Universiteit Leiden

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Definitive report: positive verdict on quality assurance at Leiden University

Leiden University has undergone a second institutional accreditation and audit (ITK), and the verdict on its quality assurance is once again positive. This is evident from the definitive report that has now been published by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), which assesses the quality of higher-education institutions.

In its report the NVAO panel makes three recommendations to the University

  1. Framework: ensure that there are clear definitions of terms used in the teaching and learning vision, such as ‘activating teaching and learning’ and ‘international classroom.’ This will foster more unity in diversity (standard 1), thus making it possible to push forward with the implementation of the teaching and learning vision (standard 2) and easier to monitor progress (standard 3).   
  2. Support: monitor the workload of lecturers. This entails creating a decent and easily accessible support structure. Increase the efficiency of innovations by encouraging reciprocal knowledge sharing, in particular between faculties. 
  3. Monitoring: when developing a monitoring system, ensure there is a balance between quantitative metrics and qualitative goals, for instance through a system of ‘apply or explain’ or by specifying that lists of results must be accompanied by a reflection. 

Alongside the ITK report, the University has received a favourable advisory report about its Quality Standards Plan. This is an ambitious plan to improve the teaching quality at the University with the funds that became available with the introduction of the loan system. Both NVAO assessment reports are available online (in Dutch).

The Board of the University is extremely pleased with the very favourable assessment of the University. Vice-Rector Hester Bijl: ‘The recommendations in the definitive report correlate with the points for improvement that we identified in our self-evaluation. The ITK gives us some pointers on how to continue to improve our teaching.’ 

About the ITK

The ITK, which is performed once every six years, is an assessment of the internal quality assurance. The NVAO panel visited Leiden University on 22 and 23 January and 20, 21 and 22 February this year. Its members spoke to lecturers, students, managers and other stakeholders about the teaching and learning vision, as well as the University’s education policy and quality assurance system. 

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