Update Programme Standards
Follow-up steps are currently being taken in the Programme Standards project. The Programme Boards have been asked to prepare an action plan for each programme based on the feedback on the programme reports. The aim is to devise a more effective structure for the curriculum, in order to reduce the pressure of work in teaching whilst at the same time maintaining the current quality level.
What do we want to achieve with the Programme Standards project?
The aim of the Programme Standards project is to distribute the teaching effort in a transparent way and to reduce the pressure of work. The intention is to organise the teaching programmes so that the range of programmes offered is more streamlined and is structured more efficiently. This will allow us to deploy our (finite) resources with maximum efficiency and will also free up more time for research.
A brief analysis
In June, the programme boards submitted a programme report that compared the programme with the model curriculum. The model curriculum serves as a reference framework and a guideline. It is neither a standard nor a norm, but a starting point for a discussion about small or large subjects, many or few elective courses, and larger or smaller tracks.
The analysis of the programme reports by the Education Advice and Quality Assurance (O&K) team shows that for the majority of the programmes the number of programme elements is more or less in line with the model curriculum. Thedifferences are mainly in the number of specialisations, the number of compulsory subjects and the elective courses. In addition, many bachelor’s programmes (and some master’s programmes) have a large number of 5 EC subjects. The scope of study components is important. Some universities offer subjects with 7.5 EC as a norm. A system of 5 EC and 10 EC subjects has the didactic advantage that students have a lot of contact hours at the start of their studies, while students in senior years are taught in (some) 10 EC subjects to work more independently.
The programme boards have been asked to produce an action plan for each programme before 1 November 2020 based on the feedback from O&K. In this plan they will set out proposals for how they can structure the curriculum more effectively, while safeguarding the quality of the teaching. They can, for example, look at the subjects that have only a small number of participating students. A smarter way to organise these subjects could be to teach the subjects to students from different specialisations simultaneously or by offering a particular subject once every two years. It is also possible to include more 10 EC subjects than 5 EC subjects in the curriculum; the smaller the study component, the more contact hours, homework and exams, in relative terms. This results in more work than with a limited number of larger components.
In preparing their action plans, the programme chairs have been asked to seek solutions, possibly in consultation with the Programme Director(s) involved. For programmes that diverge strongly from the model curriculum, discussions have been held at management level to explore possible new schools of thought. Finally, if required, the O&K team is available for support with drawing up the action plans.