All Austrian universities are required to have their quality management systems (QMSs) (re-)certified on a regular basis. A QMS encompasses all the measures taken by an organisation in order to support its strategic goals and—in the mdw’s case—ensure its success as a place of education in the fields of the arts, research, and educator training over the medium-to-long term.

A good two years ago, the mdw’s Rectorate team began bundling the university’s diverse quality assurance-related processes and instruments—which have themselves existed for many years—into a QMS appropriate to the mdw as an institution. Central concerns have been and remain the university’s intense work in close student-instructor settings across the fields of teaching, research, and the advancement and appreciation of the arts, supported by smoothly functioning processes in the areas of administration, personnel, and internationalisation. Just as this work is governed by reflection on what has been achieved and the consequent reorientation of teaching objectives, the entire university’s development is based on objectives, their achievement, and the analysis of this process’s results along with commensurate adaptation of these objectives for the future.

This system’s certification will now take place in the form of a quality audit carried out by the external auditing agency evalag ( To this end, it is first necessary to compile a self-evaluation report that describes the mdw’s QMS, its strengths, and its potential for development. This report then forms the basis for two visits onsite at the mdw by auditors, the first of which is scheduled for October 2018. The auditors will engage in conversation with various groups of individuals (including the Rectorate team, students, instructors, representatives of organisational units, et al.) in order to evaluate the described measures’ implementation. An initial round of feedback will then be used by the mdw to prepare for the auditors’ second visit in spring 2019, which will be followed by their report, which is required in order to successfully complete the certification process.

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