Quality certificate NVAO for TU/e

The NVAO (Accreditation Organisation for the Netherlands and Flanders) has given final approval to the Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment for TU/e (Eindhoven University of Technology). This approval means the university can now carry out internal quality assurance and has sound processes in place for quality improvement of its educational programs. Attention points raised by the NVAO are the workload at the university, the examinations policy and the formalizing of a number of working processes.

The Executive Board announced the approval this week. The final report corresponds in general to the findings of the Assessment Committee that visited TU/e at the end of 2013. The aspects that were covered verbally by the committee chairman Kees Mouwen also correspond in general to the report that was presented at the same time. The committee found, among other points, that TU/e could ‘place more emphasis on the formal aspects of the quality culture’.

For example it was found that a number of aspects should be defined more clearly, including the status of the deans of the Bachelor College and the Graduate School and that of the corresponding organizational forms.

After the completion of the assessment in December it quickly became clear that the committee would deliver a positive verdict. But TU/e had to wait until this week for the final report. “We assumed that the findings would be positive, but it’s still good to receive confirmation of that in the letter from for the board of the NVAO”, says TU/e Rector Magnificus Hans van Duijn. He had also been relieved five months ago when the Accreditation Committee notified him that it would make a positive recommendation to the board of the NVAO.

TU/e recognizes that the workload is an attention point, and this is currently being investigated by the Executive Board within the departments. Careful consideration is being given to the growth areas, based on recent data for new student applications, and extra funds have been made available to recruit additional lecturers in a number of structural cases.Van Duijn also recognizes the remark that further work is needed on the examinations policy.

“We already knew in June 2013 that there were some weaknesses in this area. The policy is not really clearly described for the whole university, and is too fragmented. But we’re now working on that, and we intend to have defined a good examinations policy for the whole university before the end of this calendar year. That’s important, because it provides a guarantee of the quality of our diplomas.”