THE UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE’S EDUCATIONAL QUALITY POLICY HIGHLY VALUED
In November and December of last year, the University of Twente was visited by a committee from the NVAO. These visits were aimed at the institutional quality assurance audit for educational quality assurance (ITK), as well as for the assessment of the plans for the Quality Agreements that have been requested by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
During five days, the committee spoke with various groups within the university (staff members and students) about a wide range of topics that are important to the quality of education at the University of Twente. The committee members were very positive about the outcomes of the conversations, and informally indicated that the university had more than met the standards relating to education and educational quality. Within the framework of the ITK, the committee will compile a report of findings and recommendations to be submitted to the NVAO. Based on this report, the NVAO will take an official decision concerning whether the university has passed the institutional quality assurance audit for 2019 (as in 2013). For the Quality Agreements, the NVAO will approve only the text of the report, with the final decision resting with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
The passion for education can be seen everywhere
The committee characterises the UT as a fine organisation, in which the ‘corporate spirit’ is clearly felt. The passion for education can be seen everywhere. The committee perceived a culture of permanent improvement, and thus a favourable quality culture. The committee explicitly reported having held frank conversations with honest, hard-working and committed staff members and students.
QUALITY AGREEMENTS ARE CLEARLY A BOTTOM-UP PROCESS AT THE UNIVERSITY
The committee assessed the Quality Agreements according to three criteria: 1. sufficient alignment with the themes of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; 2. a development process that involves students and participation bodies; 3. the manner in which monitoring is performed. In this aspect as well, the committee observed that the UT more than meets these criteria.
The University of Twente has opted for its own university profile, which is well-suited to its own vision for education, and that thus demonstrates clear overlaps with the themes of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (e.g. intensity of teaching, academic success, educational differentiation, quality of the teaching staff, student guidance and educational facilities).
The committee regards the UT’s profile as a clear contribution to quality improvement in education. Students acted as fully fledged sparring partners in the process of developing the Quality Agreements. This provides further evidence that it was truly a bottom-up process, which was aligned with all existing plans within the educational programmes and faculties.
The committee has seen that the university aspires to accomplish many things at the same time with regard to the Quality Agreements, and it has noted that many different projects are being addressed. The advice is to pay careful attention to the monitoring of this process, and it would be wise to arrange the monitoring at a somewhat higher level of detail.
The UT expects a report from the committee concerning the ITK and the Quality Agreements within two months. The official decisions will be taken by the NVAO and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science before 1 May.