Institutional quality assurance to be audited
On the 21st and 22nd of January, our university will be audited by the NVAO (Dutch/Flemish Accreditation Organisation) on the quality of our education. All Dutch universities are required by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to undergo such evaluation.
The audit committee will investigate whether Leiden University has an effective system in place to ensure the quality of its teaching programmes. A positive assessment will provide our university with a quality label that will reinforce our reputation in the Netherlands as well as internationally.
This does not entail assessing the quality of the individual teaching programmes but rather how the University as a whole ensures the quality of the education it provides. During the first visit in January the committee will meet university and faculty management. This standard programme also includes the planned open consultation. The second part of the audit will take place in March, when the committee will tour the University and meet lecturers, students and supporting staff at the departments in order to evaluate whether the quality assurance system is effective in practice.
Topics that may be covered in the audit are the connection between research and teaching, study success, lecturer quality, the honours programme or the performance of programme committees and examination boars. The Executive Board recently conducted a self-assessment as part of the procedure. This ‘Institutional Audit Self-Assessment’ will be sent to all programme directors/chairs and scientific directors in the near future. Others can request the document from the secretariat of the Academic Affairs Directorate: AZSecretariaat@BB.Leidenuniv.nl
The NVAO audit committee comprises the following members:
Prof. Marc Vervenne, Professor of Biblical Studies, former Rector of KU Leuven, Chairman;
Dr Job Cohen, former professor, also Dean of the Faculty of Law and Rector Magnificus at Maastricht University, former State Secretary for Education and Science and former Mayor of Amsterdam;
Prof. Kees Mouwen; former Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of Tilburg University and Professor of Strategy and Innovation in Non-Profit Institutions;
Nienke Bach Kolling, student of Educational Studies, University of Twente.
The secretary of the committee is Erik van der Spek, LL.M.
All Dutch universities have registered for the institutional audit. A positive outcome is important. If Leiden University ‘passes’ the audit, the external assessments of individual bachelor and master tracks can focus more on the content of the programmes, since the general aspects of the university’s quality assurance will already have been assessed in the institutional audit. In addition, a positive assessment by the NVAO constitutes a quality label, and thus reinforces the reputation of the university in the Netherlands and internationally.