Corona: guidelines NVAO

NVAO is taking a number of measures to limit the further spread of the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) in the Netherlands and Flanders. If the situation changes, we will inform you.

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Confidence in quality

The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) has been established by the Dutch and Flemish governments as an independent accreditation body. NVAO operates on both a binational and international level. The NVAO conclusions underpin the recognition of higher education programmes and ensure that students receive worthy degrees.

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Recognise a new programme

New programmes are first subjected to initial accreditation at NVAO, a procedure to assess their potential quality. After a few years, a newly recognised programma can obtain a first accreditation.

Review existing programme

Each programme must periodically attain a programme accreditation. How this review is organised is based on the type of institution.

Review existing institution

All the institutions in Flanders that are recognised as a university college or university are periodically subjected to an institutional review. In the Netherlands, an institution can participate in an Institutional Accreditation.

Recognise a new institution

#non-recognised institutions
Higher education institutions need to be recognised by the Flemish and Dutch government before they can organise accredited programmes, issue recognised degrees and, if necessary, be eligible for funding.


The Quality Agreements are assessed by NVAO. They pertain to the study advance funds allocated to institutions for the improvement of the quality of education.

quality assurance systems

The Netherlands and Flanders each have their own quality assurance system, an integrated system for external quality assurance. A quality assurance system includes the various procedures and conditions for obtaining accreditation. All NVAO procedures are based on assessment frameworks.



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ENQA case example: what NVAO (Flanders) has learned from a pandemic crisis

As we emerge from this crisis, reflection is still needed. This case example that we wrote for ENQA describes our actions in Flanders to maintain quality assurance during challenging times: from online dialogues and hybrid site visits as an additional tool in our toolkit to accelerating the development of an online training platform.


Temporarily accelerated (online) assessment of new programmes

This summer, the NVAO Department of the Netherlands is temporarily conducting an online procedure for assessing new Dutch programs. These are those programs for which universities and universities of applied sciences need decision-making before 1 September 2020 to start. 


ONGREAD > A EUniQ partnership to kickstart a European QA framework for European Universities

NVAO has been paving the way for a European quality assurance framework for years now and is proud to coordinate the EUniQ project on behalf of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. It is up to the EUniQ consortium to think ahead and provide the European Universities with the right framework to live up to their European ambitions.



NVAO supports proposal of Minister Van Engelshoven (Education) to introduce Institutional Accreditation in Quality Assurance for

In a letter to outgoing Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science, NVAO expresses support for the Minister's proposal to further develop the accreditation system in higher education through the ownership of the universities and university colleges at strengthen the system. NVAO is in favor of introducing a system of institutional accreditation for all recognized institutions (public and private) in higher education


The Dutch quality assurance system is ready for the next phase. NVAO is also of the opinion that after the past five assessment cycles since 1990 and the introduction of the accreditation system in 2002, Dutch higher education institutions can be enabled to assess their own programs in accordance with European guidelines (European Standards and Guidelines). In its letter, NVAO makes a number of proposals for further elaboration.

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Vacancy: Chair NVAO

Our current Chair, Dr. AH Flierman, will leave on 1 May 2021 after his second term. We start the search for a new Chair with Vanderkruijs, partner in executive search.

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Mirjam Koster-Wentink and Maaike Krom have been appointed as Board Members of NVAO

The Committee of Ministers (Dutch and Flemish ministers responsible for higher education) has appointed Mrs M. Koster-Wentink MA and Ms M. Krom for a period of four years on the nomination of Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science with effect from 1 November 2020 as a Member of the Board of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). Mrs Koster-Wentink succeeds Mr J. Tuijtel, who stepped down at the end of 2019 for health reasons. Ms. Krom is the successor of Ms. JA Rip MSc who is stepping down as a student member of the Board.

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