Accreditation and Quality Assurance
Radboud University provides a systematic assurance of the quality of its education. This quarantee ensures that all the University’s Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes are at present accredited by the Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie (NVAO).
NVAO is entrusted by law (the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act) to accredit all existing Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses and to validate new study programmes at government-funded institutions of higher education and at institutions approved (but not funded) by the Dutch government. Institutions that have neither government funding nor approval can apply for accreditation of post-initial Master’s degree courses.
With regard to the nature of accreditation in higher education, the Netherlands and Flanders (Flemish-speaking Belgium) have opted for accreditation at the level of study programmes. NVAO has laid down accreditation frameworks for this purpose for Flanders and the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands and in Flanders, accreditation is a precondition for government funding of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme, for the right to award recognised diplomas and, in the Netherlands, to grant financial assistance to students. In the context of the internationalisation of education and the labour market, accreditation provides for an equivalence of quality assurance in higher education.
The quality assurance adopted by Radboud University consists of an internal, cyclical six-year process which ties in with the external assessments carried out successively by QANU (Quality Assessment Netherlands Universities) and NVAO.
The basic principle is an intrinsically motivated system of constant attention to quality, aimed above all at the improvement of the education provided. Following the guidelines set externally by NVAO, the quality of the 6 criteria identified by NVAO are systematically assured for each educational programme:
- Aims of the educational programme
- Construction of the programme
- Dedication of personel
- Internal quality control
This is recorded in annual reports that are obligatory for every educational programme and are the subject of administrative consultation between the Governing Body and the faculties / educational programme's. This systematic approach ensures that after each six-year cycle the NVAO accreditation is a natural consequence of the internal attention to quality.
The quality of the education offered outside the framework of Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes (post-initial degree courses) is also systematically assured by means of internal evaluations and external, independent quality control.