Quality Assurance of a degree programme in a nutshell.
Quality Assurance is continuous improvement of education. Many stakeholders are involved, each with a specific contribution in the Plan Do Check Act cycle. Below we clarify the involvement of various stakeholders with evaluation and improvement.
Students share their experiences with education in panel meetings and periodic surveys, such as course evaluation surveys, programme evaluation surveys and the National Student Survey. Students participate in the Programme Committee where the educational experience is discussed and he Programme Director is advised about improvement.
Teachers evaluate their teaching experience based on direct feedback in classes, information from student experience surveys and panel meetings. Moreover teachers evaluate the examination results. Teachers use the Quality Assurance pages to communicate what improvements they will make in the next edition of their courses. Teachers share their opinions and experiences in regular meetings with Programme Director. A number of teachers is involved in the Programme Committee.
The Programme Committee (Opleidingscommissie) is a legal body supporting educational quality enhancement. The Programme Committee has 3-5 teaching staff members and an equal number of students. The Programme Committee discusses educational experiences and results and advises the Programme Director about improvement. Moreover the Programme Committee monitors the realization of improvements.
The Programme Director
The Programme Director is in charge of all aspects of a programme. The Programme Director agrees improvement plans for courses as proposed by teaching staff, taking the recommendations by the Programme committee into account. The Programme Director reports annually about programme improvement to the Dean. Typical aspects of concern are intake, drop out rates, pass rates, final results, quality of teaching, profile of the programme, the connection with state of the art research and employability.
In each programme students have a Student Association that supports students study in a wide sense. Most Student Associations have an educational commissioner, who actively communicates quality issues and advocates improvements in the programme. Some Student Associations organize periodical panel meetings to discuss the educational experience in a programme. They report findings to the Programme Director, or in some cases bring them forward in the Programme Committee where evaluation is on the agenda.
Most programmes have an Alumni Association for networking in the professional field. The Programme Director may involve alumni networks in programme evaluation and improvement. Every two years recently graduated alumni are invited to share their professional experience and opinion on the programme in the National Alumni Survey.
The Examination Board is the legal internal body assigned with safeguarding the quality of examination in the programme, thus safeguarding the quality of the diploma. The Examination Board consists of expert examiners who take an independent stand while assessing the quality of examinations and of final thesis in the programme. The assessment may result in directions for examiners and Programme Director. The board reports annually to the dean. Note that it is the Programme Director who is responsible for all assessment in the programme. The PD ensures that all Intended Learning Outcomes in the programme contribute to the realisation of programmes’ Final Qualifications.
All programmes are subject to external Quality Assurance for maintaining national accreditation by the NVAO. The NVAO framework overlooks our internal Quality Assurance cycles every six years. The NVAO assesses in particular the profile of the programme, the final qualifications, graduation rates, quality of staff and viability of the programme. Additionally some programmes choose to be subject to dedicated international accrediting agencies like EPAS.