Period of one year that starts at earliest on 1 September and at latest on 1 October. This period ends on the day the next academic year starts again. The exact date is decided upon by the higher education institution.
Accreditation is a formal decision to recognise a programme by an independent organisation or agency which has verified whether this programme meets the predefined quality standards.
A framework set up by the NVAO in order to accredit the higher education programmes. The framework contains the quality standards and regulations about the way quality should be assessed.
An Association is in Flanders an official entity regulating the cooperation of a university and one or more university colleges. These associations are responsible for the general research policy of the institutions of the association. They also have responsibilities regarding education at master's level at the university colleges. The partners in an association may transfer their powers regarding education, scientific research and social services to their Association.
An accreditation agency/organisation is an independent organisation that takes formal decisions indicating that programmes and/or institutions meet the organisation's predefined quality standards.
Access (to higher education)
The right of qualified candidates to apply and to be considered for admission to higher education. (See also Admission, red.) (Council of Europe, Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, 1997, p. 3)
A bridging programme prepares students coming from more professional/vocational bachelor's programmes for the academic level of the master's programme. It aims at offering general scientific competencies and specific scientific knowledge. A bridging programme consists of at least 45 credits and at most 90 credits. Based on the results of a test of competencies administered by the institution, a bridging programme can be reduced to 30 credits. If a student has additional qualifications the bridging programme can be further reduced.
A bachelor's degree is the first-level higher education award. It refers to the first cycle in the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area. The degree usually requires a minumum of 180 ECTS or three or four years' study.
Bachelor-master's system refers to the two-cycle system of higher education that is being introduced across the European Higher Education Area as part of the Bologna Process.
The Bologna Process is an ongoing intergovernmental process to create the European Higher Education Area by integrating and harmonising the different higher education systems within Europe.
A credit is a quantified means of expressing the volume of learning based on the achievement of learning outcomes and their associated workloads. (Bologna Follow-Up Group, Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, 2005, p. 29). Credits in Flanders and the Netherlands are based on the ECTS-principles. 60 credits constitute one full year full-time programme. One credit equals at least 25 hours and at most 30 hours of education, study and evaluation activities.
Cycle refers to the three sequential levels identified by the Bologna Process (first cycle, second cycle and third cycle) within which all European higher education qualifications are located. (Bologna Follow-Up Group, Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, 2005, p. 29)
Degree is the core higher education award, which may be offered at various levels in higher education. Example: bachelor's degree.
A diploma mill is an organisation or institution that issues certified qualifications for an appropriate payment, with little or no requirements for the individual to demonstrate full competence at the relevant degree level in the discipline area.
A detailed transcript of student attainment. The Diploma Supplement is a attached as a supplement to the formal diploma.
The doctoral degree is the third-level higher education award. It refers to the third cycle in the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area. The degree usually requires a minumum three or four years' of research.
European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area is the title of the so-called Bologna Declaration signed in 1999 by 31 ministers (or their representatives) from 29 countries. Currently, the European Higher Education Area covers 46 countries. The Bologna Declaration contains an action plan aimed at creating a European Higher Education Area as a means to improve the international competitiveness and attractiveness of European higher education in the world and to ensure mobility and employability of students and graduates.
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is the generalised basis for all the national credit systems in the European Higher Education Area. ECTS is a learner-centred system for credit accumulation and transfer based on the transparency of learning outcomes and learning processes. It aims to facilitate planning, delivery, evaluation, recognition and validation of qualifications and units of learning as well as student mobility. ECTS is widely used in formal higher education and can be applied to other lifelong learning activities.
Field of study
A category that brings together content related higher education programmes. Here we refer to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) fields of study.
Hogeschool (University of Applied Science)
A Dutch term for a higher education institution focusing on more professionally-oriented higher education.
Level refers to the formally designated location of a programme in the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area. (e.g. first cycle or Bachelor's level.) They represent a series of sequential steps (a developmental continuum), expressed in terms of a range of generic outcomes, against which typical qualifications can be positioned. (Bologna Follow-Up Group, Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, 2005, p. 30)
Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of a period of learning. (Bologna Follow-Up Group, Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, 2005, p. 29)
A master's degree programme can only be completed by presenting a master's thesis. A student can thus proof its analytical and synthetic competencies or its independent problem-solving competency on an academic level. The master's thesis should reflect the critical-reflective or research attitude of the student.
A Master's degree is the second-level higher education award. It refers to the second cycle in the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area. The degree usually requires a minumum of 90 ECTS, of which at least 60 ECTS at Master's level.
Postgraduate training institutions
These institutions are statutory registered institutions. They are financed by the public authorities to offer advanced master's programmes, to do research in a specific field of studies and to provide scientific services.
A preparatory programme prepares students coming from a different field of studies for education and research in the field of study of the master's programme.
Higher education is offered by means of programmes. The successful completion of a programme results in a degree.
Any degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority (e.g. a higher education institution, red.) attesting that particular learning outcomes have been achieved, normally following the successful completion of a recognised higher education programme of study. (Bologna Follow-Up Group, Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, 2005, p. 30)
Qualifications framework of the European Higher Education Area
The systematic classification of higher education qualifications in the European Higher Education Area based on level descriptors. These level descriptors are learning outcomes that refer to the following cycles: short cycle, first cycle (cf. Bachelor's level), second cycle (cf. Master's level) and third cycle (cf. Doctoral level). The goal is to improve readability of qualifications and progression between levels. The EHEA QF makes it possible to relate national qualifications to European level descriptors.
A process of establishing (stakeholder) confidence that educational provision (input, process and outcomes) fulfils expectations or measures up to predefined minimum requirements.
The language which is used to teach in the programme. Students are expected to be proficient in the teaching language.
Tuition fees are the financial contribution made by students to their higher education in order to benefit from the educational provision.