HomeNews & eventsCorporate announcementsPossible wrongful master’s designation for executive part-time programme Public Management programme

Possible wrongful master’s designation for executive part-time programme Public Management programme

The Education Inspectorate pointed out to us that the accreditation of the executive part-time Public Management programme at the Professional Learning & Development Centre of the University of Twente may not have been done correctly. Although we are awaiting a final verdict from the Education Inspectorate - we expect a final report within three to six weeks - it is not inconceivable that the Inspectorate may come to the conclusion that degree awarding for this programme should not have taken place in this way. Therefore, we think it is important to communicate now with all concerned.

We deeply regret the situation arising because of the possible effect on our current students and students who have already completed the programme. We are working hard to find a solution to minimise the impact on them as much as possible.

Accreditation for master's degree programmes

The MPM programme is accredited by the European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA). This autonomous international accreditation organisation provides European-wide accreditation processes for undergraduate (and related) public administration programmes. At the time, we made a well-considered decision to have the accreditation process carried out by EAPAA, on the one hand from the desire for an assessment framework specific to the discipline, and on the other to meet the growing need for an international frame of reference. 

Additional accreditation through NVAO did not seem necessary at the time, as degree awarding based on foreign accreditation is also possible. However, the Education Inspectorate pointed out that it sees EAPAA as a Netherlands-based organisation, given that it has offices in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, only the NVAO is entitled to grant accreditation that entitles programmes to the MPM title. 

The Education Inspectorate is currently completing its investigation into this situation, during which we have been allowed to submit our views at various times. In doing so, we have consistently indicated that we see EAPAA as a European organisation, given the composition of the board and its (accreditation) committee(s), the accreditation process and decisions. We have always been convinced that the EAPAA accreditation as issued for the MPM programme, in accordance with the applicable guidelines, entitles us to award the master's degree.

Quality is not an issue

The quality of the programme is not under discussion. The Education Inspectorate only looks at accreditation and the right to award a master's degree, and its investigation focuses only on the executive part-time Public Management programme offered within PLD at the University of Twente. The Education Inspectorate's reproach and investigation do not concern the quality of the programme or the university. 

What does this mean for students and alumni?

The Education Inspectorate may decide that we have wrongfully awarded a master's degree for the executive part-time Public Management programme. The judgment is expected to focus only on degrees issued in the past five years. The affected students and alumni have been informed.

A solution in case of a negative outcome 

We attach great importance to providing an appropriate solution to minimise the consequences of this situation for students and alumni. Suppose the opinion of the Inspectorate is negative. In that case, we will examine what needs to be done so that students and alumni can still obtain a master's degree from an accredited programme within the foreseeable future. We hope to provide clarity on how to achieve this in the near future. However, we must first await the final verdict of the Education Inspectorate. As soon as we have more clarity on a suitable solution, we will communicate about it. 

L.P.W. van der Velde MSc (Laurens)
Spokesperson Executive Board (EB)