The news that the quality evaluation by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (SHEA) has given Konstfack’s programmes in the field of Craft (Applied Art) the rating "very high quality" is fantastically gratifying. This confirms Konstfack’s leading position in the field of Craft and includes both the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Ceramics and Glass and Ädellab/Jewellery and Corpus.
The programmes in Fine Art were given the rating "high quality" – for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in both Art and Textile (specialising in art). Goal attainment was also considered high in the majority of the student projects reviewed when "critical reflection" was the intended learning outcome concerned.
Design was another main field of study in which the four Master’s programmes – Storytelling, Textile in the Expanded Field, InSpace and Formgiving Intelligence were given the rating "high quality". Attainment of all of the intended learning outcomes was rated "high quality".
SHEA’s evaluators identified shortcomings in first-cycle programmes in the field of Design that affect four Bachelor’s programmes: Graphic Design & Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Furniture Design, and Textile (specialising in design).
The Vice-Chancellor Maria Lantz comments:
- The results of the evaluation were what we expected. In the autumn of 2013, during the self-evaluation phase that forms part of SHEA’s evaluation, we could already see where our strengths and weaknesses lay. We expected our Master’s programmes to be rated very high quality or high quality. Konstfack is demonstrably an extremely advanced learning environment where theory and practice are combined. In addition we are one of the leaders in Craft – at the very forefront internationally. Now we are ready to develop even further and we would like to thank both the students and teachers involved in our internal evaluation, and of course SHEA and the external assessors, for their sterling work.
- The shortcomings in first-cycle courses in Design – which mainly involved the students’ capacity for critical reflection and links to social issues – reflect problems that we had to some extent already identified and which we are enthusiastic about working with further. Where the other learning outcomes are concerned the ratings were good. We are going to base what we do during the year we now have to remedy these shortcomings on the evaluation report. What this will mean in concrete terms is microscopic study of the courses to see how they can be linked more effectively to the targets that have been laid down. The teachers and students concerned will be involved at a more detailed level. The process of improving quality must be grounded as deeply as possible so that we can maintain and clarify our strengths.
During the academic year of 2013/14 Konstfack launched a process of change in which the contents of our Master’s programmes were reviewed. The evaluation provides us with valuable and vital information as we continue this process, which will also include Bachelor’s programmes. Careful analysis of the evaluation of Konstfack as well as of other higher education institutions also means thinking about both our profile and quality. Konstfack has now created a working group to develop the management and decision-making structure around the programmes as well as routines to enable continuous quality assurance.
Our dynamic environment which never stands still must at the same time guarantee long-term quality. Here planning and internal structure are just as important as an advanced artistic milieu in which both experimentation and taking risks are allowed.
Maria Lantz ends with:
"Konstfack is Sweden’s largest higher education institution in the fine and applied arts and is one of a kind. It houses both visual art and design under the same roof. While this is one of Konstfack’s strengths, it means at the same time that a relatively small institution has to make room for a multitude of activities: everything from teacher education in sloyd and art to contemporary art, applied art, visual communication, interior architecture and industrial design. SHEA’s evaluation is important and will help us to discern our strengths and weaknesses."
Konstfack is the largest university college of arts, crafts and design in Sweden. Each year, almost 900 students are enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, Teacher Education programs and Professional courses. Visit us at www.konstfack.se.