The Music and Art University of the City of Vienna (MUK) has a quality assurance approach that is tailored to the needs of a university specializing in the arts (in the artistic fields of music and performing arts). Continuously secured improvement processes are a common concern of the organs, committees and all members in their respective responsibilities. The MUK QM system systematically supports the achievement of the claims and goals formulated in the mission statement as well as the guiding principles set forth in the statutes with procedures and instruments for quality assurance and development. It thus contributes to maintaining and further sharpening the university profile and the self-image of a learning and teaching institution.
All interest groups of the university are involved in the quality assurance processes at the MUK. With the continuous involvement of external experts, internal processes are reflected upon and the international artistic competitiveness of the MUK is ensured.
It is in keeping with the guidelines of an arts university that quality assurance respects different aspects and working methods of the arts and thus supports quality development in the best possible and systematic manner in order to ensure contemporary development. The quality culture described in the MUK mission statement is based on closely meshed formal and informal communication structures and criteria, which are based on the following pairs of terms interpretation and creation, science and research, mediation and participation. In addition, researchers from the fields of music, theater and dance studies as well as pedagogy contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge in a variety of forms on an international level and as part of a scientific community oriented towards excellence criteria.
The MUK quality management has the task of facilitating and supporting creative-artistic processes while at the same time complying with the legal and structural framework to which the private university is subject.
Quality assurance (QA) and quality development at the MUK are based on six superordinate processes, which together form the MUK quality system: Core process quality in studies and teaching and core process quality in scientific research and artistic research, management processes, support processes, internal QA, external QA. The MUK continues to develop with the involvement of interest groups and ensures compliance with the criteria for the accreditation of study programs in internal quality assurance by the Director of Studies and the Senate. Success in art, teaching, research and artistic research is based on the interaction of the aforementioned processes.
The map of the QM system shows the relationship between the six decisive processes of the MUK, involving stakeholders, successes and other results.
The individual processes fulfill the following tasks of private university quality assurance and development.
Core process quality in studies and teaching: development and advancement of the study system, securing artistic excellence
Core process quality in scientific research and artistic research: development and advancement of scientific research and artistic research, ensuring good scientific and artistic-scientific practice
Management processes: strategic design, steering and development of the MUK, securing resources
Support processes: Managing resources, operating services, collecting and documenting information
Internal quality assurance (QA): developing quality structures, implementing procedures and processes, supporting and further developing the QM system
External Quality Assurance (QA): Ensure compliance with international standards and guidelines, integrate external expertise on a cyclical basis, review the private university's QM system
The MUK QM system systematically supports the achievement of legal requirements, guidelines and regulations as well as the integration of external expertise into the private university's processes. It contributes to the regular integration of external expertise into the central areas of the MUK.
The MUK QM system regularly checks for compliance with laws, guidelines and regulations to which the MUK is obligated as a private university and communicates these to the responsible managers.
The maintenance and further development of the strong integration of external expertise into the MUK processes is documented and reviewed by the QM system.
The documents that are used include corresponding parts of the statutes (e.g. examination and appointment regulations), the development plan, key figures and contracts.
In accordance with the Total Quality Management principle, the system is continuously reviewed and further developed by the responsible persons with the involvement and co-responsibility of all employees. The MUK quality management documents requirements and change processes, accompanies the forms of external expertise and supports its standardization and safeguarding for the continuous development of the private university under the premise of the continuous improvement process.
Effectiveness review of the QM system
The effectiveness of the MUK QM system is checked at different levels in different cycles. These levels are defined by the perspectives of the respective responsible persons.
The strategic level is regularly checked by the following events which recur in the MUK quality cycle:
The MUK holds at least two quality conferences per academic year. One of them is exclusively dedicated to the further development of the development plan. In at least one other one, special quality agendas are discussed with the affected and responsible groups of people.
Meeting of the University Council
The University Council of the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna is, according to the statutes, the Supervisory Board of the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna GmbH without members of the private university and meets four times per academic year. It is responsible for responsibilities and participatory rights in strategic and economic matters. The members of the Supervisory Board are obliged to exercise appropriate care in their activities and are not bound by any instructions or orders when performing their university duties in accordance with the Articles of Association, which gives these experts a special independent influence on the continuous quality assurance of MUK.
The annual university meeting serves primarily to provide a direct flow of information on essential developmental steps between the responsible persons at the MUK. In accordance with the statutes, it is composed of the members of the Rectorate, all professors, lecturers and administrative staff as well as the University Representatives of the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna.
Standardised cyclical meetings (Rectorate Jour fixe, Prokuristen Jour fixe, ÖH Jour fixe of the Rector, Works Council Jours fixe of the Rector)
All administrative departments of the MUK hold cyclical meetings in which they ensure the regular internal exchange of information. In addition to budget preparation and budget closing, the overall university financial cycle includes reviews by the owner and auditors as well as annual planning meetings with the degree programs and departments. Evaluations of deviations and projections take place twice a year or as needed.
The level of study and teaching, research and artistic research is checked by the following events, which recur in the MUK quality cycle:
The Senate meets at least once a month, except during the semester breaks, and consists of elected representatives of the groups of university professors, lecturers and administrators as well as students sent by the university representatives. As a governing body, it decides on and reviews central academic and personnel matters of the MUK, which are set out in the MUK statutes.
The Faculty Conferences are regulated by the statutes and consist of all professors and lecturers assigned to the respective faculty as well as four students of the respective faculty sent by the university representatives. The vice-rector is to be involved in the faculty conferences in his or her function as head of the Centre for Science and Research. They are responsible as a committee for the discussion and preparation of proposals for the further development of the faculty in research and teaching and their forwarding to the Study and Research Commission or to the Rectorate by the Dean. The Faculty Conference also provides the faculty members with the right to comment on the development projects of the private university that are relevant to the faculty and on the Dean's report to the Study and Research Commission and/or the Rectorate.
Study and Research Commissions
The central function within the quality assurance of the Study and Research Commissions is described in detail in the chapter on the Central Quality Assurance Office for Study and Research Commissions.
Study programme conferences serve the purpose of exchanging information between the programme management and the members of the programme concerned. This instrument is used for specific degree programmes and usually takes place at least once per academic year.
The survey of courses takes place every semester and serves to check the contents and objectives of the course, the examination methods, the admission requirements, the time and place of the course and all other course-relevant parameters in the individual courses. The main purpose of the survey is to ensure that the recurring courses specified for the curricula are held according to the semesters. The courses are defined by the accredited curricula and the module descriptions of the individual courses. Should there be a need for changes in the courses of these curricula, the further implementation is the responsibility of the heads of the study programmes, the respective study and research commissions, the senate and the rectorate and has to be carried out according to the regulations of the statutes. Lecturers, programme directors, the director of studies and staff of the Office of Student Affairs work together in this process.
Standardised cyclical meetings (heads of study programmes, colloquium leaders, regular ZWF meetings)
The operational level is checked by the following events, which recur in the MUK quality cycle:
The works council invites all employees of the MUK to an annual works meeting, where matters and interests of the employees are discussed as well as the general development of the private university.
If necessary, quality meetings on specific topics are held at least once a semester at the suggestion of the quality team or other responsible persons at the MUK. A second annual quality meeting (EP quality conference) is dedicated to the further development of the development plan. The two fixed quality meetings are convened as quality conferences by the Rector.
Revision of the building services
Annual maintenance and technical revisions in the field of building and event management ensure the function of the technical equipment and extend its useful life. This work is mainly carried out during the time when no courses are being held.
Admission and enrolment phases
In addition to the semesterly enrolment phases, there are also admission phases for the individual studies, which include key indicators of private university development. The data provided by the applicants (number, origin, age, etc.) in the admission phases are important indicators of the attractiveness and quality of the MUK study programmes, as well as their effectiveness in terms of communication. The enrollment phases provide information about the students' course of study.
Regular financial dates
The reviews of financial management by the Supervisory Board (quarterly), ongoing reporting to the owner (quarterly), audits of the annual financial statements by auditors (annually), funding agencies (if required), periodic internal audits by the parent company, audits by the courts of auditors of the City of Vienna and the federal government as well as public authorities ensure broad internal and external control of the MUK.
The individual budgets of the study programmes and departments are prepared bottom-up and incorporated into the overall budget of the private university. After coordination with the management, this budget is submitted to the owner and the Supervisory Board for approval within the specified time limits.
Standardised cyclical meetings
The administrative departments ensure their internal processes through regular jour fixes and coordinate them with the other departments and study programmes affected by joint projects.
Annual planning dates
There are a number of standardized dates for annual planning at MUK, which support an agreed and successful completion of the planned projects. First and foremost, project planning for the entire year takes place between the Head of Event Management and the Rector, the Faculty of Performing Arts' directors of studies (planning of scenic projects), the Faculty of Music's directors of studies (orchestra and chamber music projects) and orchestra management and directors to coordinate their projects. There are cyclical meetings on investments in technology and instruments. The project planning of the academic year is created by the Event Management in a project list and approved by the Rector. The semester highlights are regularly discussed by the project managers with the Marketing and Communication department.