Good marks for higher education in Flanders

Summary

The accreditation organisation that monitors educational standards at colleges and universities in Flanders and the Netherlands has given a positive evaluation to 14 of the 16 institutions it has inspected

Quality control

Flanders’ universities and colleges are providing quality education, according to a report by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).

Previously, each degree programme in institutions of higher education had to undergo separate inspections. After rectors and directors complained about the red tape and high costs connected to the inspections, the responsibility for quality monitoring was placed more directly with the institutions themselves.

All universities and colleges are, however, still evaluated by an external team of experts that visit each institution. Fourteen of the 18 colleges and universities in the region were positively evaluated by internal and external auditors. Two institutions have yet to be evaluated and two must make changes.

Institutions are judged diversity, on how well they adjust to social challenges such as students using Dutch as a second language and on customised education such as special assistance for students in difficult situations and honours programmes for students who excel.

NVAO, however, has advised the institutions to consider independent professionals to further improve the quality of their education. Students should also be more involved in the evaluation of education programmes, it said, and that institutions should provide more open communications.
Photo courtesy NVAO

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