Tertiary Education and Management

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 239–251 | Cite as

Not just another evaluation: a comparative study of four educational quality projects at Swedish universities

  • Sara KarlssonEmail author
  • Karin Fogelberg
  • Åsa Kettis
  • Stefan Lindgren
  • Mette Sandoff
  • Lars Geschwind


In this study, four recent self-initiated educational quality projects at Swedish universities are compared and analyzed. The article focuses on how the universities have handled the tension between external demands and internal norms. The aim is to contribute to an improved understanding of quality management in contemporary universities. On the one hand, the projects are found to be built on similar rationales associated with accountability, reputation building and strategic management. This is interpreted as a response to the shared external policy context. They are also found to mirror similar ambitions regarding raising the status of education. On the other hand, the projects are found to differ considerably in their actual design, methodology, implementation, stakeholders and outcomes. This is interpreted as an active adaptation to the unique internal academic norms and cultures that exist in each university.


quality management strategic planning higher education policy/development organization structures 


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Copyright information

© The European Higher Education Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Karlsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karin Fogelberg
    • 2
  • Åsa Kettis
    • 3
  • Stefan Lindgren
    • 4
  • Mette Sandoff
    • 5
  • Lars Geschwind
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LearningKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.The Board of Teacher EducationUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Quality and Evaluation UnitUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Department of Clinical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  5. 5.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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