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Study programme International Business and Languages positively assessed by NQA after period of improvement

18 January 2019

The NQA assessment committee has submitted a positive assessment about the study programme International Business and Languages, as a result of her site visit in December 2018. The study programme has made substantial improvements in the period of one year according to the committee. Improvement that are in keeping with the recommendations that were made in November 2017 after the first assessment visit.

Re-evaluation of the graduate programme

In 2017 the committee awarded the study programme with a ‘satisfactory’ with regard to the quality of the study programme in the final report, but awarded an ‘unsatisfactory’ for the quality of the graduating research (standard 4). There was too little variety in the research models that were used, and the committee was looking for more depth in the research methods that were used by the students.

The study programme had already taken steps in order to re-evaluate the graduating programme step-by-step, and directly implemented an improvement plan including measures to ensure that every fourth-year thesis would meet all requirements of the NVAO assessment framework.

One year recovery period instead of two years

After the implementation of the improvement plan, the study programme had the necessary confidence in the quality measures to opt for an recovery period of one year instead of two. The ambition of the study programme was to have a positive re-assessment before the study programme would become part of the new International Business (IB) profile. According to national agreements, the accreditation of this new profile will take place this year.

The improvement steps that have been taken particularly affect the graduating (fourth-year) phase, which has more emphasis on innovation, (self) reflection and research skills. Member of the Executive Board, Zakia Guernina, is satisfied about the developments that the study programme has gone through this past year: “It is noticeable that the study programme has worked with full effort and has made much progress within one year. It’s worth a compliment! By increasingly putting the student centre-stage, the team has realised a quality impulse for the study programme. It not only affects the graduating level, but also the quality of the entire study programme.

Act more as a team

The assessment committee has noticed this as well. The committee has included in her report that the changes are quite noticeable within the study programme. Not only in the graduating phase, but also in the working culture at the study programme. It is clear that the employees act more as a team and focus on offering students high-quality educational programming. This energetic approach of the team has not only resulted in actual improvement with regard to the graduating level, but has also resulted in structural changes, as is also stated in the report: “Just over a year after the previous assessment, the panel encountered a programme that is in the process of wide-ranging change. Issues that troubled the programme in the past have been, or are being, dealt with in an energetic manner. This does not only mean that concrete measures have been taken to safeguard the end level of current students, but also that more structural changes are being made to prevent a recurrence of quality loss in the future.”

Based on the advice of NQA, the NVAO will make a final decision about the accreditation of the study programme International Business and Languages. The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences is looking forward to that decision with interest and confidence.