In September 2016, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) signed a collaborative agreement with the European Association for Public Administration Accrediation (EAPAA) in order to enable a joint accreditation process. By opting for this joint process, Dutch programmes in public administration can now more easily obtain international recognition besides the regular NVAO accreditation. Several Dutch institutions have already shown their interest in such a combined accreditation process.
Paul Zevenbergen, Member of NVAOs Executive Board: ‘We are pleased that this agreement has been established. The cooperation between NVAO and EAPAA means a large task reduction during the accreditation procedures for Dutch public administration programmes. By facilitating joint processes, we aim to increase the efficiency and reduce the administrative burden for institutions in the accreditation process. We hope to come to similar agreements with several organisations.’
Taco Brandsen, Secretary-General of EAPAA and Professor of Comparative Public Administration at Radboud University Nijmegen: ‘This is an excellent example of how national and international agencies can collaborate to improve the quality of higher education, while keeping the administrative costs as minimal as possible.’
International discipline-specific quality marks stimulate further internationalisation of higher education and quality assurance, and enable programmes to distinguish themselves from competitors. In 2015, NVAO signed similar agreements with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). The first experiences with a joint NVAO-AACSB process at the University of Amsterdam have been very positive.
NVAO is currently focusing on collaboration with the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) for development studies and the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) for tourism and hospitality programmes. In 2013 NVAO was recognized by the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFME) concerning equivalence of accreditation of medical education in the United States. Due to changing regulations in the United States, NVAO is in the process of acquiring recognition by the North Coast Family Medical Group (NCFMG). This will continue to allow Dutch and Flemish medical graduates tot have acces to the American medical profession and medical follow-up studies.
The collaborative agreements are important for the further internationalisation of higher education, in keeping with the agreements made by the Education Ministers in Yerevan (2015), within the framework of the European Bologna process.