The German Donors’ Association honors Mainz University for its outstanding quality management concept

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz qualifies as a pilot university in the Quality Management in Institutions of Higher Education program / Funding of EUR 300,000 approved

13.03.2008

The Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation have selected Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, along with Braunschweig Technical University, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, and Münster University of Applied Sciences, as pilot universities for the Quality Management in Institutions of Higher Education program. The panel of experts employed by the Donors' Association acknowledged these universities as having presented the best ideas and concepts for the development and expansion of a quality management system in their institution. The four universities won out over another 64 participating universities in the competition and were each awarded EUR 300,000 in funding until 2010.

"Quality assurance and quality development have held a great deal of significance in our university ever since the early 1990s – both through the reorganization of administration as part of the JGU reform process and through the evaluation of research and teaching," explains the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. "With its own Center for Quality Assurance and Development, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has access to a facility that is the only one of its kind nationally, and boasts a good reputation and expertise in diverse fields of work. The award is thus a confirmation of the many years of successful work carried out here."

The Quality Management in Institutions of Higher Education program supports the development of an integrated quality management system, the aim being to firmly establish quality assurance and development in universities. In the opinion of the council assembled by the Donors' Association, quality standards in universities must be defined and applied by the institutions themselves, and should not be determined from outside. "The large response to our program shows how seriously universities are now taking the idea of an effective quality management system," emphasizes Dr. Volker Meyer-Guckel, acting General Secretary of the Donors' Association. Many of the participating universities presented ambitious and realistic ideas. "Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has a successful quality assurance system on which to build," comments the council in its decision. "Of particular interest is the university’s intention to combine evaluation and management even more over the coming years. In this process, research questions on the causal relationships within quality management will also be examined."

"Success stories from Mainz"

The JGU Center for Quality Assurance and Development is one of the university's central facilities that was set up in 1999 following a resolution from the Senate of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. In addition to its activities within Mainz University, the Center for Quality Assurance and Development has functioned as the Southwest Office of the Evaluation Association of Institutes of Higher Education since 2003.

The central tasks of the JGU Center for Quality Assurance and Development lie in the evaluation of subject areas and faculties in accordance with the so-called "Mainz Model" and in providing support to young researchers. Furthermore, the Center for Quality Assurance and Development carries out project and program evaluations and is active in the area of research into education and higher education. The Center also acts as an advisory body providing services to external institutions and universities.

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz was one of the first universities in Germany to choose a new approach for the accreditation of Bachelor's and Master's programs of study: Under the direction of the JGU Center for Quality Assurance and Development and in cooperation with the accreditation agency ACQIN, the quality of programs is verified by the participation of external experts in their own right before the programs are introduced. Based on the principle of the university quality assurance system, the aim of the so-called system accreditation pilot project is to develop procedures that are based not just at the level of individual programs of study but also take into account issues of higher education development at the subject, faculty, and whole-university level. A council made up of experts from universities, research communities, and industry was created to guide the pilot project.

"With the system accreditation pilot project, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is seeking to produce an integrative model of higher education development, evaluation, and accreditation," says JGU President, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. "After the Mainz Model of evaluation, this could be the next successful project from Mainz to serve as a model for other large universities in Germany."