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Departmental Quality Assurance

The Department prepares a three-year plan for its teaching, research and Third Mission/social impact initiatives, setting objectives for all areas covered by the University’s Strategic Plan. The Department’s planning is firmly grounded in the Strategic Guidelines for Quality propounded by the University, which provide support for achieving objectives formulated in accordance with the principles of relevance, specificity and achievability, and pursued via a continuous cycle of planning, implementing planned action, monitoring results and taking corrective action where necessary.

The Department has appointed a QA representative, Prof. Federica Cornali, who works closely with the University Quality Team to support the Department in its quality assurance processes for teaching, research, and Third Mission and public engagement initiatives.

Research QA

Quality assurance activities for research and self-assessment procedures are carried out by the Research Committee by agreement with the Department’s delegates for Internalization, Third Mission, Public Engagement, Research projects and national and European calls for proposals, and Gender Equality. At each committee meeting, the delegates report on their work, detailing strengths and critical aspects in order to take any necessary corrective action in midstream and improve the quality of the Department’s initiatives.

The Committee works to guarantee that:

  • research findings and products are promoted nationally and internationally, with particular attention to those by younger and early-career colleagues;
  • courses in obtaining research funding are organized;
  • resources are fairly distributed, bearing gender balance, academic rank and seniority in mind.

In its quality assessments, the Committee is assisted by the campus-wide Research Services.

Third Mission and Public Engagement QA

The Department of Cultures, Politics and Society is well aware of how central the Third Mission (TM) and Public Engagement (PE) are in its faculty members’ work. The 2022-2024 Three-Year Plan sees them as one of the Department’s strong points, thanks on the one hand to its collaboration with an extensive network of public agencies, firms and third sector associations and, on the other, to the focus that the Eccellenza 2018-2022 Project has put on public and applied research with the establishment of the “Luigi Bobbio Centre for Public and Applied Social Research (Italian website)”.

As part of the governance of the "Eccellenza 2018-2022 Project", the Department has instituted a TM and PE evaluation process whose key points have included:

  • monitoring and assessing applied research projects;
  • standardizing and improving procedures for entering into agreements with parties outside the Department;
  • a seminar addressing the issues entailed in assessing applied research (Italian website);
  • annual monitoring for PE initiatives;
  • introduction of two new objectives for TM and PE (Objective 1 and Objective 6) in the Department’s 2022-2024 Three-Year Plan; objective 6 in particular calls for a sharper focus on the Department’s PE initiatives in research areas of public importance.

With the transition from the university’s one-way communication with the public to interaction and dialogue, the strategic goal of “intensifying collaboration with the surrounding community’s institutions, agencies and firms to increase the University of Torino’s social, economic and cultural impact” [2021/26 Strategic Plan, Objective 3.1] hinges increasingly on the quality and inclusiveness of Public Engagement.

In recent years, the Department has put its Third Mission and Public Engagement governance procedures on a solid formal footing. Specifically, the Director has appointed a Delegate for TM (Prof. Alberto Gherardini) and a Delegate for PE (Prof. Marco Mariano). Furthermore, a social impact work group has been set up in the Research Committee. The group’s objectives are to:

  • increase TM and PE quality control;
  • extend evaluation processes for the economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of TM and PE projects in order to participate in the quality evaluation exercises organized by ANVUR, the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes.

The following actions have been taken to monitor the progress of the Department’s TM and PE initiatives:

  • twice a year, the social impact group reports to the Research Committee;
  • once a year, the Department Chair’s delegates for TM and PE present annual monitoring data for discussion by the Departmental Board;

Teaching QA

Each degree course a Degree Course Committee chaired by a Presedident. The Committee plans and coordinates teaching, adopts and applies the University’s Quality Assurance requirements, and appoints a Monitoring and Review Committee consisting of faculty members and students. The latter committee’s responsibilities include self-assessment and drafting the annual programme monitoring report and cyclical review, as well as monitoring proposed corrective measures (link to Italian pages).

The School of Law, Politics and Social-Economic Sciences Joint Teaching Committee (Italian page) comprises equal numbers of teachers and students and assists in assessing the quality of the Department’s teaching activities and facilities. This committee submits an annual report presenting the results of monitoring course offerings, teaching quality and student services, with particular attention to the findings of student opinion polls and the outcomes of degree programme self-assessment procedures. The Joint Teaching Committee Annual Report is forwarded to each degree programme and the Department to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities, and to the University's Evaluation Group for the latter's monitoring activities.

Last update: 04/09/2023 09:51
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