Under the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, a single quality assessment constitutes sufficient basis for obtaining accreditation in all the nations of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in which programme accreditation is mandatory.
The European Approach covers joint programmes, for which the following definition has been set down: Joint programmes are understood as an integrated curriculum coordinated and offered jointly by different higher education institutions from EHEA countries and leading to double/multiple degrees or a joint degree.
This means that joint programmes can lead to various degree conferrals: a double degree, multiple degrees, or a single joint degree. See also the international ECA website on joint degrees.
Under Dutch legislation, a joint degree may be attached to either a programme or a course of study (specialisation) within a programme. The conferral of a double degree upon completion of a joint programme provided by a research university and a university of applied sciences is, unfortunately, not possible. Under Article 7.3c paragraph 2 of the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (WHW), joint programmes that are exclusively taught by Dutch universities may only confer joint degrees. Double or multiple degrees may only be conferred by joint programmes provided in collaboration with a university abroad (Article 7.3c paragraph 3 of the WHW).
For 2024, the NVAO rate for the assessment of an existing joint degree – joint programme is EUR 1.000 per application; for a new joint degree – joint programme the rate is EUR 23.000. In the event of applications from two or more institutions, each institution will pay a share of the fee. In the event of joint degrees, the lead institution will bear the costs.
Different rates apply for non-standard procedures. The costs of visits abroad, work performed by external experts, advisory work, or work associated with additional requirements will be invoiced additionally. Residual rates apply if applications for a new programme are withdrawn.
In the Netherlands and Flanders, the board of an institution may appeal a (draft) NVAO decision.