Utrecht University is continually working on quality improvement, teaching innovations and professionalisation to maintain and further enhance its already high teaching quality.
The programmes and courses Utrecht University offers are continuously evaluated. New programmes are assessed by the University Board and existing programmes are evaluated by external review panels, composed of national and international experts and students, every five years. Also, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organisatie, NVAO) accredits all undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.
Ruim Baan - talent development programme
The projects with which Utrecht University participated in the 'Ruim Baan voor Talent' development programme obtained positive assessments and demonstrate the success of small-scale and intensive teaching. The government-initiated programme comprises of experiments aimed at differentiation in higher education, for instance by tuition fee differentiation, Honours programmes and selection for admission.
All programmes periodically evaluate their own courses. Teachers as well as students discuss the evaluation outcomes, resulting in actual improvements. The Utrecht Student Survey annually requests feedback from alternately first-year, second-year, third-year and graduate students on the programmes, facilities and study conditions. A special feature of the Student Survey is that it follows an entire academic year group.
Education Review Report Association
The Education Review Report Association (Stichting Onderwijs Evaluatie Rapport, OER) is a student organisation carrying out quality reviews of Utrecht University teaching. By conducting surveys among students, OER inspects two teaching aspects every year. In 2010, OER will review the internationalization an the graduate programmes of Utrecht University.
All programmes have their own education committee and board of examiners. Education committees monitor the teaching quality, address possible bottlenecks and advise on the development and implementation of teaching policies. They are made up of students and teachers.
Boards of examiners, consisting of academic teaching staff, monitor the quality of exams and other tests, issue guidelines for marking tests and assess applications for optional subjects and exemptions.
Besides education committees and boards of examiners, there is also a coordinating education advisory committee, which advises the University Board on teaching and quality issues. The education advisory committee consists of leading professors, who have won their proved themselves in education, and two students.
Utrecht University offers its teachers a number of opportunities to further their careers. For academic education of a high standard starts with expert teachers who have been trained as a researcher as well as a teacher. Utrecht University was the first to oblige its teachers to obtain a basic teaching qualification. By now, all Dutch universities have followed its example. Lecturers interested in becoming a senior lecturer or senior lecturer/researcher will have to obtain the senior teaching qualification.
The Education Parade (Onderwijsparade) is an annual platform for exchanging experiences, sharing knowledge and discussing teaching quality and developments. Both students and teachers take part in the Education Parade. For more information, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org