1. The School attracts a large pool of the top tier of qualified students since it stands high on student preference.
2. Being one of the oldest Universities in the country, the School enjoys an outstanding reputation and an extremely successful record that has earned its prestige and respect in the international and national community.
3. The School has a number of very highly talented faculty members with remarkable achievements and international reputation.
4. The School is very well networked in the international community with many bilateral and multilateral agreements for collaborations.
5. The overall academic programme has extensive coverage of a wide spectrum of subjects in the fields of electrical and computer engineering.
6. The quality of the interdepartmental, postgraduate programmes in which the School participates seems to be high.
7. Graduates from the School are highly praised by international universities wherethey continue postgraduate studies.
8. International research based recognition is good (however, the international rank in both QS and Times Higher Education rankings is lower than one would expect).
9. External funding is impressive despite financial challenges in Greece.
10. The ICCS is essential and a highly valuable complement that promotes and supports research.
11. The infrastructure facilities seem to be more than sufficient and some Committeemembers consider them impressive. This is attributed mainly to competitive external funding.
1. The number of students is very large. It results in high student-to-faculty ratio, and low support staff-to-student ratio.
2. There seems to be a culture of complacency between students that extends studies bey ond five y ears, and thus wasting resources.
3. The number of required undergraduate courses (including the mandatory and elective ones) is excessive. It places a heavy load on the students and may be one of the factors contributing to longer time needed to complete the programmeof studies.
4. There is no properly enforced prerequisite structure on all taught courses.
5. There seems to be evidence of numerous retakes of examinations of the same course until a passing grade is received. The number of retakes is not recorded in the academic transcript. The lack of penalties encourages the prolongation of studies and waste of resources. Such practice increases the cost of educating the students
6. Fundamental courses and upper level courses are disconnected. It would be beneficial for students to understand the importance of fundamental courses and how they connect to their studies/degree.
7. There is no academic advisor or mentor. Incoming students seem to be lost about what the School is all about.
8. The importance of the concept of ‘deadline’ is not recognized.
9. The marking of the diploma thesis is done without well understood and followed criteria. It is clear that the range of markings is severely biased towards the top mark, thus, conveying very limited information. The School should seriously consider the objectives of the project (educational or research) and follow a truncated normal distribution of marks.
10. Some of the courses have high failure rates. The School should introduce an internal quality assurance mechanism, to ensure that the examination questions are fair, of the right standard and can be successfully answered within the allocated time.
11. There is a significant number of registered perpetual students. This has a negative impact on teaching, assessment process and the logistical organisation of the School. While this is an issue affecting higher education students across the sector in Greece, the School should be pro-active to mitigate its effects on the sy stem.
12. There is no consistent funding mechanism to support postgraduate students and their research. There is limited funding to support PhD studies. The School should develop procedures to provide some support to PhD students in the form of scholarships, for instance, by making use of fundraising opportunities with alumni and industry .
There are no formal procedures to support the training of PhD research students.
The School should introduce a structured programme to assist students in the development of their research skills, scientific writing and presentation skills. In addition, quality control procedures to detect issues related to the achievement of their research goals should be assessed on an annual basis – enhancing the current “intermediate evaluation”.
14. There is a lack of knowledge transfer activities at the School level (patents, spin-offs, etc.).
15. The School needs to establish a forward-looking vision in terms of its position on the international arena. Its vision statement should be backed up by specific objectives in terms of its core processes of teaching, research and knowledge transfer. These objectives should be quantified in terms of Key Performance Indicators on a y early
basis, to provide feedback in terms of the efficiency of the processes.
16. The state imposed bureaucratic systems have stifling effects on the development of the School. They result in indecisiveness and ineffectiveness.
17. There have been no new hires in the faculty . The majority of the academic staff members are seniors (full Professors) which demonstrates lack of proper recruitment policy. The lack of renewal may have negative impact on the School’s programmes in the future.
18. There is no cohesive strategic plan for the School. There is no set of quantitative measures, concrete goals and milestones, e.g., quality assurance mechanisms and regular evaluations of individuals and procedures.
19. Annual personal review, development and feedback mechanisms for faculty members and other staff could be considered by the School and the University . This is important for all staff in order to retain and motivate them and improve efficiency.
20. There is no automation of student-facing processes (e.g., marking and transcripts) within the School. Automation will contribute to increasing the quality and efficiency of student services.
21. There is very limited interaction with Alumni. The School should increase its interaction with Alumni in order to create further training and funding opportunities for its students and recent graduates.
1. The continuous disruptive activism of ‘some groups’ and the State’s interference in
higher education threatens and stifles productive initiatives in the School and provide unnecessary obstacles to the School’s advancement.
2. The Committee is concerned by the lack of cohesion amongst the faculty members.
Although there are plans within each section, there is no strategic plan that encompasses the School as a whole.
3. The current framework of decision making within the School is too cumbersome for managing changes.
1. The proliferating numbers of talented and successful graduates of the School can be a major resource of support at all levels. For example, it can be exploited through tracking and engagement and increased linkage.
2. The Committee understands that there are opportunities to develop internal organizational plans, which can be exploited to accomplish worthy goals and objectives that the previous operational framework did not allow.
EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT
DEPARTMENT: Electrical and Computer Engineering (ΗΜΜΥ)
UNIVERSITY /TEI: National Technical University of Athens (ΕΜΠ)