NVAO positive about Quality Agreements and quality assurance of the AHK

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The AHK has received wonderful assessments from the NVAO (Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders) for its plans for the Quality Agreements and for the Institutional Audit. The NVAO issues a positive advice to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science about the plans of the AHK for the quality agreements. If the minister adopts this advice, the money for those plans is guaranteed by the ministry, provided that the AHK continues to properly evaluate and adjust the projects in consultation with the University Council and representative councils. The NVAO has taken a positive decision on the Insitutional Audit, which the AHK went through in the autumn. This means that the AHK is "in control" and that the individual programmes can go through a more concise accreditation process.

The opinion of NVAO is based on the advice of an external and independent panel of experts. The AHK is proud of the results of both processes, in which the participation councils and other students and employees have been involved. Those contributions, both in developping the plans and in discussions with NVAO, are very important and valuable.

Quality agreements
The Quality Agreements are about the resources that have been released to invest in education after the student basic grant has been abolished. With regard to the plans for the Quality Agreements, the NVAO judges that clear choices have been made that are in line with the AHK's Strategic Plan. The plans also do justice to the context of the six academies and the specific needs of students and teachers within the academies. There is also a lot of appreciation for the university-wide projects. The minister will shortly take a decision based on the advice of the NVAO.

Institutional Audit
In the Institutional Audit (ITK), the NVAO investigates to what extent the quality assurance system of the institution contributes to guaranteeing the quality of education and to what extent there is a "sustainable quality culture" within the institution. In its advisory report (in Dutch), the panel concludes that the AHK has a strong and experienced quality culture and systematically works to improve the quality of education. The ambition to belong to the top of the field means that employees feel responsible for the quality of education and are intensively involved in improvements and the search for innovations. According to the NVAO, the AHK has an adequate system for structurally monitoring the quality of education. The combination of the various formal evaluations and informal conversations creates a multi-faceted picture about the quality of education.

Conversations with students and staff have shown that they highly value crossovers between academies and are ready to tackle (more) themes or projects together. In addition, the critical input can be strengthened by organizing the internal dialogue with students, staff and the professional field more systematically, according to the NVAO. Finally, the NVAO recommends improving the facilitation of participation in decision making.

The University Council and the Executive Board are in discussion to further strengthen the role of participation in decision making. Part of this is that in the coming years the implementation, evaluation and adjustment of the projects concerning the quality agreements will be discussed with the participation councils.