From 1994 to 2009, the Association of North German Universities boosted inten-sively the evaluation of studies and teaching. The affiliated partners could learn from the experiences of the other universities in this process, hence use synergetic effects and exchange best practice solutions without the autonomy of the universities or restricting the open competition.
The evaluations in the Association of North German Universities hence aimed particularly at the quality assurance and improvement in studies and teaching. Quality was therefore not understood as a static but as a dynamic value that was self-defined by the sub-jects during the evaluation and further developed.
The actual content-related design of the evaluations and the resulting consequences thereof defined the professionals and reviewers themselves as a result. The Centrum for Higher Education Development (CHED) has accompanied the introduction and design of the evaluation constructively, moderated the formation of opinion and supported financially in all steps. In 1995, the evaluation procedure of the Association of North German Universities was even distinguished as exemplary for the German Science in the Academic Reform Project of the Donors’ Association.
Character of the North Association Evaluation
The procedures in the Association of North German Universities contained some particularities that make up the special character of this evaluation. They referred mainly to the content-related concept and the target orientation of the process:
- The evaluation projects are implemented simultaneously in at least three universities of the association. (This enables an extended frame of reference for the reviewers and an ex-perience exchange of the evaluated among themselves with a reasonable expense)
- The evaluating conferences build a bridge from the strengths and weaknesses analysis to the consequences which the faculties draw from the evaluation.
- The students will be involved in all phases of the project.
- The reports arise analogous to the process in the German Research Association; that is, ac-cording to the principle of the self-organization of the science.
- A comparison in the sense of an experience exchange between the universities is intended; a comparison in the sense of a ranking is waived.
- The results of an evaluation are collected in target agreements.