Positive decision about educational quality
Erasmus University Rotterdam is more than capable of retaining educational quality at a high level. The university’s educational vision is also clearly recognisable. This is the positive assessment from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). Erasmus University participated in the Institutional quality assurance assessment (ITK). This investigates whether the university’s so-called ‘quality assurance system’ is sufficient to safeguard the quality of education for its students and the level to which a ‘sustainable culture of quality’ exists within the university.
With this positive assessment, the NVAO Board is expressing its complete confidence in the Erasmus University quality assurance system. The university has a distinct and recognisable educational vision that is implemented clearly in all study programmes. This educational vision is characterised by a significant emphasis on student graduation rates, the focus on the international context and the education of students who apply their academic knowledge actively in a global society.
NVAO has based its decision on the findings of an independent panel of specialists that visited the university for five days. The panel interviewed many employees and students. The panel was impressed with the tremendous engagement and commitment to innovation projects. According to the panel this demonstrates ‘shared ownership’. The panel noted: ‘Considering the extremely diverse student influx, diversity and inclusion are important topics, and EUR aims to create an environment in which everyone feels at home, can be themselves and can develop to become a critical world citizen.’
The ITK is not compulsory, but does offer considerable advantages. This institutional accreditation means that the individual study programmes only require a limited assessment. This saves a lot of time and work. For Erasmus University, participating in the ITK was also a logical step: we are proud of the quality of the education we provide. Various programmes have been awarded a ‘top-quality’ certification and we also attract a great many students from all over the world.
NVAO accreditation demonstrates that the quality of education is important for EUR. Good education is essential in our ambition to educate curious, talented students and to offer them a successful start to their professional careers.
This is a joint effort: an educational vision was determined last year together with participation bodies, lecturers and students. The Executive Board holds extensive discussions on programme quality with the faculties every year. These discussions focus on such things as whether all lecturers hold the required qualifications, and whether the degree programme committees and examination boards function effectively. Moreover, with a focus on innovation, the Community for Learning and Innovation was founded in 2017, to enable more systematic collaboration. This year, this CLI will be given a permanent location in the plinth of the Hatta Building.
'We will be using the panel recommendations to work further towards even more challenging education'
Professor Huibert Pols, Rector Magnificus
Collaboration is key
Rector Magnificus Professor Huibert Pols emphasised that the positive assessment offers a reason to work on quality in education with even more energy in the coming period. ‘Erasmus University will be using the panel recommendations to work further towards even more challenging education in the coming six years, with even more well-defined objectives for what we want to achieve.’ The NVAO judgement confirms that the Erasmus University approach, based on own initiative and collaboration, is working. ‘We are not about one-size-fits-all. Faculties, as well as lecturers and students, are given a huge amount of space to determine together how high-quality, academic education should look like. Everyone subscribes to the importance of educating critical students who can use their academic skills across the world.’
With this goal in mind, the Rector founded the Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI), in which lecturers and students are given space to develop educational innovation projects that focus on more challenging education. ‘We’ll be making significant investments in the Community for Learning and Innovation: in collaborating to further elaborate our educational vision and further promote joint learning. Erasmus University continues to commit itself to world class education for talented thinkers and doers who have the ambition to make a difference.’