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Trust in quality assurance systems base for automatic recognition of degrees Benelux-Baltic states

The Benelux Union has concluded an agreement with the Baltic States on the automatic recognition of higher education degrees. This agreement already existed within the Benelux since 2015 for bachelor and master degrees and later also for associate degrees and PhD's. The Benelux countries and the Baltic States together now form the only region in the European Higher Education Area in which degrees are automatically recognised. The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders applauds this evolution.

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Sander van den Eijnden has been appointed as Chair of NVAO

The Committee of Ministers (Dutch and Flemish ministers competent for higher education) has appointed Sander P. van den Eijnden as Chair of the Board of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) in The Hague with effect from 1 September 2021, on the recommendation of Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science. He succeeds Anne Flierman, who will step down on 1 May due to reaching the maximum term of office at NVAO.

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NVAO's radical change in Flanders: assessment based on an institution's individuality

At the end of 2019, NVAO launched a new quality assurance system in Flanders. Colleges of higher education and universities themselves have to guarantee the quality of their accredited programmes. New programmes and existing programmes that have yet to receive their first accreditation will still be critically assessed by NVAO, albeit under its own direction. The graduate programme in shop management of VIVES University College is now the first to receive such a new-style report. The rigid assessment frameworks, detailed checklists and interview style have been replaced by NVAO's Appreciative Approach, open frameworks and ditto exchanges of views. At VIVES, NVAO sounded out the impact of this radically different approach to quality assurance.

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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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