Eijkman committee issues report

19 Jul 2023 15:00 | Communication

A committee led by Quirine Eijkman, Professor of Access to Justice at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, has investigated a complaint concerning the study load of the reformed curriculum of the Communication and Creative Business (CO+CB) degree programmes.

The committee concludes that the study load in some modules of the degree programmes does not align with the 15 credits (ECTS) (420 hours of study load) allocated to them. The report makes a number of concrete recommendations to address the study load discrepancy. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences’ (AUAS) Executive Board will adopt the recommendations and the degree programmes will implement them.

The report

The AUAS’s Executive Board commissioned the Eijkman committee after receiving a claim about the suspicion of an insufficient study load in the reformed modules of the first and second year of the CO+CB degree programmes. During the past few months the committee analysed documents and interviewed various stakeholders, including students and lecturers.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The committee noticed that while quality and education level receive a lot of attention the same cannot be said for workload calculation. The committee found that study load is an action point for the degree programme management. Additional efforts are needed to ensure that the study load is more substantial to bring it in line with the number of ECTS allocated to a stone. The committee understands that implementing educational innovation is demanding for all those involved at CO+CB. Nevertheless, it believes that degree programmes have a responsibility to demonstrably ensure a sufficient study load. The committee therefore makes five concrete recommendations below.

  1. Pay careful attention to the monitoring and quality assurance systems in relation to the alignment between study load and total ECTS awarded in ‘stones education’;
  2. Make clear agreements on the process and division of responsibilities of degree programme managers, programme coordinators, stones coordinators and lecturers in order to address the identified issues;
  3. For each stone, calculate the workload expected of the average student. If necessary, have a representative sample of students record their hours spent and, if necessary, add activities to bring the workload in line with 15 ECTS;
  4. Ensure that attendance and participation of students is encouraged and/or mandatory so that the system of formative assessment within a stone is done justice;
  5. Clarify how students can be compensated in future academic years for any deficiencies that have arisen due to insufficient study load at level 1 and level 2 of their stones education.

The Board’s response

Jopie Nooren, Chair of the AUAS Executive Board: "I thank the committee for its careful investigation and recommendations, which we are adopting. The whistleblower did the right thing in drawing attention to the study load. During the past year, the degree programme has invested greatly in the quality of the programmes, but has not demonstrably substantiated how the study load aligns with the awarded credits. The Executive Board regrets this and this must be corrected as soon as possible. We will implement all the recommendations in the report. The dean is instructed to ensure that CO+CB degree programmes demonstrably and transparently align the study load with the credits awarded.

About the committee

The independent and external committee ‘Eijkman’ was set up to investigate a report of concern received by the AUAS’s Executive Board under the Whistleblowing Regulations. The committee consisted of Quirine Eijkman, Professor of Access to Justice at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Dr Miek Laemers, Professor Emeritus of Educational Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Dr Marianne van der Weiden, educational advisor.