networks and by external experts, cf. quality handbook).   

Reaccreditation by AQ Austria represents an essential aspect of external quality assurance. The reports on the results of these processes are continuously communicated to the responsible bodies at JMLU and are published collectively in the QM annual report at the end of the academic year.

The regular meetings of the StuFko (BA-M and BA-ME), the interdisciplinary StuFko/fü (MA-M and MA-ME) as well as the continuous team meetings of the administrative staff function as interfaces between the perspectives of members of the Rectorate, the extended Rectorate as well as the members of the KEQ, which is composed of the staff of the above-mentioned areas.

Die KEQ gewährleistet periodische Evaluationen der Qualität der Lehrveranstaltungen und der Studienzweige sowie der institutionellen Strukturen und Prozesse sowie des gesamten Leistungsspektrums der Universität. Die Begutachtung der Studienzweige und der institutionellen Strukturen und Prozesse findet als Kombination von interner und externer Evaluation nach den Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015) statt. Die Handlungskriterien, Abläufe und Strukturierung eines umfassenden Qualitätsmanagementsystems sowie die Verfahren, die Auswertung ihrer Ergebnisse und die Berichterstattung über die beschlossenen Konsequenzen sind in einer Evaluierungsordnung geregelt (siehe Satzung, Anhang 4). Die Evaluierungsgegenstände betreffen:

KEQ ensures periodic evaluations of the quality of the courses and the study programmes as well as the institutional structures and processes and the entire range of services offered by the university. The evaluation of the study programmes and the institutional structures and processes takes place as a combination of internal and external evaluation according to the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015). The criteria of acting the structuring and the associated sub-aspects of a comprehensive quality assurance system as well as the procedures, the evaluation of their results and the reporting on the decided consequences are regulated in an evaluation regulation (see Statutes, Annex 4). The evaluation objects concern:

  • Teaching, EEK, AR as well as musicological and pedagogical research.
  • Curricula including their sub-modules
  • appointment and study regulations
  • Other measures in the area of study organisation, in particular the establishment or discontinuation of a branch of study
  • Study and examination operations
  • administration
  • Structural measures

The studies at the JMLU are to be subjected to regular evaluation in terms of effectiveness and efficiency for the purpose of quality assurance and improvement with regard to the achievement of the educational goals and the fulfilment of the teaching tasks in its entirety, i.e. in the areas of teaching, EEK, research, as well as administration.

Evaluation by students is an important element in the quality management of studies and teaching. For this dialogue-oriented process, courses are regularly evaluated by students, as successful teaching and learning require a sustainable relationship of trust between teachers and students. Students and teachers are jointly responsible for a successful learning process in their respective specific roles. Compliance with the criteria for the accreditation of study programmes is ensured through corresponding annual evaluation cycles by KEQ.

In accordance with the legally anchored guiding objective of research-led teaching, EEK, AR as well as musicological and pedagogical research at the JMLU are closely related to study and teaching. In accordance with the Rectorate's guidelines on the university's guiding objectives, the StuFko prepares proposals for the research concept and submits them to the Rectorate. In accordance with the objectives and guiding principles of the research concept, the quality of research is oriented towards international standards and integrated into peer review systems of international publication and conference activities.

The assurance of corresponding qualitative specifications at JMLU is carried out through a series of internal and external regulations, evaluation cycles and concrete measures for compliance with the rules of good scientific practice and academic integrity (see Quality Manual and below).

2. Review of the effectiveness of the quality assurance system (QAS)

In order to review the effectiveness of the QAS, a comprehensive internal audit will be carried out for the first time in the academic year 2021/22, involving all university members as well as an external expert opinion. The effectiveness review is the responsibility of the Vice Rectorate for Research and Quality Assurance. The first interim results make it possible to revise the quality assurance processes depicted in the quality manual, including an adaptation to the lived university practice and the requirements for the further development of teaching, EEK, AR and musicological and pedagogical research. In the course of the audit, the first evaluation of the degree programmes took place, from which significant impulses for the establishment of an artistic doctoral programme emerged as an essential development goal. Future evaluations of the degree programmes at the JMLU are to be continued every three years in the area of responsibility of the Vice Rectorate for Research and Quality Management.

JMLU's statutes describe the overarching, structural framework conditions for quality assurance, including the responsibilities of committees. The quality objectives are derived from the university's guiding objectives in the respective valid development plan. The quality assurance processes are controlled by written regulations as well as by statutes, rules of procedure, contracts, manual of organisation, staffing and study regulations, tender texts, curricula, guidelines, examination handbook and evaluation forms and documented by protocols and reporting. Digital tools such as the homepage, the JAMONLINE intranet, the LMS Moodle, the survey instrument LimeSurvey and the JAM Online Research Repository (JORR) for research documentation are used for quality management in study and research operations, for information on internal quality assurance measures and for the efficient implementation of corresponding measures in accordance with legal provisions (DSGVO, TKG 2003).

3. Quality strategy in the development period 2023-2029

The quality strategy for the development period 2023-2029 includes the continuation of the proven processes and measures for quality assurance as well as regular further development along the university's guiding objectives, scientific principles and in adaptation to the university's resources and the needs of university members, society and the music industry. Structures and procedures for adhering to the rules of good scientific practice and academic integrity exist in the form of guidelines and training courses for students and staff, in the internal qualitative review of theses and in external quality assurance through peer review in the relevant academic community.

The review of the effectiveness of the QAS is carried out annually by KEQ by means of surveys and evaluations in accordance with the criteria of the Accreditation Ordinance of AQ Austria and documented in the annual report. In addition, the QAS is subjected to a comprehensive internal audit in the area of responsibility of the Vice Rectorate for Research and Quality Assurance at intervals of 3 years in order to be able to consider changes in the development plan (2022, 2025 or 2028).

The external audit by MusiQuE (Music Quality Enhancement - http://www.musique-qe.eu/) planned for the first time in the academic year 2019/20 had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is scheduled for 2023. The cycles of evaluations and effectiveness reviews are shown in the following charts:

4. Annual evaluations and effectiveness review

Annual evaluations and effectiveness review

5. Internal Audit

Internal Audit

6. External evaluation by MusiQuE

External evaluation by MusiQuE

The evaluation results are promptly forwarded to the responsible bodies (extended rectorate, StuFko or supporting organisation) for the development of binding measures. The KEQ is informed by the Rectorate about the measures taken on the basis of the KEQ results. The university members are informed via internal university newsletters. 

7. Further development of quality-assured study programmes

Since the basis of the JMLU's financing consists of income from fee-paying study programmes, the further and new development of study programmes is carried out not only according to qualitative standards but also from the perspective of financial coverage or the expected demand by applicants. In addition to the core activities of the JMLU according to the development plan from the initial accreditation, there is agreement on further development in several teaching and research areas.

Based on the experience of JMLU and its staff in dealing with the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of all degree programmes will include a review of the benefits of e-learning and online/blended learning modes. This applies to teaching and learning as well as to the examination system. The expansion of digital teaching and learning tools and corresponding didactic training is to be expected immediately and will be taken into account in the development of the quality strategy.