Under the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, a single quality assessment will suffice for programmes to obtain accreditation in all the countries of the European Higher Education Area in which programme accreditation is mandatory.
In many cases, Dutch and Flemish programmes that are being taught in collaboration with one or more institutions in other countries are faced with different national accreditation requirements. This hampers the development of joint programmes, whereas such programmes are desirable in the purview of internationalisation. For this reason, NVAO has been working on solutions to this end for more than ten years now, together with its European partners.
For example, NVAO has coordinated the ECA project JOQAR, which has contributed greatly to a European solution. This solution consists of the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, which was adopted by the Ministers of the European Higher Education Area in May 2015.
This European approach comprises a single framework with standards and procedures for the assessment of international joint programmes. Such joint programmes, which are taught by institutions in several countries, may carry either a single joint degree or several national degrees.
This framework enables all the quality assurance agencies included on the European Register to assess joint programmes. The Ministers have agreed that the outcomes of assessments conducted on the basis of the European framework will be recognised in all the countries of the European Higher Education Area. NVAO will preferably assess joint programmes on the basis of the European framework.