Blog & Opinion
18 September 2019 • by Metten Knüppe
We’re receiving a visit
At THUAS, we have been working on preparations for the Institutional Audit on Quality Assurance and Quality Agreements (ITK) over the last year. Just to remind you, we will be receiving visits on two occasions from a panel of the NVAO accreditation body. The panel uses various interviews and trails to investigate how we work on our ambitions as a university of applied science and the way in which we guarantee these with quality assurance.
Lately, the project group has been busy on drafting a self-evaluation to describe how we do this. We asked a large number of people within THUAS for their input on this. We will be using this information over the coming months to get THUAS as prepared as possible for these visits by the panel.
To start with the self-evaluation, this was adopted by the Executive Board on 3 September. Now it is up to the General Council to draft its recommendations. The Board of Trustees will also discuss this document. After the comments have been processed, the self-evaluation will be complete at around the time of the Fall Break. We will be distributing the self-evaluation throughout THUAS immediately after the Fall Break.
The first visit
The first panel visit will take place on 9 and 10 December. During this visit, the panel will be talking to the Executive Board, the Board of Trustees and students among others. It will also be holding four interviews with a cross-section of people from THUAS (lecturers, students, management and staff and student participation councils) which will cover the four standards of the ITK. These standards are as follows: our educational vision, the realisation of this vision, our monitoring of education quality and points for improvement. As a university of applied sciences, we are even able to set up these groups ourselves. This means that the people taking part in these interviews will be given extensive preparation about the content and the manner in which these interviews will take place. We will also have the opportunity to highlight a number of great projects at THUAS and present these to the panel.
The second visit
The second panel visit will take place on 15, 16, and 17 January. During that visit, the panel will specify the topics and degree programmes that it would like to discuss in further depth. Since we will only hear about that at the end of the first visit, preparation for the second visit will require slightly more improvisation. That is why we are currently working on preparing topics that may come up, and we will be making the self-evaluation widely available as soon as it is complete.
The final day of the second visit is reserved for the quality arrangements, namely how we at THUAS deploy the resources we receive from the student loan system that we use to improve the quality of our education. I will discuss this in further depth in a separate blog.
THUAS has made progress on many fronts over recent years. That is why the ITK has come at a good time. It will enable us to show what a great educational vision we have, how we will implement that in practice and how we deploy quality assurance to guarantee these results. I have seen example after example in this project of how we do things well as a university of applied sciences, and I am confident that the panel will recognise this during the visit and that we will conclude the ITK with flying colours.