Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Quality

At the AUAS we have the utmost confidence in our employees and their professionalism. It’s our aim to deliver high-quality education and applied research, together.

Quality Assurance Policy: Education and Research

Our Quality Assurance Policy for education and applied research (in Dutch) explains in detail how we aim to cooperate when it comes to ensuring quality at the AUAS.

The Assessment Framework for the Higher Education Accreditation System of the Netherlands states how the quality of degree programmes and higher education institutions in the Netherlands are assessed. The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) is the independent accreditation body responsible for monitoring the quality of higher education institutions, both at the degree programme and the institution-wide level.


Accreditation of existing degree programmes

Based on the conclusions of the NVAO,  higher education programmes are formally recognised and students receive a valuable. All AUAS degree programmes are assessed every six years on their basic quality, according to the Assessment Framework Accreditation System of the Netherlands 2018. 


Accreditation of new degree programmes

The AUAS can also request NVAO accreditation for its new Associate degree, Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes (initial accreditation) or request the  CDHO (Committee for Sustainable Higher Education) to issue  a macro efficiency decision. More information on this process is available via the link (in Dutch).
 

Midterm review (previously known as the Internal audit)

At the AUAS our degree programme teams reflect on the quality of their programmes with external peers (a review panel) once every three years, in order to ensure, and continuously improve upon, the quality of our education. Read more about the Midterm review in this comprehensive guide.   
 

The institutional accreditation experiment

The AUAS also voluntarily participates in a so-called institutional accreditation experiment. This experiment aims to further develop the accreditation system in the Netherlands, with the ultimate goal of placing more trust and ownership within the degree programme teams, thereby strengthening the quality culture at the AUAS.

This is in line with the Dutch law pertaining to tailor-made accreditation (Wet accreditatie op maat)  By participating in this experiment at the institutional level, the AUAS’ existing degree programmes are subject to a lighter form of degree programme accreditation via the NVAO. Please refer to the Midterm review guide for more information on this process.  
 

Institutional Quality Assurance Audit (ITK)

Alongside the accreditation of our individual degree programmes, the AUAS is also assessed by the NVAO at the institutional level. The ITK is a periodic, external and independent assessment, during which the NVAO determines whether the internal quality assurance system and the institution’s quality culture ensure that it is delivering its vision of good-quality education. It takes place every six years.

The AUAS has performed well on the Institutional Quality Assurance Audit (ITK) since November 2013, receiving the ITK mark of quality. This means that the AUAS therefore falls under the lighter degree programme assessment framework (BOB), which translates to fewer administrative burdens and more control for the AUAS. It also gives us more space to manoeuvre, create new initiatives and to innovate. More information about the 2019 ITK (in Dutch) is available on the ITK site.
 

Quality agreements

As part of our quality agreements, the AUAS receives student loan funding (studievoorschotmiddelen) that is earmarked for the purpose of improving the quality of our education. The allocation of these financial resources is determined collectively, through conversations with students, lecturers, representative advisory councils, management, supervisory bodies and various external stakeholders. More information (in Dutch) is available on the Student Affairs participation website.
 

Monitoring education quality

At the AUAS we systematically evaluate whether we are achieved our objectives in relation to the quality of our education. We involve various stakeholders in this process. Some examples include:

The National Student Survey
The HBO Monitor
 

Organisation

The Quality and Accreditation (K&A) expertise team in the Education and Research Office (Executive Staff Department O&O) supports our degree programme teams, in close cooperation with quality assurance colleagues working in the faculties. It also advises the Executive Board in relation to accreditation processes. Contact: Anneke Vierhout. 

The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity is one of the starting points for ensuring the quality of applied research at the AUAS.


External assessment 

Every six years all of the research conducted at the AUAS is reviewed by a panel of independent experts during an external assessment. The five standards in the Branch Protocol for Quality Assurance in Research (BKO) form the framework for this and the emphasis is on public accountability. External assessment reports are made available to the public and provided to the CEKO an independent committee for research quality assurance. The CEKO supervises the execution of BKO assessments among universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. The results of these assessments are available in the CEKO database (in Dutch).
The last external assessment at the AUAS was conducted in 2015 and is available here (in Dutch).


Internal assessment 

An internal research assessment is conducted in between two external assessments.  The objective of an internal assessment is (just like the midterm review for degree programmes) to promote development and improvement of research at the AUAS. The composition of the assessment committee may include internal (for example AUAS employees or students from other faculties) as well as external participants.


AUAS-wide research assessment

Both the internal and the external assessments are conducted across the entire AUAS because the recommendations are relevant for the institution as a whole and for our research policy. All of our research units are assessed in the same period, by a committee which includes an external chairperson and a secretary. This core team ensures that all of the assessments are conducted in the same way regardless of the faculty, enabling cross comparison. Experts are involved in the assessment for each research unit, based on their expertise in that area. The entire committee represents experts in the fields of research, professional practice and education. Each faculty at the AUAS has its own centre for applied research: this is the structure for research within our institution. These centres form the personal and financial ‘home base’ for our professors and researchers. Research assessments therefore take place at this level (per faculty/centre for applied research). 

Organisation

The Research expertise team in the Education and Research Office (Executive Staff Department O&O) supports and advises the Executive Board in relation to research. Contact: Dymph van Outersterp.

 

Published by  Education and Research 3 July 2019