Roles and responsibilities within the Quality Assurance system for teaching and student services

The overall organisation of the teaching structures is described in the Statute and Regulations which define their roles and responsibilities (for details on the general organisation of the University, the multi-campus locations and the various structures, see descriptions on the University portal).

The University has set up a University Quality Committee with the functions of guiding, supporting, and supervising Degree Programmes, PhD Programmes, Departments, and Schools, for the implementation of Quality Assurance policies pursuant to Ministerial Decree 47/2013 and subsequent amendments and as provided for by the national system of periodic accreditation of university sites (AVA3).

For the Degree Programmes, collegiate and monocratic bodies participate in the planning, management and self-evaluation processes of the Degree Programmes, Departments, Schools and their Faculty-Student Joint Committees, Academic Bodies (Pro-rector, Academic Senate and Board of Directors), the University Quality Committee and the Evaluation Group.

The most significant functions and responsibilities within the Teaching Quality Assurance processes are described below.

Rector, Vice Rectors and delegates

The Rector is the legal and institutional representative of the University and is the head of the organisation. He is responsible for pursuing the objectives of the University, applying quality criteria in compliance with the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and meritocracy. Working together with the other University Bodies, the Rector is responsible for making final decisions on teaching activities and their quality, as well as for guiding the policies of the University via the Strategic Plan and other detailed planning.

Within the framework of the Quality Assurance system, the Rector is chairman of the University Quality Committee and proposes to the Academic Senate the appointment of the faculty members.

The Vice Rectors and delegates, in particular the Vice Rector for Teaching, assist the Rector in the management of the University, and in the implementation of the University quality assurance system.

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is the body that represents the University community. It coordinates and links with the structures comprising the University and assists the Rector with the guidance, promotion and coordination of scientific and teaching activities; it also collaborates with the Board of Governors in the areas of strategic guidance, financial planning over one-to-three years and the planning of personnel.

Working together with the other University Bodies, the Academic Senate is responsible for making final decisions on teaching activities and their quality, as well as for guiding the policies of the University via the Strategic Plan and other detailed planning.

It approves the teaching regulations, including those for Departments and Schools. The Academic Senate appoints teachers to the Quality Committee, on a recommendation from the Rector.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is responsible for strategic guidance and the financial and personnel planning of the University, implementing the planning guidelines established by the Academic Senate.

This Board seeks to enhance the efficiency and quality of the institutional activities of the University, implementing the established criteria for effectiveness, cost saving and the safeguarding of merit; it also monitors the financial sustainability of the activities of the University.

Acting on a recommendation from the Rector and having received the opinion of the Academic Senate on the matters for which it is responsible, the Board approves the triennial University planning document, the strategic guidelines, the one-to-three year financial plans and the personnel plan.

Working together with the other University Bodies, the Board of Governors is responsible for making final decisions on teaching activities and their quality, as well as for guiding the policies of the University via the Strategic Plan and other detailed planning.

The Board also approves proposals for the activation, closure and amendment of degree programmes and locations.

Student Council

The Student Council is the body that represents students at University level and comprises 33 elected members.

The Student Council expresses mandatory opinions on proposals regarding the following matters:

  • the triennial University planning document;
  • the University budget and financial statements;
  • the general University regulations, the University teaching regulations and the Student regulations;
  • the activation, closure or amendment of degree programmes and locations;
  • the annual plan of action regarding the right to Higher Education and student services;
  • student grants and fees;
  • all other proposals relating exclusively or primarily to the interests of students.

The Student Council appoints student representatives to the University Quality Committee and the Evaluation Group.

Director General

Based on the guidelines issued by the Board of Governors, the Director General is responsible for the overall management and organisation of the services, operational resources and technical and administrative staff of the University, as well as for performing the duties envisaged in the current regulations governing the management of the Public Administration and for achieving the established objectives.

Evaluation Group

Pursuant to art. 9 of the Statute, the Evaluation Group is the University body responsible for the evaluation of teaching, research and administrative activities. The Evaluation Group has the functions envisaged in the national regulations, as well as those specified in the Statute and the University regulations.

This body evaluates the overall effectiveness of operations in terms of the quality of education and research, including the effectiveness of the improvement actions taken. The Evaluation Group prepares guidelines and recommendations for improving the quality of education and research at the University, as well as an Annual Report on the progress made by the University in the area of Quality Assurance.

As set out in the model AVA system (system for the Self-assessment, Evaluation and initial and periodic Accreditation of Degree Programmes and University locations) and the related regulations, the Evaluation Group is responsible for evaluating:

  • under the Quality Assurance policies adopted by the University, with particular reference to their consistency with the national and European guidelines and standards;
  • the effectiveness of the QA System, detecting any problems, also taking into account the results of the monitoring activities on the effectiveness of the QA System transmitted by the PQA (University Quality Committee)
  • the effectiveness of the programme catalogue, research and third mission/social impact activities and the proper use of public resources; 
  • how the University and the QA bodies monitor the performance of Degree Programmes, PhD programmes and Departments.

In addition to providing suggestions and recommendations to the University and all parties involved in the Quality Assurance process, the Evaluation Group also expresses a binding opinion on whether or not the requirements are met for the initial accreditation of new Degree Programmes.

University Quality Committee

The University of Bologna has established a University Quality Committee (PQA) to perform the functions assigned by the current regulations on self-assessment, periodic evaluation and the accreditation of the Italian University system.

The University Quality Committee:

  • promotes the culture of quality and supports information and training initiatives in collaboration with other University facilities;
  • supports the monitoring and review of the QA System, understood as a set of organisational structures, processes and procedures aimed at promoting and improving the quality of teaching, research, third mission, and social impact;
  • supports the University bodies and structures in the management and monitoring of the QA processes
  • proposes and verifies methods, tools and guidelines for the QA, with particular reference to activities concerning the processes of:
    - the planning, monitoring, and self-evaluation of Degree Programmes and PhD Programmes;
    - monitoring and self-assessment of quality policies and strategic objectives of departments;
  • oversees the information flows that support periodic evaluations and analyses;
  • interacts, within the scope of its competences, with the University's governing bodies, the Ministry, ANVUR, the ANVUR Evaluation Commissions (CEV), any internal evaluation bodies with public and private bodies involved in the QA system;
  • monitors the implementation of the measures taken following the recommendations and/or conditions formulated by the ANVUR evaluation expert committees during the Initial and Periodic Accreditation activities of Degree Programmes and PhD Programmes


Departments are the organisational units of the University that carry out the scientific research, teaching and education functions, guaranteeing the resources necessary for the provision of a quality education via their Degree Programmes (teachers and technical and administrative staff, classrooms, laboratories, equipment etc.).

The Departments prepare three-year plans that identify specific objectives for teaching, student services, organisational matters and personnel.

The Departments:

  • approve a three-year teaching plan, coherently with the three-year Programme - University Strategic Plan. When they participate in one or more Schools, the part relevant to each School must be agreed with the School;
  • propose, in agreement with other Departments, the creation, activation, amendment and closure of first, second and third-cycle Degree Programmes and professional training activities;
  • decide on teaching duties of professors and researchers;
  • if they do not participate in a School, they approve an annual report on their activities, prepared by the Faculty-Student Joint Committee.


Schools are organizational structures for the coordination and connections among  Departmentsto support the coordination and rationalization of the teaching an opinion  to Departments, to the Board of Governors and to the Academic Senate concerning the creation, activation and closure of Degree Programmes, based on the resolutions received from the Departments concerned, after having evaluated the availability of the necessary resources;

  • make proposals e to the Departments concerned about the teaching plans and learning activities of the Degree Programmes run by the Departments with which they are linked, as well as the common support services;
  • approve an annual report on activities, prepared by the Faculty-Student Joint Committee.

Faculty-Student Joint Committee

The Faculty-Student Joint Committee  (established at Department or School level where present) , to the extent of its responsibilities, examines issues encountered with the learning path and the experience of students, and draws them to the attention of the University bodies, this Committee:

  • monitors, using specific parameters, the programme catalogue and the quality of education and student services;
  • expresses opinions on the creation, activation, amendment and deletion of activities from the programme catalogue;
  • makes proposals to the Department Board on education matters and on the allocation of financial resources in accordance with the University Statute;
  • prepares an annual report containing observations on the performance of the Degree Programmes and their review activities.

The Committee may make reference to sub-committees.

Degree Programmes

The programme catalogue comprises first cycle degree programmes, single cycle degree programmes and second cycle degree programmes within which the self-assessment and review activities are carried out.

With reference to the provisions of Min. Decree 47/2013 and subsequent amendments, the Degree Programme Director works with selected members of the Degree Programme Board to prepare Review Reports that are discussed and approved by that Board and presented to the Joint Committee.

The Degree Programme Board also:

  • formulates recommendations to the Departments about their teaching plans, as well as about system revisions and the teaching regulations;
  • formulates recommendations to the Departments about the organisation of teaching and the related support activities.

The Degree Programme Director provides the primary and most important level of supervision, being able to identify problems at source before they are found by monitoring the data and, therefore, ensuring timely action. The Director is also responsible for involving the teachers assigned to the Degree Programme, keeping them abreast of the University strategies and the decisions taken with regard to the Degree Programme.

With regard to supervision of the QA for each Degree Programme, which attachment II to the ANVUR document (SUA-CdS form) refers to as the “Degree Programme QA Management Committee”, the University Governing Bodies have proposed that this Committee (envisaged by Min. Decree 47/2013) should, at a minimum, comprise the Degree Programme Director, possibly supported by other members of the Degree Programme Board and with the presence of student representatives.

The Degree Programme QA Management Committee activates a constant and planned process of self-assessment, with a view to monitoring learning activities and checking the adequacy of the learning objectives proposed by the Degree Programme, the match between the objectives and results achieved, and the effectiveness of the way in which the Degree Programme is managed, in order to identify opportunities and concrete corrective actions and improvements, together with the timing, methods and responsibilities for their implementation, while monitoring the outcomes on a regular basis.

Organisation of processes

Based on the deadlines set by the Ministry and the proposals from the Quality Committee, the University bodies approve the guidelines and the annual calendar for the institutional, activation and self-assessment activities of the teaching programme.