All the institutions in Flanders that are recognised as a university college or university are periodically subjected to an institutional review. The institutional review assesses whether a higher education institution pursues its educational policy in a qualitative manner, including the conduct for confirming the quality of its programmes. A positive outcome, conditional or otherwise, will result in the extension of the accreditation periods of the accredited programmes provided by the institution. Following a negative institutional review, NVAO will once more assume responsibility for assuring the quality of each programme.
For each institution, NVAO sets down the deadline for submission of the application dossier, based on the Institutional Review Calendar for 2019-2025, which is established in consultation with the Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges (VLUHR).
The institutional review is mandatory for all the institutions in Flanders that are recognised as a university college or university and is conducted every six years according to a fixed calendar. The institutional review verifies the quality of the educational policy pursued by a higher education institution, including the control it exerts over the assurance of the quality of its programmes. Such control covers the aggregate actions, processes, practices, procedures, and instruments that enable the institution to assure the quality of its programmes.
The assessment is conducted by a review panel of independent experts. The panel checks how the educational policy in place ties in with the educational philosophy of the institution and the societal challenges it is facing within its own context. It examines how the institution ensures the effectiveness of its educational policy; in other words, how the institution pursues attainment of the pre-defined goals. The panel also checks whether and how the institution is assuring the quality of individual programmes through the control it exerts.
In all the aspects of the institutional review, specific attention is focused on the quality culture in place within the institution. A quality culture is an organisational culture in which continuous quality assurance and quality improvement is pursued by all the stakeholders of their own accord.
Once the application has been found admissible, the institution will receive a request for full payment of the cost price of the institutional review.
The fee applicable to this procedure is fixed by the Education Minister of Flanders. It covers the costs entailed in the work performed by the panel members (remuneration, travel expenses, hotel accommodation, et cetera), which are paid by NVAO.
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The application is submitted via the digital application form; it comprises an application letter signed by the board of the institution and the Critical Reflection prepared by the institution.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.