Master Mind Europe Focus Groups

VU is coordinating an ERASMUS+ project which develops a toolkit for competency-based admission to master’s programmes in Europe: Mastermind Europe.

Master’s programmes are focusing increasingly – on top of the subject knowledge & skills – also on general academic and personal/interpersonal competencies that the students will need afterwards, whether in research or professional life. Simultaneously, Master’s programmes are getting and seeking an increasingly diverse intake of students: from different universities, from slightly different disciplines, from different countries/continents and consequently from different educational philosophies and practices.
The key question is Master’s admission is no longer: ”Do you have the right Bachelor’s from my own university or equivalent”. It is now turning into: “Do you have what it takes to be successful in our programme?”

These developments convinced the European Erasmus+ programme to support a consortium with universities, university associations and private companies from 8 countries to implement a three-year programme (2014-2017).

The project will see the production of ready-to-use Guiding Tools that help Master’s programmes to break down the key question:

  • What is it that applicant students need to be good at? What knowledge, skills, personal/interpersonal competencies are essential
  • How good do they actually need to be in it?
  • How can you determine that they really are ?
  • How can you organise a solid answer to these questions?
  • Who does what and why?

These Guiding Tools will be tested in Focus Groups of academic master’s directors; the Focus Group meetings will be held across Europe: the first round will be in Barcelona (April), Helsinki (May), Amsterdam (September), and Milano (November).

The project will concurrently develop a pool of experts in the conversion from diploma-recognition to competency-assessment as the basis for Master’s admission and conduct surveys and produce reports on i.a. actual and perceived restrictiveness of Master’s admission for outsiders and legal / regulatory obstacles to convert to competency-based admission.

See the website of Mastermind Europe or contact Kees Kouwenaar (overall project coordinator).