Quality assurance and accreditation

HKU attaches great value to quality. On this page, you can read about how courses pay attention to quality assurance and accreditation. You can read about which measures we take to maintain and improve the quality of our education and research.

Quality assurance: what action is taken by the courses?

Our courses are continually working on improving quality, in collaboration with students, various HKU departments and the professional field:
  • We are continually scrutinising ourselves and reflecting on possible improvements.
  • We hold discussions with the professional field, alumni and other parties in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • We organise evaluations by students and lecturers.
  • We keep a close eye on the processes within schools that are important to education and research support, and adapt those processes where necessary.
  • We pay a great deal of attention to the expertise of and contributions from lecturers, professorships and support staff.

This creates a continual cycle of improvement, which covers all aspects of educational practice. This is the core of HKU’s quality assurance system. Each school works on the basis of a shared vision of education and has its own quality assurance plan, which is specific to its own educational practice.

Together, we work on a strong quality structure, which encompasses willingness to learn and improve, shared responsibility and involvement, collaboration, open communication and trust.

Accreditation: endorsement of educational quality

What is accreditation?

All the HKU courses are governed by the education laws of the Netherlands. The Higher Education and Research Act (WHW) decrees that all higher education courses in the Netherlands must be accredited once every six years. Accreditation is a quality mark by which the government guarantees the quality of education. In the Netherlands, it is a condition for issuing recognised certificates. Accreditation takes place at the level of the course.

How are courses assessed?

The courses are assessed by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The NVAO bases their assessment on peer review, whereby a review committee of external experts assesses the quality of the course. These independent experts check whether the courses meet the legal requirements for aspects like ease of study, standard of the course, standard of the testing and standard of the graduation work. They do so on the basis of a self-evaluation written by the course and a visit to the course. During that visit, the experts will speak with students, lecturers, programme management, the Board of Examiners, industry representatives and alumni.

HKU’s Quality Assurance department supervises the courses in the accreditation procedure. Following their visit, the review committee draws up an assessment report. This report forms the basis for the NVAO’s decision on continuing the accreditation.

Development talk

The ‘development talk’ is a compulsory part of the NVAO accreditation procedure. In the talk, the courses discuss possible improvements and developments with members of the review committee. The development talk is not assessed. HKU sets its own outlines and conclusions for the talk.

View the results of previous development talks (Please note: in Dutch)

Quality assurance practice-based research

HKU’s practice-based research is periodically evaluated by a committee, using the national monitor Branch Protocol for Quality Assurance in Research (BKO). This evaluation focuses on maintaining and improving the quality of practice-based research and its organisation.

Together, we ensure that we provide a challenging research programme. We conduct high-quality research that contributes to the professional field, to society, to the improvement of education, to the professionalisation of lecturers and to knowledge development.

Would you like to find out more about accreditation?

Take a look at the NVAO-website