Accreditation and quality assurance
The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) monitors the quality of higher education programmes taught in the Flemish-language region. Recognised higher education institutions are accountable for the quality of their degree programmes.
Accreditation of recognised institutions
All institutions that have been recognised as universities or universities of applied sciences (hogescholen) bear responsibility for the quality of the degree programmes they offer. Recognised universities and universities of applied sciences are required to undergo assessment by NVAO once every 6 years. This is the so-called institutional review.
Accreditation of degree programmes offered by non-recognised institutions
All other non-recognised institutions must follow NVAO's procedure for programme accreditation.
New degree programmes
If a formally recognised university or university of applied sciences wishes to offer a new degree programme, it must follow the following NVAO procedure: initial accreditation. If a non-recognised institution wishes to offer a new degree programme, it must undergo extensive initial accreditation.
Higher education register
Once a degree programme has been accredited, it is included in the Higher education register for a period of 8 years. This means that the registered degree is recognised by the national government, in this case the Flemish Community.
If the verdict of the assessment is negative, the degree programme loses its accreditation and is removed from the register. As a consequence, the institution may no longer offer the degree programme. However, an institution may apply for a temporary accreditation for a recovery period of between 1 and 3 years.
Information about accreditation and quality assurance
More information about accreditation and quality assurance can be found at:
- the NVAO website, including an explanation of the Flemish quality assurance system, the procedures and via decisions and reports you can search for all accredited programmes and institutions;
- the website of the Higher education register;
- the Flemish government’s website: Kwaliteitszorg in het hoger onderwijs.