On August 14, 2007, an international expert panel visited the Master of Environmental and Energy Management to discuss the programme with representatives of staff and students. Beforehand, the panel already studied extensive information about the MEEM programme beforehand. The observations of the panel were reported in a Panel report (dd. September 14, 2007). Here, we provide some highlights from the report about the curriculum, the programme aim and character, the staff, the interaction between education and research and the study load of the programme.
Quotes on MSc MEEM of the international evaluation committee
from the Report to the Dutch-Flemish accreditation organization on the re-accreditation of MEEM for the years 2014 and further (date 27-11-2012):
- The MEEM programme is a small-scale programme with short communication lines between staff involved and the students. The committee acknowledges that the programme has managed to create a very ambitious environment in which management, lecturers and students are committed and motivated to working together on ambitious objectives.
- The committee found an engaging curriculum of one year, divided in three blocks: course work, case study and research project, with a clear pedagogical concept. The progression through the different blocks is visible and considered appropriate. The committee has established that the structure and contents of the curriculum enable students to achieve the programme’s intended learning outcomes. The curriculum is cumulative, coherent and well-structured. The curriculum has an academic orientation and at the same time is dominated by an applied and problem-oriented perspective.
- The committee confirms that the curriculum and the tutoring system enable students to develop themselves to the required master level. The curriculum combines theory with practice. The courses, case study and research project are organised very interactively.
- The highly motivated and qualified staff members running the programme impressed the committee. The committee is convinced of the quality of the staff both in terms of teaching and research. The study load of the programme seems high but the students appreciate the one-year duration and the challenging contents of the programme.
- The committee highly commends the support and guidance the programme offers to its students. The range of activities the programme coordinators undertake for the students was impressive. The short informal communication line between students and all staff involved in the teaching activities is admirable, especially considering the distance between Leeuwarden, where the programme takes place and Enschede, were the offices of the lecturers are.
- The committee acknowledges that the programme’s assessment system is well-considered. The assessment methods are varied and enable the programme to establish whether students have acquired the intended learning outcomes. The committee has noticed that the feedback provided by staff members is generally good, useful and extensive. The committee establishes that the thesis is the final and cumulative assignment of the programme, in which students show that they have acquired the knowledge, skills and attitude laid down in the intended learning outcomes.
- The committee is of the opinion that students who have finished the MEEM programme have acquired the intended learning outcomes and have very good opportunities for a career in the area of environmental and energy management.
- During the site visit, students and graduates told the committee that most of them had extensively searched the Internet for master programmes on energy and/or environmental management before they decided to apply for the MEEM programme. The committee learnt that the information about the MEEM programme is easy to be found on the Internet and gives, according to students and graduates, very good insights in the programme and the subjects matters. Some students and graduates were referred to the MEEM programme by former students of the programme.
- Most of the students and graduates had also looked at other programmes before deciding to apply to the MEEM programme. The committee learnt that the students and graduates prefer the MEEM programme because of the focus on management and policy, linked with technology. Most of the students and graduates have a background in natural science or technology and wanted to learn more about the combination of energy, environment, management and governance.
- The committee, all experts in this field of expertise, is very impressed with the one-year programme and the multi-disciplinarity of the programme.
- The committee confirms that the intended learning outcomes are sufficiently related to requirements set by the professional field and the academic discipline.
- The committee has studied the profile of the MEEM programme and concluded that the programme is unique in its kind. The committee appreciates the ambition of this one-year multi-disciplinary master’s programme with the emphasis on both theory and practice and the integration of energy, environment, management and governance.
- The MEEM programme has a double degree agreement with the University of Padjadjaran (Unpad: Ecology Institute, Master on Environmental Studies) in Bandung Indonesia. For the Indonesian students, choosing this option, the one-year MEEM programme is integrated in their two-year programme, except for the case study period. Instead of the case study the students follow modules with the same learning goals in the Bandung programme. The programme’s Board of Examiners has approved these modules. The thesis of the students, who aim to obtain a double agree, is supervised by a MEEM lecturer and a UNPAD lecturer. Both lecturers do separately the assessment of the thesis, from the perspective of both curricula.
- The committee has determined, based on the presented curriculum in the critical reflection, the studied course material and the interviews with programme director, programme managers, lecturers, students and graduates that the structure of the programme develops from theory towards applying theory in the research project. The progression through the different periods is visible and appropriate. The committee is impressed by the combination of academic orientation with practical application in a one-year programme. The students and graduates value the coherence between the courses and the study periods.
- During the interviews with the committee the students and graduates spoke very appreciatively and positively about the programme coordinators. The graduates and students confirmed that the programme coordinators play an important role both by providing support and facilitating communication between students and lecturers.
- The committee has determined that MEEM is a small-scale programme with very short communication lines between all staff involved in the education. The committee feels this as strength of the programme. The committee characterizes the programme as a positive, energetic and very motivational learning environment where students, lectures and management work together on realising ambitious objectives.
- The committee is very impressed by the highly motivated and qualified staff running the MEEM programme. It is convinced of the quality of the teaching staff, both in terms of teaching and research. The committee appreciates the commitment of the staff to teach the students in the best way they can and to support the students to develop the needed knowledge and skills.
- The critical reflection contains the results of the alumni survey conducted in May 2012 among 89 alumni. The alumni included statements in their survey such as: “education is well-designed, excellent learning environment, obvious objectives and career path”. The committee is impressed by the pride and enthusiasm of the graduates of the programme, as shown in both the interview and in the survey. The graduates stressed the importance of the programme and the degree for their career.
- The committee has established that the curriculum of the MEEM programme is a good realization of the intended learning outcomes. The committee is convinced that the structure and the contents of the curriculum enable student to achieve the intended learning outcomes. The curriculum is cumulative, well-structured and it prepares the students well for the research project. It has both an academic orientation and a professional orientation.
- The graduates told the committee they were highly motivated by the feedback they got on assessments. The feedback from the lecturers, written and verbally, helped the graduates in their development and was more than just an explanation of passing or failing the assessment. For most assessments, they received comments in personal e-mails. They felt very much supported by the staff of the programme and valued the efforts put in giving constructive feedback.
- The committee was impressed by the knowledge demonstrated in the theses and the insightful recommendations offered.