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Programme accreditation

Degree programmes 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.

How are degree programmes accredited?

The degree programmes at Dutch universities of applied sciences and research universities are assigned to assessment groups. These are groups of programmes with a comparable curriculum that are assessed by one panel. Degree programmes are assessed once every six years, according to the review schedule of NVAO. If the judgement of the panel is positive, the accreditation term of the programme is extended for a period of six years.

Midterm review

The programme itself conducts a midterm review halfway through the accreditation term. This is done with the aid of external experts. The programme assessment results in an action plan. During the midterm review the programme looks at whether it is on the right track in tackling the problems that were identified during the programme assessment. The results of the midterm review are shared with the assessment panel.

What does this mean for you?

A number of preparations have to be made before a programme assessment. You may be asked to speak to the assessment panel, in which case your manager will inform you in good time. For information on preparing for programme assessments and accreditation, please contact the administration office at your faculty.

Once every six years, the accreditation of Dutch university programmes is renewed by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). The NVAO bases its decision to renew a programme’s accreditation on the assessment of an audit committee comprising experts in the field. This committee assesses whether the programme meets the required quality standards. The audit committee bases its findings on the one hand on written documentation provided by the programme, and on the other hand on discussions that they hold with the board, lecturers, committee members and students during an audit visit.

In 2018 and 2019, 38 bachelor’s and master’s programmes in the Faculty of Humanities were audited. These audits were very positive. The accreditation of all these programmes will be extended for a further six years.

In 2020 and 2021, 9 research master’s programmes will be assessed. As a result of the corona virus measures, the audits that were planned for the spring of 2020 have been postponed.

For more information about the assessment criteria and the audit schedule, please see the infographic.

Roadmap for Programme Audits

The audits of the research master’s programmes will take place in four clusters:

  1. History (1 programme; the audit this spring will not take place because of the corona virus measures; the new date is 29 September 2020)
  2. Antiquity and Area Studies (5 programmes; the audit this spring will not take place because of the corona virus measures; no new date has been decided yet)
  3. Language and Literature (1 programme; the audit date will probably be in the first half of 2021)
  4. Humanities (2 programmes; the audit date will probably be in 2021

The audits will be supported on the faculty side by members of the Education Advice & Quality Assurance team (Onderwijsadvies & Kwaliteitszorg). If you have any questions or comments about the audits, please contact the team via: onderwijsvisitatie@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

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