ELITE NETZWERK BAYERN

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Quality Management in the Elite Network of Bavaria

To secure quality requirements in form and content, an independent control of the quality and success of the supported elite programs is necessary. This evaluation is done regularly and according to a fixed set of quality criteria and is organised and supervised by the coordination office of the Elite Network. On the one hand, the evaluation comprises online surveys of the graduate and doctorate students, scholarship holders and alumni of all five funding lines. On the other hand, the speakers of the individual Elite Master Programs, International Graduate Programs and Junior Research Groups are asked for a yearly status report. Additionally, there are subject-specific assessments of the individual Elite Graduate Programs and International Doctorate Programs on a regular basis. These evaluations are scientifically supported by the International Expert Commission of the Elite Network of Bavaria.

Online surveys of the graduate and doctorate students and alumni

As one part of the quality management the coordination office of the Elite Network carries out yearly online surveys among the graduate and doctorate students. They take place once a year and ask about the students’ current situation in their Elite or Doctorate Programs. There is a focus on the social indicators and educational background of the interviewees. In addition special emphasis is put on a comparison of the students’ expectations when choosing their study programs and their assessment to what degree these expectations have been fulfilled. A third focus is put on the assessment of certain aspects like study situation, mentoring and supervision, the curriculum and the degree of internationality and multidisciplinarity. In addition, every two years the survey also extends to the Alumnae and Alumni of structural funding programs to learn from the experiences of those who have already successfully completed a program of the Elite Network of Bavaria.

Online surveys of the scholarships holders and alumni

The coordination office of the Elite Network of Bavaria annually surveys also all scholarship holders and on a regular Basis the alumni of the individual funding lines "Max Weber-Program" and "Research Scholarships" in the Elite Network of Bavaria about their experiences and perceptions of their program. The survey is used to improve the elite promotion in Bavaria to ensure future scholarship holders in the Elite Network of Bavaria the best possible support.

Online surveys of the speakers of the Elite Graduate Programs, International Doctorate Programs and Junior Research Groups

The yearly survey of the speakers via a standardized status report gives a quantitative overview of how the Elite Graduate Programs, International Doctorate Programs and Junior Research Groups are structured. Information is collected on the following aspects: number of applicants and number of accepted students, number of graduates and quota of success / failure. Furthermore information about the awards of the students, about exceptional publications, stays abroad and events organized within the program is provided by the speakers on a regular basis.

Evaluation of funding continuation

The external evaluation of the Elite Graduate Progams and International Doctorate Programs, focuses on the success in respect to the education of their students. The evaluation is a peer review, the board of experts is a combination of members of the international Commission of the Elite Network of Bavaria and external experts from the relevant fields of studies. Their evaluation is the basis for the decision whether the respective Elite Graduate or International Doctorate program is prolonged for another five or - in the case of doctorate programs - four years.

Evaluation of program continuation

After a funding period of ten years, Elite Graduate Programs can get the agreement by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts to continue the program on their own funding for a further period of five years. The continuation of an Elite Graduate Program in continous lead management of the same university under the name of "Elite Program" requires a positive peer review of the program by an expert committee, which is also organized by the coordination office of the Elite Network of Bavaria.

Committee structure of the Elite Network of Bavaria

Three committees accompany and support the quality assurance of the programs of the Elite Network of Bavaria: The Commission, the Advisory Board and the Strategy Board. They all give recommendations to the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts, to sustainably ensure the high quality of support and education within the Elite Network of Bavaria.

[Bildunterschrift / Subline]: (Click on the image to download the PDF version)

General evaluation of the Elite Network of Bavaria

Apart from the ongoing evaluation of the requests of extension of individual programs, the Elite Network of Bavaria was evaluated as a whole for the first time in 2010. In the final report the Elite Network is described as “…an excellent institution which the Free State of Bavaria should maintain at all costs and should, if possible, even extend.” The evaluation commission with Prof. Elmar W. Weiler, rector of the Ruhr University Bochum, as chair, gives a number of detailed recommendations how the Elite Network can be even more optimized and developed further. These are currently being implemented in stages.

After this positive general evaluation in 2010, a second general evaluation is required for 2017 by the Bavarian Elite Support Act (BayEFG). The general evaluation of 2017, like the previous one in 2010, shall offer a retrospective impact monitoring of the promotion through the Elitenetwork of Bavaria. In addition, the results of the general evaluation, which should lead to specific recommendations for the State Ministry, shall be used to continuously refine the promotion of highly-gifted students. A central question of the general evaluation is that of the benefit and effectivness of elite promotion in Bavaria. Furthermore, the link between schools and universities shall be a special focus.