VLUHR QA in the spotlights.

Quality assurance of micro-credentials

What should you look out for in both the internal and external quality assurance of micro-credentials? Are there good practices in other countries and regions? Should the ESG be adapted in relation to micro-credentials?

An ENQA working group with VLUHR QA and other European quality assurance agencies tried to answer these questions in this publication:

ENQA previously organised a webinar with the findings of this working group. You can re-watch the recording of this here.

[5 February 2024]

ENQA Agency Review

In spring, VLUHR QA will be evaluated by an external panel of international experts. This peer review serves to renew our membership of ENQA and registration with EQAR.

In preparation for this 'targeted review', VLUHR QA wrote a self-assessment report on the basis of which we will engage with the panel members on the following four topics:

  1. the application of the ESG,
  2. thematic analyses,
  3. how we structure and shape reports,
  4. our new follow-up procedure.

On the website of ENQA you can find more information on the panel members and the submitted documents.

[11 January 2024]

Targeted review

Thematic Analysis 'Programme Reviews in Flanders (2020-2023)'

VLUHR QA has been using a new methodology for programme reviews since 2020. We made an analysis of the reviews conducted by VLUHR QA within the current quality assurance system, based on seven review reports published between May 2021 and May 2023.

Through the analysis, we sought to answer two broad research questions:

  1. How is the VLUHR QA Manual for Programme Review (2020) put into practice? What evidence do the review reports provide on the review principles underpinning the holistic final assessment?
  2. Are there any common elements discernible in the review reports? Are there certain good practices and/or areas of improvement that link the different programmes and institutions?

Based on this analysis, VLUHR QA aims not only to strengthen its internal quality assurance, but also to gain knowledge and deeper insight into the Flemish educational landscape within which it conducts its activities.

This report has been published in Dutch and in English (see link below).

[22 November 2023]

Thematic Analysis Programme Reviews in Flanders 2020 2023 Voorblad

A slice of history

Flanders has been familiar with the concept of peer review for assessing its higher education for more than 30 years. VLUHR QA wrote an article that takes you through the evolution of quality assurance in the Flemish higher education landscape and the system of programme reviews.

[3 November 2023]

Thematical Analysis 'Review Reports Bachelor of Nursing'

The review reports of the Bachelor of Nursing programmes contain a lot of information relevant to all nursing programmes in Flanders. VLUHR QA conducted a content analysis on the twelve reports and structured the findings into seven themes:

  1. A broad profile of graduates
  2. Perception of the nursing profession
  3. A strong focus on practice
  4. Attention to diversity
  5. Research
  6. Workload and studyability
  7. Presence of quality culture

This thematic analysis was presented for the first time at a workshop in Brussels (7 March 2023). The workshop focused on reflection and debate on the current and future education within the bachelor's programmes in nursing. A number of panellists who participated in programme reviews also shared their expertise and some reflections with programme managers.

VLUHR QA's analysis, supplemented by feedback from the workshop, led to this publication in Dutch.
Below you can find a link to an English summary of the thematic analysis report.

[29 June 2023]

Thematische analyse Verpleegkunde

New composition of VLUHR Quality Assurance Board

At the beginning of March, we said goodbye to Petter Aaslestad after 10 years as member and chairperson of the Quality Assurance Board. We thank Petter for all his efforts during this period. He will be replaced by Ton Kallenberg, rector of the Jac. P. Thijsse College in Castricum (the Netherlands). Mia Sas, the former general director of Odisee, will take over the role of chairperson. The renewed composition of the Quality Assurance Board can be found here.

[5 May 2023]

Foto BC

Staff Mobility project

VLUHR QA hosted the visit of the Balearic Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (AQUIB) and the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA) through the IMINQA staff mobility project.

👉 On the first day, we shared our experiences together with the colleagues from AEQES.
👉 On the second day, VLUHR International gave insight into its activities and the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) shared good practices on responsible internationalisation.
We addressed the topics 'discipline-specific learning outcomes', 'European Approach for external QA of joint programmes' and cross-border QA.
👉ENQA joined us to discuss and answer our questions and reflections on the ESG.

[20 February 2023]

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Positive experiences of stakeholders Bachelor of Nursing

During the 2021-2022 academic year, VLUHR QA organised the programme reviews of all Bachelor of Nursing programmes in Flanders. In spring 2022, twelve assessment reports were published (one per institution).

Following the publication of the reports, all panel members and contact persons from the institutions and programmes were surveyed on their experiences with the review process. We are pleased with the positive responses and take the suggestions formulated to heart.

The communication, support and efficiency from VLUHR QA are perceived as significant strengths by panellists. Some points of attention that emerge, rather incidentally, are a faster delivery of the report and more time for panel members to respond to the draft report.

The colleges perceive the panel's attitude and the appreciative approach used as positive. They also see added value in the fact that the reviews are carried out per programme and no longer in cluster as before. Furthermore, they are satisfied with the cooperation with VLUHR QA, the communication, the clear arrangements and the follow-up thereof. A few institutions indicate that the co-creative conversation between the panel and programme management may be even more co-creative.

[7 October 2022]

English reports in 2022

Listen, Talk and Team-Up

VLUHR QA participated in a project led by ESU and ENQA collecting good practices for panellists in external assessments. The publication discusses why effective communication is relevant, taking into account the different roles and expectations of stakeholders. Furthermore, it provides practical tips for building an inclusive and appreciative environment in online assessments. The publication offers applicable and useful reflections for panellists, regardless of their experience and background.

[16 May 2022]

Listen Talk and Team Up Considerations for panel members in external quality assurance

High quality Flemish higher education

VLUHR QA carried out 64 programme reviews on the basis of the 2015 - 2020 framework. Almost all programmes received a 'positive' assessment. The programmes that received a 'sufficient with limited validity' had to adjust their evaluation policy.

More information can be found here.

[23 November 2020]

Programmes and panels contribute to quality of VLUHR QA

VLUHR QA learned from questioning its stakeholders who were involved in the programme assessments in the period 2018-2020 that:

  • panels require a better streamlining of information;
  • programmes want to work with new forms to set up a dialogue with the panels during site visits;
  • all stakeholders want to reduce the administrative burden.

We immediately started working with these recommendations. Read here (Dutch only) how VLUHR QA offers an answer to the issues raised by its stakeholders.

[7 September 2020]

Eight reports in the first half of 2020

In the first half of 2020, VLUHR QA published eight review reports within the framework of the Flemish decree from 2015.

A new quality assurance system was introduced in Flanders in 2019. For this purpose we developed a new manual that meets the criteria for accreditation by NVAO. This manual has been set up for programme reviews of institutions without an institutional review, but can also be used by other education and training providers.

[15 June 2020]

Quality assurance of e-learning

Flemish universities and universities of applied sciences and arts have switched to various forms of e-learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in distance learning, the European Standards and Guidlines (ESG) for quality assurance are the minimum standard. Several European projects have looked into the specialisation of the ESG for e-learning:

  • The Tesla-project focuses on e-assessment evaluation. This project formulated standards for the evaluation of e-assessment.
  • ENQA produced a paper with some considerations per ESG in function of e-learning.

If you have any questions regarding quality assurance in e-learning, please contact us.

[20 April 2020]

D4 7 Framework screen Te SLA 2606

EQAR-registration renewal for 5 years

After a positive evaluation by an international and authoritative panel, the registration of VLUHR QA with the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education was renewed for five years. On the ENQA website you can read the panel's findings, judgements and recommendations. In this way, we remain a reliable and independent quality assurance agency that is authorised to carry out programme reviews in the European Higher Education Area in accordance with the European Standard and Guidelines.

[16 March 2020]