A second round of quality audits took place in 2007/08 at the swiss universities that for the first time also included an examination of the ETHZ and the EPFL.
Reflecting its own quality assurance principles, the OAQ drew up a Synthesis Report at the conclusion of the second cycle which analyses the outcomes and evaluates feedback on content and procedural techniques by various stakeholders. The report is based upon standardized feedback forms which are completed by the universities and by the experts participating in the procedures, as well as subsequent discussions between the OAQ and the universities. In addition, feedback from the Swiss Q-Network was incorporated into the summary.
The most important finding must surely be that the universities have accepted the quality audits overall and regard them as a contribution to institutional quality improvement. The experts for their part noted substantial development by comparison with the first quality audit cycle dating back to 2003/04.
All in all, the second round of the Quality Audits confirmed the fact that external quality assurance is successful thanks to an institutional approach which respects the autonomy of the universities. The experience gathered from the 2007/08 cycle also provides an important contribution to the development of institutional accreditation for which provision is made in the draft text of a Federal Act on the Promotion of Universities and Coordination in the Swiss Universities Sector (HFKG).