Continuing education at the University of Bern is based on science and research. It fosters students' ability to reflect on subject matter in a scientific way and apply what they have learned to the world of work and to the wider environment in which they live.
In order to achieve this goal, the University of Bern has formulated its own principles and standards and has developed its own tools within the framework of quality assurance and development in continuing education based on the National Qualification Framework of the Higher Education Sector (nqf.ch-HS) of the Swiss University Conference, as well as Swissuni recommendations for quality development (in collaboration with the Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities), and relevant international standards.
Quality standards in continuing education
Given its appreciation of quality, the University of Bern follows the recommendations of Swissuni – the organization that promotes continuing education in Swiss universities – for quality development in continuing education. On this basis, it has produced the document entitled Guidelines and Standards for Degree Programs in Continuing Education at University.
Quality development diagram
Quality tools for continuing education
Quality assurance and development in continuing education applies to the entire cycle of developing and implementing the programs offered and is carried out and supported using the following tools:
- For the degree programs (CAS, DAS, MAS), there are study regulations issued by the faculties. These are checked by the Centre for University Continuing Education (ZUW), the Legal Services Office, the Continuing Education Commission (Weiterbildungskommission), the faculty, the Executive Board of the University of Bern and the Senate as part of an approval procedure to ensure that they meet the applicable standards.
- The Centre for University Continuing Education (ZUW) provides the institutions organizing continuing education programs with comprehensive advice on matters from designing and implementing courses to evaluating them. It has also developed a range of useful aids such as checklists, process descriptions and specimen templates.
- For lecturers and those responsible for university continuing education, there are higher education didactics and teaching development programs available, as well as special events (courses, opportunities to exchange experiences) and conferences.
- Evaluations are based on the evaluation guidelines produced by the Continuing Education Commission in 2005 and its recommendations for external evaluation issued in 2012. The Centre for University Continuing Education (ZUW) provides support to help the organizing institutions fulfill the requirements set out by the guidelines.
The Centre for University Continuing Education (ZUW) has drawn up some guidelines on evaluating continuing education programs. As well as mapping out an evaluation concept, these provide lots of information about evaluation tools that have been tried and tested in practice (see Work Report 36 by the Coordination Centre for Continuing Education of the University of Bern, KWB). It has also documented its experiences of external evaluation in report (appendix to the 2012 recommendations).
- The reports from the Centre for University Continuing Education (ZUW) provide the basis for generating an overview of developments within the programs, while external trends are recorded through monitoring. The insights gained are taken into account when the programs are updated.
- Continuing education forms part of the university's institutional accreditation in accordance with the accreditation guidelines set out by the Swiss University Council. It has already been included in the quality audits carried out to date.