Universities and university colleges may organise a Research Master’s programme carrying 120 credits. This involves an expansion of an existing 60-credit master’s programme within the same discipline. To set up such a programme, institutions must apply to the Flemish Government, that subsequently requests advice from NVAO.
Universities and university colleges may submit an application to the Flemish Government for the organisation of a Research Master’s programme carrying 120 credits. This involves an expansion of an existing 60-credit master’s programme within the same discipline. A Research Master’s programme is provided either in addition to the original 60-credit master’s programme, or in addition to an extensive master’s programme carrying 90 or 120 credits.
The Flemish Council of Universities and University Colleges (VLUHR) coordinates the application and forwards it to the Flemish Government. The Flemish Government submits the application to NVAO for advice. NVAO bases its advice on an assessment by a panel of independent experts. Once the assessment report by the panel has been endorsed, NVAO will set down its advice (either positive or negative) regarding whether the application submitted satisfies the justification criteria as set out in the operational framework for the organisation of Research Master’s programmes:
The institution must demonstrate what its aims are with respect to the Research Master’s programme, how it intends to realise such aims, and how it will monitor such realisation. It must also indicate how it will involve doctoral trajectories in the programme.
Once the application has been found admissible, the institution will receive a request for full payment of the cost price of the advice. 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), which are paid by NVAO.
The rate for advice regarding the organisation of a Research Master’s programme is EUR 2500.
The application must be submitted via the digital application form; it comprises an application letter signed by the board(s) of the institution(s), the Information Dossier, and the required documents. As Dutch is the administrative language, the application letter and some of the required documents (as indicated in the operational framework) must be drawn up in Dutch.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.