INSTITUTIONAL SELF EVALUATION REPORT (ISER) 2021
Conclusion and Evaluation part of Institutional Self Evaluation Report 2021 is given in English below. Click here to access the full report (in Turkish).
CONCLUSION AND EVALUATION
Considering the 2021 Institutional Internal Evaluation Report (IIER), which was prepared according to the results of the previous monitoring period, Yaşar University has covered a significant distance compared to the previous period. Our University makes a great effort to continuously increase the quality of all its services, especially educational activities taking into account the satisfaction of students and lecturers, by preserving the values it has gained in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, in line with its mission and vision, within the framework of the Quality Commission’s mission to improve all processes. Considering the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and the report reported after the Higher Education Quality Board (THEQAC) Institution External Evaluation Visit held on 25.12.2020, Yaşar University established the Quality Management, and accordingly, Quality Unit Representatives were determined in all academic and administrative units, and 4 (four) different working groups were formed in the Quality Commission. According to the Institutional Monitoring Report published after the online visit by THEQAC on 25 December 2022 within the scope of the Institutional External Evaluation Monitoring Program all activities and improvements regarding the areas open to development are detailed below.
“Ensuring that the Strategic Plan Goals are concrete and measurable and that the Strategic Plan is internalized”, “Associating Performance Indicators with Quality Assurance Processes” and “Associating the Information Management System with quality processes and ensuring the integration of human resources, education and research activities in the system” are three open-ended aspects of quality assurance that are closely interrelated. The process of the Institutional External Evaluation Monitoring Program dated 25 December 2020 coincides with the transition period from the 2015-2020 period to the new five-year strategic planning process. However, in this process, the university’s five-year strategic goals monitoring metrics have been prepared in concrete and measurable values over the years and was briefly shared with all in-house units and the public. By providing the transition between the plans for 2020 on the official access page of the University’s Quality Coordinatorship, Strategic Plan for the Period 2020-2025 was shared with the public on the official access page of the Quality Coordinatorship. The performance criteria of each strategic purpose and target area have also been shared with all in-house units over the years. In addition, monitoring metrics of strategic targets on a yearly basis with three integrated software mentioned in the management systems section of this report has been quality assured. These softwares are Quality Assurance System Software, Strategic Planning System Software and Corporate Communications Action Plan Software. The first two software have been used in the real environment and Corporate Communication Action Plan Software is being developed on the test server during the reporting period of IIER 2021. As a result, by using both internal communication channels and the aforementioned integrated software, related areas that are open to development (1) Ensuring that the Strategic Plan Goals are concrete and measurable and that the Strategic Plan is internalized, (2) Associating Performance Indicators with Quality Assurance Processes have been completed.
Instead of the Summary of the Five-Year Strategic Plan on the official access pag, the Strategic Plan for the 2020-2025 Period has been uploaded to the Quality Coordinator’s official access page and shared with the public to meet the developing direction that is “Strategic Plan, Performance Indicators, Annual Reports etc. publication of documents on the official access page”. In addition, the strategic plan visual at a glance and the level of achieving the strategic goals for 2021 were presented to the public on the same page.
A number of important studies and activities have been carried out “Within the scope of the establishment and operation of the Quality Assurance System, the authority, duties and responsibilities of the Quality Commission are clearly defined and its work” and “Defining policies regarding the quality process, documenting and reporting the results of activities and improvements” in order to meet the aspects that are open to development to be shared with the public. For example, the authority, duties and responsibilities of the Quality Commission are clearly defined in the relevant directive. In addition, all activities and studies of the Quality Coordinatorship, other announcements and activities related to quality assurance systems are shared with the public on the official access page of the Quality Management.
The aspects “Clearly defining internal and external stakeholders and identify strategic stakeholders” and “Systematic participation of external stakeholders and evaluation of their views in the strategic planning process and quality studies process” that are open for improvement are related to internal and external stakeholders. Indeed, for quality assurance of stakeholder relations that are being maintained effectively, sudies on internal and external stakeholders have been carried out within our university, and external advisory boards have been established in each unit. Thus, the system design for the Plan- Do- Check- Act (PDCA) translation of the decisions taken has been made and will be implemented from 2022.
External advisory boards of university unit are restructured with regard to the aspect that is open to development that are “Improving the visibility of the Boards and Commissions on the web page, sharing information such as study reports, meeting minutes, evaluations, improvements, results, etc with the public” and job descriptions of all commissions and boards in the university were created and published on the official access page of the Quality Management. The up-to-dateness of the members of the commissions and boards is under quality assurance with a systematic study carried out with the Quality Coordinator, the Human Resources Department and the Registrar’s Office. In addition, the University External Advisory Board will meet in 2022.
University Administration, Quality Commission and Quality Coordinator carried out studies for each of the 8 (eight) open areas defined above related to quality assurance and these development areas have been completed on a very large scale. Improvement activities in these areas were also planned and put into effect.
Regarding the developmental aspect of “The implementation of the Training of Trainers Program, monitoring the results and making the necessary updates” Innovative Teaching and Learning Unit has started to cooperate with an expert from Yaşar University School of Foreign Languages Continuing Professional Development Unit since January 2022. Various Joint seminars and workshops are organized according to the results of online training needs analysis conducted in 2021 and cooperation of these units continues. Additionally, Cooperation negotiations started with someone form School of Foreign Languages who has done many qualified studies in the field of leadership. The work of the official access page of the unit has been started and the information of the trainers’ trainings held in the past will be shared on the official access page of the unit. In addition, new events will be announced on this page. An application was made to the Rector’s Office for the employment of an expert with a master’s degree in educational technologies or educational programs and teaching to the Innovative Teaching and Teaching Unit.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, the studies we carried out rapidly regarding our education and training activities attracted attention in the academic community and Yaşar University is ranked 4th among the Foundation Universities that best manage distance education in the study titled “State and Foundation Universities that Best Manage Distance Education” by the independent research institution University Research Laboratory and according to the results of the University Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2021, our university rose to the 8th place from the 21st place in the satisfaction ranking of all foundation and state universities and took place in the A Category. According to the same research; It was ranked 3rd among all foundation and state universities in the Distance Education Infrastructure ranking. In order to ensure the sustainability of these positive evaluations, necessary studies were continued during the reporting period.
Creation of physical and technical infrastructure and financial resources for the R&D activities of the institution and Contribution and encouragement of research to the socio-economic cultural fabric by defining the policy for the appropriate use of, objective incentive and reward mechanisms for defining the incentive method have been brought into force. There has been a significant increase in the number of scientific works and projects, due to the increase in internal and external R&D funds and expenditures and PDCA translation is effectively managed and monitored with academic units and relevant commissions in all processes.
Monitoring, processes for evaluation and reporting the compatibility and adequacy of the foreign support received such as project support, donations, etc. with the strategic goals of the institution, and activities have improved significantly since 2017. Applications to external project calls and funded projects are implemented, supported, monitored and evaluated by by structured separate units of the university. The EU Research and Application Center and the Information Technology and Transfer Office inform the university’s project evaluation commission about externally supported projects and also presents periodic activity reports in detail to the quality commission.
Project Support Offices of the university are actively working to define the compatibility of current research activities with the determined objectives and to share them with the public and it is making progress to turn the openness of development in 2017 into one of its strengths. Funding of current scientific research activities is carried out with Scientific Research Projects (SRP) funds, they are also actively monitored by the SRP whose processes are clearly defined and the project evaluation commission. The news portal of the university has played an important and active role in evaluating and sharing the results of research activities with the public. Both completed projects and ongoing projects of international outsourced projects are shared with the public on the EU Research and Application Center website. In addition, the projects are announced to the public through the university news portal. Similarly, Information Technology Transfer Office (ITTO) shares project calls, activities for funded university projects and projects supported by SRP with the public on its official access pages. The outputs of other research activities are published on the university official access page, in the list of personal works of academicians. It is also entered into the Higher Education Informatıon System (YÖKSİS) database.
Description of the process for review and improvement of the level of sufficiency of research performance in meeting the objectives of the institution, closing the loop and reports on activities are trasnmitted to primarily project evaluation commission, entrepreneurship committee, Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights (FSMH committee, publication incentive and award commission, and assignment and promotion commission by each relevant unit. Works and publications of research outputs for performance evaluation and monitoring are constantly monitored by the strategic planning commission within the scope of relevant metrics. The effectiveness of the scientific research processes management is achieved through the monthly reports of The Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office (BTTO), Project Support Office (PDO) and EU headquarters monitored by the Rector’s Office, as well as the semi-annual reports submitted to the Quality Commission on a unit basis. Two directives (Quality Assurance Directive, Strategic Planning and Monitoring Activities Directive) adopted at the Senate meeting held on 23.03.2021 and Research and Innovation Quality Unit Sub-Working Group (AYAÇG) were officially established. In addition, all centers, PDO and BTTO submitted their first six-month reports to the Quality Commission, and their last six-month reports to AYAÇG. AYAÇG evaluated these two sets of presentations and evaluated the Planning and Implementation stages. In addition, the working group evaluating Entrepreneurial and Innovative University Index (GYÜE) and strategic plan performance reports and the latest publication numbers also completed the Control phase with serial meetings. The subcommittee compiled and consolidated the improvement proposals at its next meeting and reported this at the first Quality Commission meeting that followed. In this way, the 2021 PDCA cycle has been closed with the Preventive Action activities. AYAÇG reviewed its 2022 Plans at its last meeting and has finalized the relevant section of the IIER report and sent it to the Quality Commission. Apart from these boards, which serve as the sub-committee of Yaşar University’s Quality Commission, PDCA cycles are considered at the Senior Management Meetings consisting of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Rector and Vice Rectors, the Secretary General and the Head of the Financial Affairs Department also. At the next level, the cycles are completed in the Academic and Administrative-Financial Subcommittees of the Board of Trustees and finally the Board of Trustees meetings.
Our university rose again in the category of Foundation Universities and rose to the 15th rank in University Rankings by Academic Performance (URAP) evaluations and it has risen one step and placed 7th in the ranking of foundation universities that do not have a medical faculty. Our sustainable goal over the years is to be in the top 10-15 band among foundation universities and to be in the 4-7 band among foundation universities that do not have a medical faculty. The increasing trend in the total number of publications over the years reveals the result of our continuous improvement efforts. The target was set to increase the annual average number of Web of Science (WoS) articles to 150 and the number of SCOPUS scientific documents to 200 within five years, and this target was achieved. Thus, the criteria for entering Times Higher Education (THE) rankings will be met. Yaşar University, which has been taking place continuously for the last six years in entrepreneurial and Innovative University Index (GYÜE) rankings where only the first 50 universities were announced by TÜBİTAK rose twenty places among all universities in the 2021 ranking. More importantly, the goal of being in the top five among the foundation universities determined for the year 2025 as a strategic goal was realized this year.
Regarding the aspect “Evaluation, monitoring and reporting for rector-student meetings” that is open to development, meetings where students and the Rector come together, which is an important feedback method/communication channel where students directly convey their problems and suggestions to the Rector, were not held with wide participation due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, a face-to-face meeting was held with the Members of the Student Council Executive Board for this purpose. Our students can directly reach the Rector’s Office with many e-mails. Finally, the Student Council Representative attends all Senate and Quality Commission meetings and shares her views and evaluations.
A process management approach has been adopted to bring a systematic order to university processes. For this purpose, improvement activities have been carried out on the subject “Defining the workflows for administrative personnel and publishing them on the official access page “those who are open to improvement in the 2020 THEQAC Institution Monitoring Report and workflows in all administrative units affiliated to the General Secretariat have been published on the official access page of the relevant administrative unit. The ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certificate experience regarding the processes of the Registry of the General Secretariat was decided by the Quality Commission for all administrative units affiliated to the General Secretariat, as well as the Project Support Office and Information Technology Transfer Office processes.
Regarding the aspect that is open to development as “Collecting information about the corporate internal and external evaluation process in advance and holding meetings with sufficient frequency” Quality Commission Meetings started to be organized by the Quality Coordinator on November 4, 2021 and 7 (seven) meetings were held until the end of the year. The way the meetings are organized is guaranteed by the decision of the Quality Commission, on the first Tuesday of each month, in ordinary cases. On the official access page of the Quality Coordinatorship, information and documents related to all activities carried out by the Quality Commission, Sub-Working Groups of the Quality Commission and the Coordinator can be accessed. With the completion of all the above-mentioned areas open to improvement and making improvements, the infrastructure of the preparations for the application to the THEQAC Institutional Accreditation Program was completed at the beginning of 2022.