Universiteit Leiden

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Institutional and programme accreditation

To ensure the quality of higher education in the Netherlands, institutions providing such education must be accredited. Students, employers and other members of society can thus rely on the quality of their education. All degree programmes at Leiden University are accredited.

What is institutional accreditation?

Accreditation is an official form of recognition. If an institution is accredited, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) has assessed the quality of its education.

How is an institution accredited?

The quality of an institution’s education is assessed every six years. The assessment is done in the form of a peer review conducted by independent experts. An audit committee investigates whether the institution has an effective quality assurance system. The programmes are assessed and audited seperately by a panel of indepent experts. If the audit is favourable, the NVAO accredits the institution or the programme for a further six years. The last institutional audit of Leiden University was conducted in 2013, and the next one will be at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019.

There are two parts to the audit. During the first part the audit committee from the NVAO visits the University and:

  • Examines a self-reflection that the University has drawn up.
  • Talks to various boards such as the Board of Governors, the Executive Board, the University Council and the Faculty boards.
  • Holds meetings with students and staff who have something to say about quality assurance.

The second part of the audit consists of the so called trails. The committee chooses a few topics, ‘trails’, on which it wishes to focus (for instance, HRM policy, the performance of boards of examiners or teaching innovation). During the trails the committee talks to the lecturers, students and supporting staff of a number of degree programmes.

What does this mean for you?

Preparations must be made for the institutional audit. It is possible that you are asked to speak with the audit committee. Your manager will inform you about this in good time. For more information on institution and programme audits, please consult your Faculty Education Office.