Universiteit Leiden

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Programme standards

The Programme Standards project sets out guidelines on how to structure the education offered at the Faculty of Humanities. The project aims to distribute the teaching effort in a transparent way and to organise the programmes so that the best possible teaching can be provided in an efficient manner, making the best possible use of our (finite) resources. This will also free up time for research. The Faculty Board adopted the Programme Standards memorandum on 4 March 2020. Additions were made to the memorandum on 27 April 2020 and 26 May 2020 and it is currently being discussed with the Faculty Council. The memorandum provides more detailed outlines of the three coherent models for how to structure the education at our faculty.

The project distinguishes three models, which together make up a coherent framework:

1. Curriculum model: the reference framework for the structure of the study programmes.

2. Lecturer-education-time model: indicative calculation of hours per subject or teaching activity to make more transparent the time commitment required of teachers for their teaching activities, and also to make clearer the scope of the teaching activities in the different institutes.

3. Task assignment model in the field of education research and management and operations: model for distributing the available hours of the academic staff, where the interwovenness of teaching and research is clearly defined. The model establishes that academic staff on the one hand can also conduct research alongside their teaching, and on the other hand researchers (by which we mean recipients of research grants) can also teach alongside their research activities.

The Programme Standards project follows on from the policy themes previously implemented to improve the faculty organisation (the ‘It takes two to tango’ and matrix discussions). The FAQ section gives you more information about the background to this project.


In the spring of 2020, the Programme Standards proposal, including the recommendations of the sounding board group, was discussed in various faculty bodies.

This led to the launching of the analysis phase of the curriculum guideline for study programmes. The programme chairs used the curriculum guideline to compare study programmes, which resulted in programme reports being formulated and submitted by 15 June 2020.

The Education Advice and Quality Assurance (O&K) team analysed these reports and provided the programme boards with feedback in mid-August 2020.

Before 1 November 2020, the programme boards submitted a plan of action for each study programme that integrated this feedback and outlined how the curriculum could be organised more effectively while maintaining the current quality level. Study programmes were then given feedback on this plan of action by the O&K team on behalf of the vice-deans.

In June 2021, the Faculty Council approved the implementation of the Programme Standards project on the condition that it would include enough scope for evaluation. On 6 July 2021, the Faculty Board adopted the Programme Standards project, including the evaluation framework.

Small programme changes arising from the plan of action can be implemented in the 2021-2022 academic year. More substantial curriculum changes will be implemented starting from the 2022-2023 academic year.

We still need to formulate a project proposal for the implementation of DOT and TOOB, including a critical timeline. Our goal is to start on this in the 2022-2023 academic year.

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