Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) defines itself as a learning organisation. We ascribe central importance to the systematic development of quality in teaching, research, knowledge and technology sharing and administration. BFH was institutionally accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Council in 2017.
Quality management at BFH follows the internationally recognised EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) model, which is built on a comprehensive understanding of quality management. The model allows quality management processes to be systematised and the organisational state of the university to be evaluated. It provides a guideline for conducting an insightful and comprehensive self-assessment while serving as a central theme running through quality development.
As part of the self-assessment, BFH regularly evaluates the quality of its programmes and services in all areas of the university. It is important to involve all stakeholders in the process: students, lecturers, directors and partners from industry, academia and society. BFH systematically uses the results of these evaluations to bring about improvements.
The EFQM Excellence Model provides a basis for systematically analysing an organisation. This model is designed to identify exactly where an organisation is on the path to excellence, helping it to understand the gaps and promoting solutions.
The model specifies a framework made up of nine criteria.
These are separated into four ‘results’ criteria to assess the results of the organisation, and five ‘enablers’ to assess the reasons behind the results. These nine criteria are divided into 32 subcriteria, which are examined in greater detail using various points of reference.
BFH bases its self-assessments on the assessment catalogue published by the Rector’s Conference of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KFH), which defines the relevant best practices.
BFH implements the EFQM Excellence Model as follows:
Our executives set a personal example through their quality awareness and work actively for the ongoing development of a culture of excellence.
Our activities adhere to the mission statement and strategic principles of BFH and define our development goals.
We want our staff to be independent, motivated, well-educated and happy. We therefore support them in their academic, personal and workplace-related interests and ensure equal opportunities.
Partnerships and resources
We employ our resources effectively and efficiently in order to achieve our goals. We also pursue collaborative partnerships – where they make good strategic sense.
Processes, products and consulting services
We ensure that workflows are simple and in line with the needs of students and clients by systematically structuring, optimising and constantly developing our processes.
Student and client-related results
We use the results from surveys on student and client satisfaction to develop our educational programmes, range of services and research activities and make them more attractive.
Suggestions and feedback we receive via staff surveys are regularly discussed by the relevant committees and acted upon where possible.
Our various contacts with stakeholders from industry, society and the public and cultural sectors give fresh impetus to our activities.
Based on our financial results, we assess the extent to which targets have been met and identify key areas for improving and developing the quality of our products and services.
Excellence is about managing qualitative growth. It involves an organisation mastering all of the relevant success factors and systematically managing their interrelations.
The eight basic principles of excellence are:
Organisations that demonstrate excellence are measured by their capacity to achieve consistently high performance that meets or surpasses the expectations of all parties involved. Achieving excellence requires the commitment of managers and staff as well as the widespread acceptance of the aforementioned eight basic principles.
Compulsory institutional accreditation was introduced for all types of higher education institutions in the Federal Act on Funding and Coordination of the Higher Education Sector (HFKG). It replaced the previous system of programme accreditation.
BFH is the first state university of applied sciences to receive accreditation at institutional level. The certification is based on the accreditation process carried out by the Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ). As a result of Swiss legal provisions, the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen (SFISM) will be accredited independently.