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Howest receives a positive assessment after quality screening

Howest receives a positive assessment after quality screening

Today, the NVAO, the Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie, has published the results of the screening of the universities of applied sciences of Flanders. Sixteen universities of applied sciences received a positive assessment, two of which are subject to special conditions. Howest, the Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen, was assessed positively on all and every aspect. The commission especially praises the enthusiastic and personal approach of lecturers and supporting staff and the close relation to the world of practice.

From 7 to 9 November 2016, Howest received the visit of a NVAO commission which had to screen the quality of the university of applied sciences. The commission was chaired by professor Dr. Dirk De Ceulaer and during a period of 3 days had conversations with lecturers, supporting staff, students and people from the work field. During its visit, the commission based its assessment on several standards, in particular 1. Vision and policy 2. Policy implementation 3. Policy assessment and monitoring and 4. Improvement of policy.

The conclusions of the commission can largely be summarised as follows:

The commission found that the lecturers are given a large amount of autonomy and confidence from the college management, which in turn leads to a very driven team which dedicates itself on a daily basis in favour of qualitative higher education. The fact that Howest has short communication lines ensures that Howest is very versatile as an organisation and ensures that Howest can quickly respond to new social evolutions. 

We literally quote from the commission report:

“The commission noticed during both visits that Howest is a real community, with a widespread feeling of collective responsibility. There is a great willingness to get to work enthusiastically.”

It allows Howest to be performant it its policy implementation.

From the report:

“The commission has experienced a quality culture where the presence of formal processes and the availability of an instrumentarium, in support thereof, offer a solid basis to be able to give space to confidence, autonomy, approachable and easy contact and an informal culture in which innovation gets space.

Howest mainly finds that innovation in its contacts with the work field, about which the commission says the following:

“The institution has a strong, intensive and mutual relationship with the work field. For the commission, the conversations confirm the image that the work field is represented ‘in the smallest veins’ of the institution. Research gets a full-fledged place within the Howest study programmes. There is a clear policy for the creation of research groups and lines, with the primary intention to bring knowledge from this research into education. In addition, by means of a focused stakeholders policy, the study programmes keep a finger on the pulse to detect social developments, needs and expectations.”

The conclusions of the commission strengthen Howest to go further on the chosen path and to go for qualitative higher education every day again.