Universiteit Leiden

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Institutional accreditation and audit (ITK)

Higher-education institutions must be assessed and accredited once every six years to ensure they provide a high standard of education. You may be asked to speak to the assessment panel during the institutional audit.

How is an institution accredited?

An institutional audit is performed once every six years to assess the quality of an institution’s education. The assessment is based on peer review (by independent experts). A panel investigates whether the University has an effective quality assurance system that ensures a high standard of education.

The institutional accreditation differs somewhat from the programme accreditation: here the individual programmes are assessed and accredited by a panel of experts. If the panel’s judgement is positive, the NVAO accredits the institution or programme for a further six years.

An institutional audit has been carried out for the second time in 2019.  In the coming years, the university will set to work on the most important points from the assessment (in Dutch): 

  • Provide definitions of the concepts from the vision on teaching and learning (for instance, activating teaching and learning, and international classrooms). This will lead to greater cohesion between the different concepts (standard 1), the vision on teaching and learning can be implemented faster (standard 2) and the university can apply a single system for monitoring progress (standard 3).
  • Monitor the lecturers’ workload and organise a good, clear and easily accessible support structure. Increase the efficiency of innovations through greater knowledge sharing, particularly with different faculties. 
  • When setting up a monitoring system, ensure that there is a balance between quantitative measurement and qualitative objectives, for example, by instituting a system of ‘apply or explain’ and by requesting reflection when presenting an overview of results.

Additionally, the NVAO panel indicated that the University Plan for Quality Agreements (in Dutch) is satisfactory. This is an ambitious plan to improve the quality of education with the advance funds allocated to institutions through the introduction of the student loan system.

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