International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management

Quality assurance

People who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow, that is what we aim for. That is why education at our university is firmly anchored in six major objectives.

  1. Think broadly. Thinking as broadly as possible and offering the opportunity to question oneself. Not only Dare to Think, but also dare to change the way of thinking.
  2. Keep researching. Research is the foundation of our education. Ghent University keeps linking its way of educating to the dynamics of science.
  3. Support Talent. Everyone starts with equal opportunities. Every students gets the opportunity to develop their talents, regardless of gender, cultural or social background.
  4. Build with us. Students, staff, the government and the corporate world all get the chance to contribute to the contents and form of our high quality education. Ghent University is known for its particularly active students in student participation, of which we are very proud.
  5. Push boundaries. We want to prepare our students internationally and interculturally. We give them the opportunity to gain experience across borders. We also open our doors for students from all over the world and welcome teachers and academic staff from abroad.
  6. Choose quality. Constant quality assurance and improvement is an integral part of our culture and we communicate about it openly. We are proud of the level of our university.

Ghent University sees the quality of education as an internal self-evaluation process, in which faculties and programs compare the goals they have set themselves to the achieved results and adjust the policy accordingly. The portfolios constitute an important link in this process. The achieved results are based on quantitative and qualitative information from relevant stakeholders (students, teachers, professional field, international experts, alumni, etc.).The ‘peer learning visits’, the yearly quality meeting and the Education Quality Office (‘OKB’) make sure the PDCA cycle is closed at various policy levels and help to keep the improvement policy sharp.

A detailed description of how Ghent University is constantly paying attention to quality assurance and quality culture can be found in the Ghent University Conduct of Educational Quality Assurance (ERGO).

 

Quality of this study programme

This quality assurance system provides information on the assets, the strengths and the points for improvement for every study programme. A summary for this study programme can be found below:

 

Assets of the study programme

  1. Multiperspectivism: we train our students to be critical T-shaped professionals who have a broad vision of the value chain and of the circular economy on the one hand; and who are sufficiently specialised in one or various specific aspects on the other hand, such as (geo)resource exploration, sustainable chemical process technology, and recycling technology. We learn our students the skills necessary to work in a creative, innovative, and problem solving way in multidisciplinary teams.
  2. Talent development: our students have a certain freedom of choice to compose their study programme according to their own interests. Entrepreneurship and creativity are much encouraged and students are coached in the valorisation of their dissertation research findings.
  3. Global and future-oriented: the programme focusses on the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to global problems and for future generations.
  4. Close interaction with the non-academic sector: thanks to the compulsory business internship and the active involvement of the non-academic sector – also from outside Flanders – in the dissertation supervision, the students receive ample opportunities to gain relevant hands-on experience.
  5. Access to expertise and infrastructure: thanks to the international cooperation within the SINReM and the EIT Raw Materials consortium, and the network activities within these consortia the students are granted access to specific expertise and infrastructure (e.g. experimental mine in Freiberg).

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Preparation: in order to start off the first academic year well prepared, the students have the opportunity to participate in a preparatory course (brush-up on chemistry, mathematics, economics, statistics, ICT and laboratory skills) organised by the International Training Centre.
  2. Motivated and mixed team of teachers: the programme is supported by committed teachers from different disciplines from different geographical and educational backgrounds. Our teachers combine their research expertise with a passion for education and an enthusiasm to keep dedicating themselves to the quality of their classes.
  3. Possibility of creativity and entrepreneurship: students gain entrepreneur and creative problem solving skills in many course units, and they have the possibility to reflect critically and seize the initiative.
  4. Possibility of practical experience: the compulsory business internship, the active involvement of the non-academic sector (companies, non-academic research and government institutions) – also outside Flanders – in the dissertation supervision, and the active participation of the non-academic sector in the guidance and management of the programme guarantee a good coordination between the graduates’ profile and the external stakeholders’ wishes.
  5. EIT quality label: on top of the internal quality assurance system, as described in the consortium agreement, the programme has been granted an EIT quality label by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). In order to maintain this label, the programme has to meet several requirements on the following points: involvement of the non-academic sector and the integration of entrepreneur skills, innovation and creativity in the programme, which are frequently evaluated by an external committee of experts that is appointed by the EIT. The management committee and the study Programme Committee gather at least 3 times a year physically in Uppsala, Freiberg, or Ghent to discuss, amongst others, aspects related to quality assurance.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Further development and implementation of innovative educational techniques: SINReM intends to make use of a whole range of innovative and activating educational techniques (blended learning, flipped classrooms, network seminars with video conferences, discussions in small groups, virtual laboratories, gamification). However, part of the course materials still need further development and implementation.
  2. Further streamlining of the programme and coordination of the course units: as a fairly new international programme, whose first-year students live in Ghent, Freiberg, and Uppsala, we need to attend to a better coordination and integration of various course units of the various partner institutions, further streamlining of the programme and coordination of the course units on the initial competences. This will be based on the feedback of the first SINReM students who are currently enrolled in the programme.
  3. Development of the master’s dissertation process: even though the dissertations are produced and defended in the different partner institutions concerned under the supervision of professors of these partner institutions, SINReM strives for a master’s dissertation evaluation according to collective, consortium wide norms and procedures. Nevertheless, these still need further elaboration and implementation before the first students defend their dissertations.