Our quality policy is based on the notion that quality of teaching and learning is delivered by performance and by improvement. Performance means executing policy and complying with the performance and quality criteria as adopted in the Manual for Quality Assurance of Teaching and Learning. Improvement takes place by continually discussing the results achieved on the basis of management information at all levels in the organisation, by agreeing on improvement proposals, by executing these agreements, and by monitoring their progress during the planning and control cycle. We distinguish three levels: the cycle at programme level, the cycle at the level of the Faculties and the Departments, and the cycle at the level of the Institution. At each of the three levels, at least, an internal annual cycle and an external six-year cycle is in place at our university.
The Cycle at Programme Level
At the level of the bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, lecturers deliver their teaching programme and in so doing obtain educational outcomes. In the internal annual cycle, programme managements report on delivery and on results, and make plans for improvement. The Dean approves the annual programme plans and supervises their delivery. In the external six-year cycle, programmes are re-accredited once every six years following an external assessment audit based on a decision of the Nederlands Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie [Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation]. As of 2014, halfway this external cycle, a standard internal mid-term review will take place to determine how the recommendations, stemming from the previous assessment visit, were dealt with and on the quality of the graduation assignments.
The Cycle at Faculty and Department Level
The attention for education by Deans and Department Directors is aimed particularly at creating preconditions for an adequate teaching and learning environment. In the internal annual cycles, the Faculties report on the delivery of their educational responsibilities, and make plans for improvement. The Executive Board approves the plans and supervises. As of 2014, apart from the annual cycles, an internal assessment of teaching and learning quality assurance takes place every three years. The rhythm of this internal three-year cycle is such that two internal assessments always take place in between the six-yearly external institutional assessments, for example in Year t+2 and Year t+5. The internal three-year cycle takes the form of an audit at the level of the Faculties and the Departments.
The Cycle at the Level of the Institution
At the level of the Institution, the Executive Board (as laid down in the Manual for Quality Assurance of Teaching and Learning) steers the education policy on the basis of the Strategic Plan and the accompanying Implementation Plan, reports on its steering activities, and makes plans for improving its steering activities. The Raad van Toezicht (RvT) [supervisory council], approves the plans and supervises. At the level of the Institution, the quality assurance of the Institution is assessed in the external six-yearly cycle. After an assessment by an external assessment committee, the Institution as a whole is re-accredited on the basis of a decision of the Nederlands Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie [Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation].