4. IQAS mechanisms facilitating the compilation of information on the progress and results of the doctoral program and associated mobility activities
The UB Agency for Policy and Quality commissions satisfaction surveys to be completed by students at three points in the taught and research stages of the doctoral program:
- Students in the process of completing the Diploma for Advanced Studies (DEA).
- Students who have successfully completed a university master’s degree (the taught stage of a doctoral program).
- Students in the process of preparing the doctoral thesis (the research stage of a doctoral program).
The procedure for processing complaints and suggestions is governed by a general protocol established by the Administration of the Centre (note that the term ‘centre’ refers to any single UB faculty or school and the ‘Administration of the Centre’ is the basic management body) and approved by the Faculty Board.
Basic features of the complaints and suggestions procedure:
- All complaints and suggestions are lodged at the Secretary’s Office for Students and Teaching Staff, which forwards them to the UB governing body or officer responsible for the area in which complaint or suggestion has been made.
- Once the governing body or officer has prepared an official response to the complaint or suggestion, the response is sent to the Secretary’s Office for Students and Teaching Staff to be delivered to the interested party. A copy of the response is also sent to the manager or head of the governing body affected by the complaint or suggestion.
If the faculty or school does not have the necessary authority to process complaints and suggestions, the Secretary’s Office for Students and Teaching Staff must forward the complaint or suggestion to the official UB body with the relevant powers and inform the interested party of this circumstance.
Each academic year and in each faculty, the Dean’s Office and the Administration of the Centre receive a list of all complaints and suggestions that have been received and the official responses provided, and a report on the steps that have been taken by the official UB body or officer involved to remedy the matter in question. Furthermore, and in line with an agreement between the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency and trustees at the seven Catalan public universities, a report is compiled on access to the labour market for doctors graduating from the Catalan university system.
The results of the satisfaction surveys indicated above are used for the institutional evaluation of doctoral programs and are sent to the Doctoral Program Committees of each faculty. A series of mechanisms are also established for evaluating the scientific production of doctoral students. These include access to an institutional database at the time of registering the doctoral thesis in order to maintain and update CVs, and the creation of the University of Barcelona Board of Trustees prizes for the best scientific projects deriving from doctoral theses defended at the UB, to provide a record of the quality of UB alumni’s academic and research achievements and to foster scientific production and knowledge transfer to wider society.