2.4 Quality assurance in education and accreditation

The Vision for Quality Assurance—adopted in 2018 in preparation for the Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment (IQAA)—is based on the following principles: Continuous Improvement, Transparency, and Cooperative Learning. As was the case in 2020, these principles were even more important in 2021, as education continued in innovative ways while maintaining quality in relation to COVID-19. According to the student evaluations and student surveys, students consider the quality of education to be good, and there were no notable deviations from previous years, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The realization of the quality assurance cycle focuses on the level of the Schools. In the past year, COVID-19 had a major influence on both teaching and examinations. Within the various programs, the monitoring of quality was a key priority, regardless of the form in which teaching and examinations were offered. To this end, lecturers were provided with support to help them offer their teaching and examinations in alternative ways when necessitated by government measures, and the possibilities for using streaming and online examinations were expanded. Monitoring, control, and assurance are designed jointly through cooperation between Schools and the EB at the administrative level, between the various supporting service departments at the implementation level, and by the Examining Boards at the assurance level. This called for commitment and adaptability on all fronts. Unfortunately, however, this clearly did not always lead to the desired and appropriate support.

In 2021, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) issued a positive decision on the request to maintain the accreditation of the Research Master’s program in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Research Master’s program in Individual Differences and Assessment (TSB). In addition, an assessment panel reviewed the program in Liberal Arts and Sciences (TSHD) in connection with the special characteristic of small scale. A panel also reviewed the Joint Bachelor’s Degree program in Data Science and the Joint Master’s Degree program in Data Science and Entrepreneurship, which is offered jointly by Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology. In all three cases, the initial feedback provided by the panel was positive. The University is awaiting the final decisions of the NVAO.