Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management
Institute for Quality Engineering
Vice Rector for Academic Affairs
______________________ U. Sukovskis
___ May 2011
Professional Master’s Study Programme
“Total Quality Management”
Table of Contents
1. The goals and objectives of the Professional Master’s Study Programme... 6
1.1. The goals, objectives and learning outcomes of the Professional Master’s Study Programme ... 6
1.2. The compliance of the Programme with the goals and objectives of RTU ... 7
2. Organisation of the Programme ... 8
2.1. Changes to the study structure and content... 8
2.2. Programme organization and administration ... 9
2.3. Operation of the internal quality functionality of the programme ... 9
3. Programme description ... 11
3.1. Studies programme duration and scope ... 11
3.2. Programme structure and description of the parts ... 11
4. Assessment system ... 13
5. Practical implementation of the Programme ... 15
6. Provisional evaluation of the Programme ... 18
6.1. Compliance with the National Higher Professional Education Standard and Professional Standard ... 18
6.2. Employers’ surveys ... 20
7. Students ... 21
7.1. The number of students in the programme ... 21
7.2. The number of enrolled students in the first year ... 22
7.3. The number of graduates ... 22
7.4. Student surveys and their analysis ... 23
7.5. Programme graduates’ surveys and analysis ... 24
7.6. Students’ participation in the study process improvement ... 26
8. The academic staff engaged in the Programme implementation ... 27
8.1. The number of academic staff... 27
8.2. The academic staff and their qualification ... 27
8.3. Academic staff development policy... 30
9. Sources of financing and provision of infrastructure ... 31
10. External relations ... 33
10.1. Collaboration with employers ... 33
10.2. Cooperation with Latvian and foreign universities implementing similar study programmes ... 34
11. Activities in the case of the Programme closure ... 35
12. Programme development plan ... 35
1. Professional Master Study programme „Total Quality Management”. 2. Changes within the Study programme (only in Latvian).
3. List of the Professional Master Study programme „Total Quality Management” courses (scope and plan of implementation) - full-time studies.
4. List of the Professional Master study programme „Total Quality Management” courses (scope and plan of implementation) - part - time studies.
5. Sample copy of the Diploma and the Diploma Supplement on the completion of the professional Master Study programme „Total Quality Management”.
6. Compliance of the professional Master Study programme with the Profession Standard „Quality management system manager” (PS 0148).
7. List of the academic staff involved in the implementation of the Study programme, their employment relations with RTU and the courses taught.
8. RTU Rector order on State Examination Commission (only in Latvian).
9. The Study programme’s: 1) Sample copy of the Students’Questionnaire 2) Sample copy of Graduates’ Questionnaire 3) Sample copy of Employers’ Questionnaire. 10.Comparison of the Study programme with similar accredited study programmes in
higher education institutions in Latvia.
11.Comparison of the Study programme with similar accredited study programmes in higher education institutions in the member states of the European Union.
12.Sites of keeping documents, regulations, laws and other regulatory provisions of the Study programme „Total Quality Management”.
13.Courses syllabi of the professional Master Study programme „Total Quality Management” (see additional Appendix).
14.Curriculum Vitae (CVs) of the academic staff involved in the Study programme (see additional Appendix).
15.Sample copy of Agreement of Intent on realization of students practice.
16.Academical staff publications, participation in the Conferences, other activities.
1. The goals and objectives of the Professional Master’s Study Programme
1.1. The goals, objectives and learning outcomes of the Professional Master’s Study Programme
The overall aim of the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” programme (Appendix 1) is to provide students with a set of theoretical
knowledge and practical skills in order to achieve competencies corresponding to the professional Master’s degree and qualifications.
The programme aims to provide students with the opportunity to acquire theoretical and
professional knowledge, to develop professional, creative and research skills to work in the field of quality management, which ensure efficient and skilful design, implementation and management of new technologies, methodologies and systems and enable successful integration into the local and international job market in various manufacturing and services industries, as well as continuing education to increase professional competencies or studying in doctoral programmes.
The general objectives of the study programme:
– to ensure a competitive second-level professional higher education corresponding to international standards; to prepare students for practical work, to develop and stimulate the use of their research skills;
– to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of quality management, to develop specialist skills and competencies required in the labour market;
– to develop an interest in further education and development, further perfection of academic and professional knowledge;
– to stimulate students’ interest in social processes, to stimulate students’ development as positive, modern, reliable and capable personalities who can act independently and make autonomous decisions;
– to ensure amendments to the contents, learning process, research development in line with the changes in the field of quality management, in international practice, practical science and didactics;
– to encourage interaction between the academic staff and students in the development of research work and practical use of the research results in accordance with international standards and trends in the field of quality management;
– to promote and develop academic staff and student exchange and participation in international projects.
The tasks execution results are student learning outcomes, Programme graduates’ employment rates and employers’ feedback, extension of international cooperation, increase of the number of research projects and students involved in the research process, the approbation of the research results in enterprises, etc.
By the end of the Programme the students will be able (expected results):
– to apply the acquired theoretical and practical knowledge when working in quality and process management and supervision in a company;
– to develop processes, procedures and behaviour management methods, to implement and monitor development activities, to be aware of the company management, customers, owners and the society’s interest;
– to develop, implement, manage and improve the quality management system, to analyse, evaluate, form, distribute and put into practice quality management and enhancement methods to facilitate an ongoing business performance efficiency and quality improvement;
– to monitor the quality of processes, to organize the development of management techniques, measurement, evaluation, development and conformity assessment
methodology of technical, technological and organizational processes, quality risk identification and management, to carry out conformity assessment;
– to perform self-assessment and to audit quality management systems, processes and products, to ensure that business processes and products meet customer requirements, needs, desires, do not cause harm to the society and the environment; – to improve the company’s strategy, to encourage and implement development
activities, to manage the processes, to encourage benchmarking of competitors and other companies and awareness of skilful economy, to understand integrated management system development principles;
– to carry out research activities, to systematise information, to implement research results, to use regulatory documents, to prepare overview reports and publications; – to manage new product and process development, to implement innovation and
change practices, to manage the work of staff, working groups or departments, to help employees learn and develop good and excellent skills, cooperate with colleagues, skilfully and efficiently deal with professional issues;
– to carry out their work in accordance with the relevant industry-specific laws and standards appropriate to the systems, processes and products;
– to conduct studies with scientific value in process management and improvement areas and to interpret and analyse the results.
The Programme students acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise for a comprehensive and efficient work in the field of quality management in the selected economic sector – the quality system design, implementation, development and management, understanding of professional ethics and socially responsible economy, wider horizons, as well as prepares a basis for further studies to acquire a higher-level knowledge and skills.
1.2. The compliance of the Programme with the goals and objectives of RTU
The mission of RTU is to pursue high quality studies and research and to prepare competitive and high-quality professionals who are demanded in the international labour market and who are vital for the future of the Latvian economy.
The vision of RTU is a modern and prestigious internationally recognized university as a centre for European studies, research and innovations – the cornerstone to the development of Latvia.
Given that the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” is
now the only one in Latvia and there are very few similar programmes in the international
educational space, we can say that the Programme graduates’ competitiveness is very high. All FEEM programmes and the concrete programme as well, have targets resulting from the RTU strategic objectives, i.e.:
– scientific operational excellence – quality research integrated into the study process
with the involvement of a wide range of international, national and sectoral research programmes that promote technology transfer and innovation development;
– studies excellence – high quality, prestigious, internationally recognized studies,
which train students to critically perceive and creatively process information, to think analytically, to develop creative abilities and to involve in lifelong learning thus preparing competitive specialists for the international labour market;
– organization excellence and visibility – democratic, efficient and modern university
organization that promotes excellence in studies and in research activities, as well as assuring that RTU is internationally recognizable;
– infrastructure excellence – integrated and modern information facilities for studies
and research activities with the FEEM headquarters at Meža street 1, Riga.
of the Programme
Professional Master’s Study Programme was established in 2001, approved by the RTU Senate session on 24 September, 2001, Minutes No.461. During the process of programme implementation, changes have been made, and the programme was re-approved by the RTU Senate, 28 February 2011 resolution, Minutes No.547.
The study programme received accreditation page No.023-1733 (Accreditation
Commission on 7 October 2009, Resolution No.3410) for the right to implement the
accredited professional programme “Total Quality Management” and award a
Professional Master’s degree in Total Quality Management and the qualification of a specialist in quality management systems (Appendix 12).
2.1. Changes to the study structure and content
In accordance with the recommendations of the Accreditation Commission (from the previous accreditation), the international standards and development trends in the field of study, as well as the changes in laws and regulations within two years after the accreditation, the following amendments have been made to the programme:
1. Evaluation of the study courses as to their content; adding, complementing and updating topics
2. Changes in certain study courses’ titles, in their status, merges of several study courses 3. Changes in the total amount of credits (CP) for certain study courses
4. Inclusion of new study courses:
New Product and Process Development Methodology 4 CP
Process Analysis and Management 4 CP
Strategy and Change Management 4 CP
Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics 2 CP
The above mentioned changes were accepted by the RTU Senate session on 28 February 2011, Minutes No.547, according to the RTU FEEM Council meeting resolution, Minutes No.39 of 14 February 2011 (Appendix 2).
On the basis of the RTU Senate resolution “On the regulations of the performance assessment” (adopted on March 29, 2010), changes were made to the RTU study courses register concerning each study course assessment type. Now for all compulsory courses (Block A) the mode of assessment is examination, it also refers to those study courses, which are divided into several parts, with an examination at the end of each part, and each study course can be concluded with only one type of assessment (previously it was possible that the final assessment is a combination of two, such as a study work and a test).
Study project (course or study work), internship, and the final work of the programme also have only one assessment and it is consequently – study work, internship work, or Master Thesis, which are assessed in a 10-grade system. Changes have been made in the study plans both for full- and part-time studies.
As of 2010, the procedure for Master Thesis submission and defence was changed. Now, students present not only their Master Thesis in hardcover binding, but also publish the electronic version in the electronic environment ORTUS.
Improvement of the Programme during the accreditation period (two years) was performed taking into consideration the comments made in the Accreditation Commission’s overall assessment report and the experts’ individual recommendations, which were aimed at improving the quality of studies in relevance to changes in the labour market, education system, and international trends. Programme is regularly revised and updated on the basis of labour market studies and consultations with employers and practitioners. Essential to study process development are the recommendations given by the Programme graduates, students
and academic staff, as well as international organizations and experts. The programme development aim is to prepare educated, competitive and professional specialists.
2.2. Programme organization and administration
Study system at Riga Technical University is designed according to the “Law on Education”, “Law on Higher Education” and “Law on Professional Education” so as to maximally foster reaching the goals defined in the study programmes and facilitate the execution of tasks. Study system in the higher education establishment is defined by regulatory documents describing relations between the students and University, and regulatory documents defining study progress and organization.
Key documents, which define relations between the students and University, are enrolment documents and a separate agreement stating the requirements for obtaining education, as well as regulations on internal working procedure.
Documents and governing bodies that regulate, manage and determine the study process, order and organization are:
– Riga Technical University Charter, – RTU Administrationand RTU Senate; – Faculty Administration and Faculty Council; – The Programme administration;
– Students self-government; – Programme (Appendix 1);
– Study course descriptions (Appendix 13);
– Curricula for full- and part-time studies (Appendices 3 and 4).
All relevant documents are available at the Riga Technical University departments and at the administration of the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” in FEEM Institute for Quality Engineering.
The regulatory documents that govern the University’s activities are also available on the RTU website: www.rtu.lv – in the section – Study regulations. Each RTU student and employee has an access to them in the electronic learning environment ORTUS (access only for registered users).
After enrolment RTU students are issued a student identity card. From the moment of enrolment the student has all RTU student rights provided by the “Law on Education”, “Law on Higher Education”, Riga Technical University Charter and other binding documents. Students have opportunities to acquire additional knowledge, to change the mode of studies and study programme; to transfer evaluation of their knowledge in other higher education programmes, as well as temporarily (for no more than 2 years) to suspend their studies, while maintaining relations with the RTU.
When starting their studies, students receive full information that contains all the basic information about study process organization and practical implementation.
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” is implemented by Institute for Quality Engineering at FEEM, RTU.
2.3. Operation of the internal quality functionality of the programme
The quality of the Programme is evaluated by the Programme Administration, departments which implement the Programme and other concerned departments, the Faculty Commission of the Branch Study Programmes, the Faculty Council and the RTU Senate, as well as the Faculty Students self-government.
The functioning of the internal quality assurance mechanism for higher education programmes in RTU is provided at the following levels:
1. At the level of the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, the internal quality control is carried out by the Study Department. It performs:
– The maintenance and control of the RTU study subject register, which includes the study course compliance monitoring programme for higher education, its contents; – Students’ survey at university level. The aim of the survey is to determine: the
adaptation of the first year students to the university system and all the students’ satisfaction with the study process, lectures, and practical sessions. The survey results are available at RTU Study Department;
– Provision of classrooms and technical equipment for lectures (100 - 200 seats). 2. At RTU faculty level:
– Once a year the Programme Director reports to the Faculty Council, after evaluation of the programme amendments in the Faculty Commission of the Branch Study programmes;
– The Programme quality assurance is performed by the Faculty Students self-government and its members who are actively involved in university decision-making bodies: the Academic Meeting of RTU, RTU Senate, Senate Committees and the Faculty Council. Students Self-government carries out surveys to reveal students’ opinions and receive recommendations on how to improve study courses and about opportunities for academic staff development;
– Once a year, FEEM Students self-government organizes an annual teachers’ award. The annual award is presented in several nominations, where candidates are put forward on the basis of survey results;
– In the autumn of 2008 FEEM opened anew building in Riga, Meža street 1/7, where rooms and technical equipment meet the latest standards, which in turn contributes to the Faculty development and increase the quality of Programme implementation; – FEEM continuously monitors rooms and technical equipment for compliance with
3. At the level of the Institute and the Programme administration:
– Every semester survey of teacher quality of work and Programme evaluation is conducted among the Programme students. The survey is carried out in the electronic environment ORTUS; the results can be inspected by each teacher and by the head of the relevant subject department. The summary of results is discussed in the meeting of the Faculty Commission of the Branch Study programmes, Department meeting and Faculty Council meeting;
– Every academic year the subject content, methodological materials, the latest educational literature and the study work (reports, study work, internship reports and thesis) guidelines are being revised;
– Courses and seminars on the new teaching methods are organized for the academic staff and other training course attendance is encouraged;
– The academic staff and Programme administration participate in various exchange activities, in collaboration with foreign universities, meeting with representatives of relevant institutions and businesses, as well as discussing current events in each sector, student research work and projects, analysing the results.
3.1. Studies programme duration and scope
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” meets the requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 481 “On the national standard of the second-level professional higher education” and the corresponding RTU normative acts.
The program scope and duration are dependent on prior learning. The programme
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” enrols:
1) entrants with a professional bachelor’s degree in Quality Management or equivalent education –this Programme comprises 40 CP/60 ECTS;
2) entrants with a bachelor’s degree in professional and /or second level professional higher education – this Programme comprises 80CP/120 ECTS;
3) entrants with an academic bachelor’s degree – this Programme comprises 120 CP/180 ECTS. These applicants have additional requirements – the study content to acquire the professional qualification is 40 CP of the total 120 credits.
Programme scope and duration of studies for students with different previous education: 1) 40 CP – full-time studies – 1 year, part-time studies – 1.5 years;
2) 80 CP – full-time studies – 2 years, part-time studies – 2.5 years; 3) 120 CP – full-time studies – 3 years, part-time studies – 3.5 years.
Programme implementation location and mode: Riga: full-time and part-time
Each study year consists of 2 semesters; each semester’s duration is 20 weeks – 16 weeks of studies and a 4-week examination session.
Part-time studies at RTU are organized according to the RTU Senate resolutions and Administration’s orders (information in Appendix 12, p.12.4.)
After graduating Professional Master’s Study Programme, education can be continued
in the RTU doctoral programme “Management Science and Economics” or any other
3.2. Programme structure and description of the parts
The programme “Total Quality Management” corresponds to the education concept framework and regulatory provisions governing professional education.
During professional studies, students acquire the knowledge and necessary professional competency to meet the professional Master’s degree requirements and the fifth level professional qualifications and develop a certain degree of culture and intelligence, thus being ready to start professional activities in the relevant speciality. Besides scientific and practical skill acquisition, students enhance their knowledge in psychology and pedagogy to be able to start a career in teaching.
The Programme structure is shown in Table 1.
Parts of the study programme
1) studies for 40 CP
2) studies for 80 CP
3) studies for 120 CP
A. Compulsory courses 8 CP 30 CP 30 CP
B. Courses of limited choice 6 CP 24 CP 30 CP
C. Courses of free choice/Free electives - - -
D. Internship/Practical placement 6 CP 6 CP 32 CP
– study courses that provide state of the art studies of theory and practice, and which comprise at least 7 credits: Integrated Management Systems 4 CP, Risk Analysis 4 CP, Quality Management 6 CP, Conformity Assessment 4 CP;
– study courses that provide research, creative work, design work and in management courses, which comprise at least 5 credits: New Product and Process Development Methodology 4 CP, Process Management Methods 4 CP, Strategy and Change Management 4 CP, Research Methodology 2 KP.
– Pedagogy and Psychology courses 2 CP.
Professional Master’s Study Programme is implemented with the help of lectures, workshops and independent studies mastering the most recent achievements in the sphere of quality management – efficient management of processes, procedures and resources, prosperityand breakthrough management, and change management.
During their studies students acquire the preventive, operational and strategic management methods of quality assurance and improvement, computer aided quality control, explore the generalized methodology of the total quality improvement, superiority development and consumer interest research, as well as acquire product, process, service, system, person or institution conformity assessment methods, and the harmonized system principles.
The compulsory subjects of the study direction provide students with knowledge in the specialty and develop skills necessary for professional activity. The courses of limited choice (specialization study courses) are intended for emerging professionals to enhance their knowledge in the chosen field. Humanities and social sciences block contains subjects that develop communication and research skills. The Programme includes also pedagogical, psychological subjects and foreign languages. The studies are concluded with internship and state examination, part of which is the Master Thesis.
Particular emphasis is given to the internship. During the internship students acquire
practical skills in the chosen specialization.
To complete the programme, students develop Master Thesis, which deals with
contemporary problems in quality management. Master Thesis is defended with the State examination commission. The Commission acts in accordance with the regulation approved by the University Senate, in accordance with these requirements labour market representatives are included in the commission (8).
The students who have a prior academic bachelor’s degree, according to the programme requirements have to additionally develop a Master Thesis with a project part. Master Thesis
with a project part comprisesmodern and efficient management methods and uniform quality management systems research and systematization in various economic activities, as well as an exceptionally effective quality methodology analysis, research and development at national, regional and international levels.
On a regular basis the academic staff improve the contents of the programme, introduce more modern and effective study organization methods and principles in the study process. Coherence with the European higher education area development strategy and the strategic framework for economic growth in Europe enable the academic staff and students to be mobile and to broaden their knowledge and gain experience in foreign universities, as well as providing them with appropriate employment opportunities in the rapidly changing international work environment.
The complete list of all study courses of the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management”, the scope of the study courses, the implementation plan are reflected in Appendices 3 and 4, the academic staff list – in Appendix 7 and study course descriptions – in Appendix 13.
4. Assessment system
Students’ knowledge assessment is based on the Cabinet of Ministers regulations and the relevant RTU Senate resolutions. Study results are evaluated by two criteria – quality criteria (in a 10-grade system) and quantitative criteria (credits after obtaining a positive
assessment about the acquisition of the course content).
The assessment is based on the following principles of educational assessment:
– the principle of aggregation of positive achievements – the positive results within each study course and the programme on the whole are added together;
– the principle of mandatory assessment – at the end of each study course grading is required;
– the principle of transparency and clarity of assessment criteria – assessment requirements are available to all interested parties at the programme administration or teachers and are described at the beginning of each study course, they are accessible in the electronic environment ORTUS;
– the principle of assessment form diversity – tests, study work, individual tasks, presentations in seminars, credits, examinations (oral, written, containing practical tasks), internship report defence, defence of the Master Thesis, etc.;
– the principle of assessment availability – the content and the scope of the assessment correspond to the subject content specified in the study programmes and the requirements for professional skills and knowledge. All the conditions for obtaining credits are explained in each study course description.
The basic assessment forms in the programme are examinations and tests, which
should be passed at the end of each study course. Each assessment form is defined by each study course, elaborated according to the requirements of RTU. The head of department approves the assessment forms, and records are kept in each department.
To ensure students’ awareness of the conditions and requirements for the final assessments in study courses, about the internship programmes and the requirements for the internship report defence:
• the conditions, requirements and questions for the final assessments of study courses
are available at the Programme administration and academic staff;
• the conditions, requirements and questions for the assessments are explained to
students in the first session.
In accordance with the RTU resolution “On the regulations of the performance assessment” (information in Appendix 12, p.12.6.), assessment can be done in writing, orally, electronically or in a combined form. This allows teachers to vary and combine theoretical and practical assessment using theoretical questions, tests, tasks and other forms of testing. Constant development of assessment is carried out within the framework of the study programme.
Examination is administered by the relevant academic staff or another teacher assigned by the head of department. Examination score is in a 10-grade system, where the lowest successful score is 4 points. When the students are assessed without a grade there are two options: “passed” or “not passed”.
Besides an examination, each study course might also have regular progress assessments – control work, homework, tests, seminars, student independent work, study projects, etc. The regular tests are described in detail in the study course descriptions (Appendix 13).
When starting to work with students in a particular subject area, the academic staff use the first lesson to introduce students to the assessment procedures of students’ knowledge and skills. These assessment conditions are also available in the RTU electronic learning
environment ORTUS. Students are informed what terms and conditions have to be met during the semester, how their knowledge will be assessed, to what extent their work during the semester will affect the final examination.
The academic staff pay attention to and also assess students’ ability to work with educational and scientific literature, to take notes, write reports, to systematize materials, to analyse, judge, make decisions in their professional field. Much attention is paid to students’ ability to read literature in foreign languages, to outline the main ideas of an unadapted text, discuss them with fellow students, use technical equipment, and carry out research work. Skill development is fostered by using interactive learning environment in the study process, where the academic staff organize discussion forums in the study course area.
Until 2010 internship was assessed according to the two-fold rating scale – “passed” or
“not passed”. Starting from the academic year of 2010/2011, new RTU regulations “On the procedure of internship organization” (information in Appendix 12, p.12.7.) come into force which envisage internship evaluation in a 10-grade system.
The internship assessment is given by the internship supervisor and Internship Defence Commission, after listening to the students’ defence of their internship and evaluating the feedback provided by the relevant employer. Internship Defence Commission is established by the head of the department responsible for the internship and may include employers’ representatives.
Credits are counted for each acquired study course and for the internship, if the
evaluation has been no lower than 4 (almost satisfactory) or “passed”.
Programme in concluded by the State examination, with an assessment in a 10-grade
system, and Master Thesis defence is a constituent part of this examination. Defending the thesis, the evaluation criteria are:
– systematization, updating and expanding of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience gained individually and during the study internship;
– independent acquisition of educational and scientific literature, knowledge of laws and regulations relevant to the chosen specialty, information from the media and other sources, including texts in foreign languages;
– problem solution skills in the issues studied, which include individual and complex novelty elements and tasks in relation to theoretical foundations;
– current business problem analysis, systematization, elaboration of recommendations; – practical solution elaboration and planning;
– ability to present the research and acquired practical results.
Professional Master’s degree in quality management is to be awarded after the
completion of all theoretical courses, internship and Master Thesis defence with the State examination commission.
Professional qualifications for students with an academic bachelor’s degree are granted
after completion additional theoretical subjects, internship tasks and defence of Master Thesis with a project part with the State examination commission.
Diplomas (Appendix 5) are issued to the students who have mastered the programme
and passed the State examination, with an assessment of no lower than 4 (almost satisfactory). In the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” students’ knowledge assessment results are discussed in bi-annual meetings in the Institute for Quality Engineering. The results are summarized and evaluated also by the programme’s administration and they serve as the basis for further study process improvement.
The assessment system for the Programme goals and objectives
Objectives Evaluation System
1. To ensure competitive education in compliance with international standards and to prepare students for practical work, to develop scientific research skills and promote their use.
Student participation in research work, number of publications, feedback provided by the employers. 2. To provide the Programme content, study process,
scientific research development in line with changes in the relevant industry. To promote academic staff’s continuous improvement and enhancement in line with international standards and trends.
International co-operation, quality control of the study programme, academic staff’s proficiency assessment. 3. To develop the skills and competencies necessary for
students’ professional activities:
- to use theoretical knowledge in defining and solution of a specific task, thus applying the acquired knowledge in practice;
- to use in daily work the rules and regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, and the orders and regulations issued by ministries and their departments;
- to use information technologies and appropriate software.
Study work, practical work, internship reports and the performance evaluation. Assessment of the Master thesis.
4. To acquire general and industry-specific knowledge, to develop competencies and attitudes demanded in the labour market, to foster an interest in further education and development, in enhancing academic and professional knowledge to be able to continue their studies in the doctoral programme.
Examinations, tests, study work, and their evaluation. Feedback provided by the employers. Programme graduates’ surveys. 5. To stimulate students’ development as positive, modern,
dependable and capable personalities who can act
independently and make decisions independently, work in a team and join a group.
Feedback provided by the employers, student surveys, sociological research.
Such an assessment system in RTU has been in use since the academic year 2001/2002 and is constantly improved in compliance with the international standards and the specific study programme’s development. The above described evaluation system fosters the enhancement of students’ knowledge and skill levels, as well as ensures that the student performance assessment is more transparent.
5. Practical implementation of the Programme
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” is
implemented in classrooms, computer rooms and internship locations.
The following RTU FEEM departments, academic and technical staff are involved in the implementation of the study process:
– Institute for Quality Engineering:
• Professor’s Group of Quality Systems (Head of the Group: Dr.habil.sc.ing.
• Professor’s Group of Machine Reliability and Quality Monitoring (Head of the Group: Dr.sc.ing. Professor J.Mazais)
– International Business and Customs Institute:
• Department of International Business, Transport Economics and Logistics (Head
of the Department: Dr.oec. Habil. Professor R.Počs)
• Language Instructor Group (Head of the Group pract.docent I.Dimpere) – Institute of National and Regional Economy:
• Department of Economics and National Economy (Head of the Department:
Dr.oec. Professor J. Saulītis)
– Institute of Production and Entrepreneurship:
• Department of Economics of Production and Entrepreneurship (Head of the
Department: Dr.oec. Professor K. Didenko)
• Department of Management (Head of the Department: Dr.oec. Professor
The institutes and departments provide training and methodological work: establish and maintain study course programmes, ensure the appropriate study course teaching, supervision and defence of qualification works and perform other educational, methodological and research work activities.
The applied study methods and forms
The study process is designed as an active process attractive to students, it includes – lectures, seminars, discussions, case studies and practical problem solutions, individual and group work, as well as research work, visits to companies and off-site education, internship, lectures delivered by employers’ representatives.
After receiving the report by the Accreditation Commission, there have been made amendments to the study programme, revision of the contents of the study courses, and inclusion of new disciplines such as foreign language integration in subjects encouraging students to read publications in the foreign language, and bringing in guest lecturers from abroad.
During the implementation process, the Programme is completed and updated on the basis of labour market studies and consultations with employers and practitioners. The recommendations given by the Programme graduates, students and academic staff are essential to the study process development. The changes are focused primarily on the learning style replacement by “learning to learn” and the integration of information technologies in management decision-taking.
At present, special attention is paid to one of the most commonly used active learning methods – case studies, where mainly foreign and local companies’ factual data are used.
One of the objectives of the programme is to develop and improve students’ skills to work in a team together with others, which can be achieved by varying forms of studies. Therefore, the largest share of the classroom work is placed on interactive forms of studies: work in small groups, study work and research project design, discussions of these projects in groups and the project public defence.
The study process is organized so that students’ studies and research topics include quality control issues.
The theoretical and practical studies are conducted in classrooms. Computer labs are
used for practical tasks that allow students to learn the latest information technologies and databases. The study process is carried out by using computer programmes MiniTab, MS Project, MS Visio.
The RTU electronic learning environment ORTUS provides additional assistance to students with information about the study courses, the study requirements and methodological materials. Now with the help of ORTUS it is possible to have high-quality cooperation with students and also offer a variety of learning materials. In the electronic environment the students can keep track of their performance and grades. The use of technology and
information exchange increases the efficiency of classroom work and encourages students to work independently.
During the internship the acquired knowledge is enhanced and practical skills
necessary for the qualification are improved. The total scope of internship depends on the students’ previous education: students with professional bachelor’s education have internship with 6 CP which is 6 weeks long, but students with academic bachelor’s degree have 32 CP – 32 weeks.
The internship is organized in accordance with the signed agreements about the organization of internship (Information in Appendix 12, p.12.9.).
The study process is targeted at acquiring knowledge, developing skills and competencies, which must be done during the internship.
The Programme administration is aware of the seriousness of the internship and actively engages in providing the students with internship locations. The Institute for Quality Engineering has signed intention agreements on the implementation of internship with several organizations (Appendix 15).
Academic staff’s research activity and student involvement in research
In the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” students obtain research skills by working regularly with the literature and Internet resources for the successful development of a variety of study activities, internship reports, and Master Thesis.
This contributes to students’ research work; work with the international scientific databases that are available at the RTU library with access from the electronic environment ORTUS. Research work is presented by students in small student conferences.
In accordance with the Programme, during the study process students should develop study work that would assist in acquiring research skills. Master Thesis is a serious research that is developed in accordance with the student’s chosen topic.
Students have the opportunity to participate in students’ scientific and technical conferences. In 2010, in the international conference “13th QMOD International Conference of Service Quality Sciences, LearnAbility, Innovability and Sustainability” the report “Application of ISO Standard 10014:2006 Quality management – Guidelines for realizing Financial and Economic Benefits for Processes Improvement” with joint research results was
presented by A. Apine (Master’s graduate of 2010) and I. Mežinska.
The academic staff’s teaching methodology in the study programmes implemented by
the Institute for Quality Engineering focuses on the development of students’ ability to solve problems, collaborate with the academic staff and participate in solving problems or designing projects which are of great importance to Latvian enterprises and organizations. In order to improve learning forms and methods, student scientific conferences are organized with the participation of all stakeholders, including employers and the Programme graduates. To assess the practical value of the study programme, regular employer and graduate surveys are conducted.
The academic staff and programme administration devote great attention to effective application of the classroom work and improvement of the Programme quality. During the classes modern information system technologies are used: teachers prepare lecture content in an electronic form to present it in a visual form (PowerPoint presentations, audio-visual
materials, videos, etc.).
The computer labs are used not only in solving practical problems, which allows students to learn the latest information technologies, but also to promote research, learning to use different databases etc.
The learning process is enriched by inviting foreign guest lecturers, who provide in-person lectures. In May 2010, within the framework of ERASMUS programme, Dr.Ioannis I. Angeli (Cyprus) took part in the teaching process, and presented the students and the
academic staff of the Institute for Quality Engineering with the current research in quality management that is implemented by means of statistical process control. In several classes the
generalized / advanced Quality Function Deployment Methodology and its use in service sector companies was discussed in depth. In April and May of 2011 Le Havre University lecturers Pierre Menguy and Louis Blonce (France) have planned lectures on the use of
statistical methods in quality management. In autumn of 2011 it is planned to continue cooperation by inviting guest lecturers from Department of Quality Sciences of Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).
A large majority of teachers carry out research work. They also engage students by exposing them to research topics that they study during the course, when developing their Master Thesis, etc. The academic staff are committed to improving their skills by participating in international teacher exchange programmes (Erasmus / Socrates), in-service
courses, conferences and scientific and practical seminars in Latvia and abroad. (For more information see sections 8 and 10, Appendix 16)
Industry experts and business representatives are also invited to join the study process thus providing specific knowledge and exchange experiences within the framework of the study programme. More information on guest experts in the relevant industry can be found in Chapter 8 of Self-assessment Report.
Provisional evaluation of the Programme
6.1. Compliance with the National Higher Professional Education Standard and Professional Standard
Compliance with the educationstandard
The Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” meets the
requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia Regulations No.481 “On the national standard of the second-level professional higher education” (information in Appendix 12, p.12.5.). The comparative analysis is presented in Table 3.
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management”compliancewith the national standards
Requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia Regulations No. 481
Study Programme “Total Quality Management”
Master’s programme scope is at least 40
credits Professional Master’s programme scope is 40 credits or 80 credits or 120 credits The total study duration of Professional
Master’s Study Programme should be at least five years
1 year – full time studies after at least 4 years of bachelor’s studies
2 years – full time studies after at least 4 years of bachelor’s studies
3 years – full time studies after at least 3 years of bachelor’s studies
Courses that provide state of the art achievements in theory and practice, and whose scope is at least 7 credits
18 CP Research work, creative work, project work
and management courses, which comprise at least 5 credits
14 CP Pedagogy and psychology courses, which
comprise at least 2 credits 2 CP
For students with prior academic bachelor’s degree the internship is at least 26 credits.
Internship comprises 26 credits State examination, whose constituent part is
Master’s Thesis or graduation (diploma) work development and defence and whose value is at least 20 credits
Master Thesis – 20 CP For students with prior academic bachelor’s
degree – State examination, which constitutes graduation (diploma) work development and defence and whose value is at least 10 credits.
The Project part of Master Thesis – 8 CP
Meeting the admission requirements for the Master’s programme, students with previously obtained professional bachelor’s degree or academic bachelor’s degree, or students who have obtained professional qualification by completing a minimum four-year study can be enrolled in the programme.
Meets the requirements
In Master’s programme students with previously obtained academic bachelor’s degree are awarded the fifth level professional qualifications.
Qualifications: Quality Management System Specialist
After completing the Master’s programme, the students are granted professional Master’s degree in the industry, cross-industry or profession.
Professional Master’s Degree in Quality Management
When analysing the compliance with the standard it can be concluded that:
• Programme goals – the programme has goals in accordance with the ones defined in the National Education Standard (see more details in Chapter 1);
• Content of the programme – the programme has content (Appendix 1) that is consistent with the National Education Standards. Main parts of the programme are: 9 study courses,
9 internship outside university (in the text – internship),
9 State examination, which constitutes Master Thesis development and defence. The mandatory block consists of study courses, which provide state of the art learning in theory and in practice, research work, creative work, project work and management science courses, pedagogy and psychology courses.
• The programme value – the value of the programme and its structural breakdown are consistent with the National Education Standard. The value of the programme and study courses is expressed in credits.
• Assessment key principles – the programme has assessment principles that are consistent with the National Educational Standard (details in each study course description and in Chapter 4):
9 The positive achievements are added together. 9 At the end of every course evaluation is required. 9 Requirements are transparent and clear.
The assessment content and value correspond to the subject content and the requirements for professional skills and knowledge. All the conditions for obtaining credits are defined in each study course description (Appendix 13).
Compliance with the professional standard
When the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” is completed, students with prior academic bachelor’s degree obtain the fifth level of professional qualification “Quality management systems specialist”. The programme content is designed in accordance with the appropriate professional standards. The comparison of the programme content with the professional standards requirements is shown in Appendix 6.
It can be admitted that the standard of the profession reflects employers’ needs and the content of the Programme is designed in accordance with the relevant professional standard (Appendix 12, p.12.2.) and fully meets its requirements.
6.2. Employers’ surveys
One way how to obtain information on the Programme quality and relevance to the labour market demands in the Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management is having contacts with employers – businesses, institutions and organizations.
To ensure an ongoing two-way dialogue, regular events and conferences where all interested parties – employers and academic staff and students meet – are organized. In these meetings there are discussions about the quality of the programme, the content and form of study courses, organization and implementation of practical work. Particularly successful since 2004 are the “RTU Career Days” when entrepreneurs meet with the students, students visit companies, debates and seminars are organized. The aim of the event is to inform social and technical science students about the relevant enterprises, to bring closer together students and their potential employers. At the same time the “RTU Career Days” reveal the situation in the labour market. Every year the number of companies who are interested to participate is growing.
As of 2009, the RTU Career Centre has been actively functioning to provide students with internship locations and offering a wide circulation of information between RTU and various enterprises. Internship locations are recommended by the Institute for Quality Engineering, maintaining business contacts with the previous year graduates who have become employers.
The results of the employer survey conducted in November 2010 indicate that on the whole graduates’ knowledge is deep and wide enough to be able to propose solutions to the challenges of conformity assessment and quality management. Employers have pointed out an area which needs improvements and namely: student skill development during their studies so that the obtained knowledge could be effectively applied. Employers’ recommendations for the programme improvement are to use more real examples, case studies, application of quality methods, and also experience exchange offers in other businesses or study exchange programme outside Latvia.
In order to evaluate the Programme “Total Quality Management” in accordance with the labour market needs and employment opportunities for the next 6 years, in February 2011 was carried out a survey of graduate employers – enterprise managers (questionnaire samples in Appendix 9, additional information in Appendix 12, p.12.8.). The respondents were asked to objectively assess the programme, the knowledge and skills of programme graduates and their appropriacy to the labour market requirements, as well as graduate employment prospects.
The results of the employers’ survey show that employers differently evaluate programme graduates. The survey respondents positively evaluated the programme as a whole and noted that the programme content provides the necessary knowledge:
– In 40% of cases, it is believed that graduates are well prepared theoretically and practically, while 50% of employers would like more practically prepared employees, 10% of respondents said that in general it is difficult to make an assessment as young professionals are very different.
– The graduates’ characteristics (professional preparation, sense of responsibility, focus at work, willingness to learn, initiative at work) in a 5-point scale are measured by 4-5 points, four employers have marked a rating of “3 points” in matters of professional preparation and initiative at work.
– In 50% of cases (foreign languages) is assessed with 4-5 points in a 5-point scale. Every three years, a survey of various business managers from cooperation organizations is also carried out (questionnaire sample in Appendix 9, paragraph 3, additional information in Appendix 12, p.12.8.). The survey respondents are asked to objectively assess the programme, programme graduates’ knowledge and skills and their relevance to the labour market requirements, as well as their employment prospects. The results confirm that for the next six years at least 10 quality management experts who hold a Master’s degree will be required in the companies participating in the survey. Cooperation organization managers
appreciate the programme graduates and the programme as a whole, noting that the programme content provides the necessary knowledge:
– In 65% of cases, it is believed that graduates are well prepared theoretically and practically, while 35% of employers would like more practically prepared employees.
– In 60% of cases the graduates’ characteristics (professional preparation, sense of responsibility, focus at work, willingness to learn, initiative at work) in a 5-point scale have been evaluated with 4 points;
– In 10% of cases the graduates’ characteristics (the ability to work with others, authority among colleagues, social activities) in a 5-point scale are weighted by 3 and 4 points;
– In 30% of cases (foreign language skills, the ability to use a work computer) are assessed by 5 points in a 5-point scale.
After analysing the survey results the Programme administration has concluded that there is a need to focus more on practical skills development. To reach this goal, more industry representatives, employers, quality management professionals shall be invited to join the study process. The study courses shall be revised and, where necessary, practical work shall be added.
At the end of studies, several employer representatives participate in the State examination commission (Appendix 8), each year they are asked to comment on the programme graduates, reflecting employers’ views on the previous years’ graduates work. The most important areas needing further attention are general professional training and foreign language acquisition. Similar findings are reflected in the results of the employers’ survey of February 2011.
7.1. The number of students in the programme
The total number of students in the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” in the academic year 2010/2011 is 48 (the reference point in
Number of students
1st year 2nd year 3rd year Total Number of students in the study
18 16 14 48
Ö full time (day) studies
- 40 CP programme - 80 CP programme - 120 CP programme
17 1(ac.) --- --- 2 5 --- --- 3 17 3 8
Ö part time (extramural) studies
- 40 CP programme - 80 CP programme - 120 CP programme
--- --- --- --- 5+2 ac. 2 --- 9+1 ac. 1 --- 14+3 ac. 3 ac. – in academic leave
7.2. The number of enrolled students in the first year
In the academic year 2010/2011, 17 full-time students were enrolled in the Programme. State budget-funded places enrolled 17 (40 CP) full-time students. Originally, there were 15 budget places allocated, 23 candidates applied for them (17 for 40 CP programme, 4 for 80 CP programme, 2 for 120 CP programme). On average there were 1.53 people per a budget place.
7.3. The number of graduates
During the period from 2003 to the spring of 2011 there will have been total of 567 Master’sGraduates (after different length of studies).
The total number of graduates of the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” since 2003 is reflected in Table 5.
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Full-time
- - 12 10 3 12 14 13 19* Part-time
30 37 64 112 90 82 35 21 7* * anticipated graduates
Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” graduates breakdown (per the length of study) starting from 2009, is shown in Table 6.
Breakdown of the number of graduates starting from 2009
Number of graduates inthe studyprogramme January 2009 June 2009 January 2010 June 2010 January 2011 Total Until spring of 2011
Ö full-time (day) studies
- 41 CP programme (RMGK1) - 81 CP programme (RMGK0) - 121 CP programme (RMGKB)
--- --- --- 7 7 --- --- --- --- 10 2 1 --- --- --- 17 9 1
Ö part-time (extramural)
studies of which:
- 41 CP programme (RMGK1) - 81 CP programme (RMGK0) - 121 CP programme (RMGKB)
--- 19 1 --- 15 --- --- 17 1 --- 2 1 --- 6 --- 59 3
Total: 20 29 18 16 6 89
7.4. Student surveys and their analysis
The study quality assurance and monitoring system that RTU introduced in 2008 ensures that students are subject to regular online questionnaires about the contents and the academic staff’s qualities; these surveys are conducted in the electronic environment ORTUS. In January 2011, after the fall semester the current student survey was carried out. The questions are reflected in Appendix 9 paragraph 1. The RTU student survey is conducted on a regular basis, at the end of each semester, in the electronic learning environment ORTUS. This system has been working in RTU for the third year.
Surveys include questions about every study course: the availability of literature, assessment criteria used by the teacher, work culture and quality, how students’ rights are respected during the classes, time spent on independent work, and discipline. Final part of the questionnaire is designed for students’ proposals and suggestions how to improve the quality of the study course and the teacher’s work. Questionnaires are filled anonymously in order to ensure that answers do not affect the teacher’s attitude towards the student or group of students and to reach the target – obtain an objective evaluation by students.
The survey results of the Programme are summarised and used to improve the quality of the Programme. The students and FEEM Students self-government actively participate in the survey process and the result analysis.
Students’ questionnaires are designed so that they enable students’ responses to help evaluate the study course and quality of the teachers’ work, as well as enable students to express their views and make suggestions to improve the teacher’s performance and the study course programme development.
Student surveys are carried out in two ways and independently of each other:
– student survey by the RTU Study Department (in the electronic environment ORTUS);
– student survey carried out by the FEEM Students self-government.
Every year, the FEEM Students self-government organizes an event “Teacher’s Award”, where teachers are evaluated and awarded in nine nominations. Students propose the nomination “The best teacher of the year”, under which each teacher is evaluated using the
assessment criteria developed by students. In the academic year 2009/2010 in the Faculty of Transport and Mechanical Engineering Iveta Mežinska was nominated as “The highest quality teacher” and received the award.
In the Professional Master’s Study Programme “Total Quality Management” student
surveys are carried out in the electronic environment ORTUS where a different number of students fill in questionnaires for different study courses, therefore the data is subject to caution.
Student survey results indicate that there are problems with study courses where topics overlap with other courses. To prevent this, the academic staff have reviewed the study course descriptions in methodological seminars.
Overall, the student survey results were positive because of the maximum possible 5.0 points the average evaluation was between 4.0 and 5.0, only a few teachers received a lower score in certain aspects. Thus, each teacher has the opportunity to evaluate their own work and to perform study quality improvement measures.
Students appreciate those teachers who themselves prepare study material and / or hand-outs for the study course. The main recommendations for the improvement of the Programme provided by students are related to the lesson content which should be updated to correspond to the current situation and developments, and to increase the number of units of educational literature. Student questionnaire results are analysed in the Programme administration, departments and institutes meetings, if necessary, with the assistance of Students self-government representatives.
The Faculty Students self-government, regardless of the programme’s administration, on a regular basis carry out student survey on the quality of the learning process, teachers’ work quality and other organizational aspects of the study process. Students self-government questionnaire samples are available at the RTU FEEM Students self-government headquarters at Meža street 1/7 Room 110.
7.5. Programme graduates’ surveys and analysis
Each year, the Programme graduates survey is carried out. The survey results reflect the positive and negative aspects of the Programme implementation. The Programme, its content, internship and knowledge acquired are evaluated; the results of the previous year surveys are available at the Programme administration.
In November 2010 and February 2011 regular surveys of graduates were carried out, based on the procedures and methodologies established during the previous years. November questionnaire form is attached in Appendix 9 paragraph 2.1, February questionnaire – in Appendix 9 paragraph 2.2.
The survey involved 10 students (30% of 2010 graduates) and 6 students (100% of 2011 graduates).
In the November survey there were questions to the 2009/2010 graduates and their employers. The graduate questionnaires were sent to 33 Master’s Programme graduates, and 10 replies to the questionnaire were received (see table 7).
About the Professional Master’s Programme “Total Quality Management” study results
fully disagree 1. The study courses included in the
Programme provided professional knowledge that made it possible to succeed in the labour market / continuing professional development in the current workplace.
3 4 3
2. The study courses developed skills that provided an opportunity to develop suggestions for
improvements in the area of the conformity assessment / quality management in the workplace.
4 4 1 1
3. I am able to be quality control / quality management system manager, because I have the knowledge and skills that I can use working in a company.
2 2 4 1 1 4. The Programme is valuable and
the knowledge, skills, and
competencies gained correspond to the today’s labour market
conditions in the sphere of conformity assessment / quality management.
1 3 5 1
Recommendations for the Master’s Programme development included in the questionnaires:
– more practical lectures, real case studies are necessary;
– highly desirable is a professional foreign language (English, German);
– certain themes should be included, such as cross-border public service quality;
– organization of professional discussion activities (forums) for graduates are necessary.
The February survey was conducted with the graduates of 2011 and their employers. The graduate questionnaires were sent to six Master’s Programme graduates, and six replies to the questionnaire were received:
– The programme evaluation results: 33% (2 graduates) “satisfactory”, 50% (3 graduates) “good”, 17% (1 graduate) “very good”.
– The study process evaluation results: 17% (1 graduate) “almost satisfactory”, 33% (2 graduates) “satisfactory”, 50% (3 graduates) “good”.
– Knowledge acquired: 33% (2 graduates) “satisfactory”, 33% (2 graduates) “good”, 33% (2 graduates) “very good”.
– Practical skills: 50% (3 graduates), “satisfactory”, 33% (2 graduates) “good”, 17% (1 graduate) “very good”.