Supporting programme audits by Howest

At Howest, the experts of VLUHR QA are the go-between for the institution, the programme and the panel.

Summary

A consistent and transparent approach to Howest's programme audits is our goal, with an independent panel prepared by us for its role as a critical friend of the programme.

Project leader

Stefanie Van der Jeugt

Blending traditional and innovative conversation formats

The members of our external panels, who carry out the programme audits at Howest, are trained by experts of VLUHR QA. During these trainings, we emphasize an appreciative approach as a critical factor for success during the audits. We lend our expertise to the panel, through using a blend of traditional and innovative conversation formats, allowing our panel members to dig deep during the conversations with the programme and tackle a wide array of topics.

The group discussions follow a traditional question and answer format, in which the programme managers, lecturers, students, alumni and employer representatives have the opportunity to provide additional information about the programme. The innovative speed date format allows the panel members to go in depth on a number of topics. In these short one-on-one conversations, we lower the barriers and have the conversation partners of the panel tell their stories. The co-creative final discussion format brings the members of the panel and the programme managers together, to talk about the way forward for the programme.

We chose VLUHR QA because of their flexible approach and their attempt to connect with the expectations and the DNA of Howest as much as possible.

Sanne Tanghe, Staffmember Quality Assurance Howest

The key to success in this partnership is the way our experts approach the organisation of the audits at Howest. The responsibility of organising these audits lies with the experts, which ensures that every audit is carried out in a consistent and transparent manner. This approach is further reinforced by our choice for a rotating system with two permanent chairpersons, who both have strong educational backgrounds. The combination of these two aspects ensure that we can organise a fair evaluation of each programme. Finally, clear lines of communication with our partners at Howest ensure that we can adjust and optimise our approach whenever necessary.

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