Master of Arts in Global Studies

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. Uniquely interdisciplinary: This research-based master combines perspectives, methods and theories developed in history, the social sciences, cultural as well as area studies and economics to investigate phenomena of global connectedness, offering a uniquely interdisciplinary and multiperspectivist training to be able to address global societal challenges.
  2. Highly relevant: The program prepares students for working in an increasingly multi-polar world and conveys knowledge and skills for analyzing and overcoming the disruptions of conflict-ridden globalization processes – essential qualifications for enhancing one’s prospects in the contemporary labour market.
  3. Profoundly international: the mobility track allows students to study at two different European partner universities, next to an optional extra exchange with one of 9 world-wide partners, offering a profound international experience, integral to the multiperspectivist take on globalisation.
  4. Common approach and specialisation: the partner universities combine a shared understanding and (comparative, historicising) approach of globalisation, with local specialisation according to comparative advantages. Depending on their specific mobility track, students can specialise in particular areas of globalisation research at different European and world-wide partner universities.
  5. Global citizenship: the master Global Studies is designed to equip highly-qualified students with the ability to contribute to the forward-looking debate on globalization processes in a self-reflective and critical manner. As such it fosters global citizenship and intercultural understanding.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Erasmus Mundus success story: the Master Global Studies is one of the oldest Erasmus Mundus programs that has received continuous funding from the EU (since 2005) and the European Commission has identified it as a success story and good practice in terms of the highly relevant content, high teaching quality, excellent management, attractiveness to students worldwide and employability.
  2. Dedicated lecturers: the master Global Studies unites the expertise of leading global studies institutions with highly-qualified researchers and lecturers, who are dedicated to the program and its students. The lecturers, as well as student representatives, are actively involved in the quality assurance process.
  3. Connection between research and education: through (guest) lectures, seminars, workshops and the master thesis, students become acquainted with a wide array of ongoing research in Global Studies and learn how to conduct their own research in this field. In turn the program also feeds into the research agenda and strengthens the research capacity at the partner universities.
  4. Recruitment: as a result of a successful recruitment and promotion strategy, the program attracts a high number of highly qualified students, with diverse backgrounds, from all over the world, who are stimulated to contribute actively to the creation of a truly international and interdisciplinary learning environment.
  5. Employability: the high success rate of Global Studies graduates on the labour market shows the value of creating this new academic field that tackles the big issues of our time like globalisation and regions in crisis. With graduates in all regions of the world, the program has also helped to develop an excellent worldwide network of alumni working in international companies, state institutions and NGOs.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Jointness: although both the European evaluators and the students highly appreciate the complementarity and adaptability of the program, jointness is an ongoing process and a constant priority of the consortium. One way in which the integration of the program will be further increased in the future, is the development of co-designed and co-taught methodological and thematic workshops by lecturers from different partners at the joint Summer and Winter School.
  2. Connections with the world of work: although the program can boast very high employability rates, an excellent world-wide alumnus network, and well-established contacts with professional organisations, the connections with the world of work could be developed even more systematically. To this end, the consortium is working towards the creation of an external advisory board with representatives from the public sector, civil society and business.
  3. Staff exchanges and invited scholars: although the program already allows for intense exchanges (both at the joint summer and winter school and through the Erasmus Mundus staff exchange funding) and the different partners actively invite external scholars to teach in the program, these staff exchanges among the consortium partners and with external experts could be intensified even further.

 

An extended analysis of the education policy and programme quality assurance can be found in this report.