Internal collaboration

Internal Education Policy Implementation and Co-operation: Basic Principles

Shared responsibility and horizontal co-operation are key ingredients for education policy implementation and internal cooperation at our university.

At Ghent University, we pursue a consistent cross-faculty education policy. In so doing, we prevent fragmentation at the various administrative levels. Our education policy, quality assurance included, therefore, is a responsibility those various administrative levels share. It maintains a healthy balance between faculty competence/governance, and university management, at once

  • allowing for a differentiated interpretation of institutional initiatives by our faculties;
  • generating in our faculties a clear commitment to university policy choices. These policy choices are fed by best practices in the field and are the result of mutual consultation.

In addition to top-down and bottom-up co-operation between institutional departments and faculties, we have horizontal processes in place that stimulate cross-faculty and cross-department co-operation and peer-learning. This horizontal co-operation and expertise-sharing strengthen the collective quality of education and ensure accelerated innovative strength.

Internal Education Policy Implementation and Co-operation: the Actors

The Board of Governors

This strategic decision-making body has a scope of authority which includes:

  • issuing strategic memos, policy documents and vision texts on education and internationalization;
  • ratifying the Education and Examination Code (in Dutch: Onderwijs- en Examenreglement - OER);
  • deciding on the education offer, i.e. which study programmes are (dis)continued;
  • determining the general education language policy;
  • outlining the internal quality assurance system.

The Executive Board

This operational decision-making body has a scope of authority which includes:

  • (permanently) appointing all members of the professorial staff on the recommendation of the faculty;
  • concluding or amending education agreements with foreign institutions;
  • approving university-wide elective course units and interfaculty honours programmes;
  • allocating and distributing education innovation resources;
  • submitting applications to modify the study load of study programmes;
  • submitting applications to change the language of instruction of study programmes.

The Education Council

This advisory body for education policy and quality assurance is an institutional think-tank and consultation forum for all aspects related to Ghent University’s education policy:

  • quality of education;
  • education practice;
  • education innovation;
  • education policy;
  • the university’s education strategy;

The Education Quality Board

This specialized executive body has been monitoring quality assurance at Ghent University since 2015. The Education Quality Office closes the quality cycle and combines complementary from within our own ranks, and from without:

  • in-house experts: members of the professorial staff, assistant academic staff, support staff, and students;
  • external experts.

The Education Department

The Education Department (in Dutch: DOWA) develops university-wide policy actions, processes, procedures, policy practice and tools. The Education Department is headed by the Director of Education (member of the professorial staff with the rank of senior full professor), assisted by two staff members. DOWA consists of a policy unit and four offices:

Other Departments

In addition to the Education Department, Ghent University has eight other departments, and a Director of Internationalization. All of them are to some extent involved in implementing our education policy, and in guaranteeing premium-quality education.

Consultation and Co-operation between the Education Department and the faculties

There is regular consultation and co-operation between the Education Department and the faculties on issues such as quality assurance, education innovation, student administration, internationalization, tutorial services and education communication.

Thematic task forces

Such task forces convene in the light of specific operational questions, for example: study track counselling, study progress, multiple choice exams.

The Education Quality Assurance Unit

Each faculty has an Education Quality Assurance Unit (in Dutch: CKO) that deals with:

  • quality assurance;
  • the faculty’s education policy, both policy-making and policy implementation.

The Faculty Council

  • at faculty level, the Faculty Council has advisory authority (e.g., curricular revisions) or decision-making authority (e.g., the appointment of lecturers) on education-related matters;
  • the Education Quality Assurance Unit, the Faculty Committee for Internationalization, and the separate Programme Committees all act as advisory bodies to the Faculty Council;
  • the Faculty Council is chaired by the Dean and consists of representatives from all staff sections, i.e. the professorial staff, assistant academic staff, support staff, and students.

The Faculty Education Support Services

  • this is the faculty’s contact point for all education-related matters. It supports faculty and study programme-specific councils and committees involved in education;
  • the faculty pursues an adequate policy and provides sufficient staff, enabling the Education Support Services to carry out their tasks. The four task clusters are:
    • student administration;
    • quality assurance;
    • tutorial services;
    • curriculum management;

Faculty Committee for Internationalization (FCI)

  • this faculty committee exists since 1995. It is chaired by a member of the professorial staff and supported in its day-to-day working by one or more FCI staff members;
  • each faculty has a contact person at the International Relations Office, who also monitors the FCI’s activities.

Programme Committee (PC)

Every study programme or group of related study programmes has a Programme Committee (PC). The PC:

  • advises the Faculty Council on, among other things, the range of course units on offer and the appointment of the lecturers as proposed by the departments;
  • manages the study programme’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

The PC’s two core responsibilities largely determine the quality of education at study programme level, and thus indirectly also at faculty and university level.