Master of Science in Advanced Dentistry (Orthodontics)

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: The programme is characterised by a multiperspectivism which takes shape in multidisciplinary meetings with the 5 main subjects which are regularly organised. In that way, teams consisting of diverse specialists aim to draw up an integrated treatment plan. In that plan they strive for ownership: one Dental Specialist Trainee (DST) has responsibility for the supervision of one particular patient during a complete course of treatment.
  2. Individual coaching and feedback: Specialist trainees are monitored very closely. This is ensured by the small groups of students. During clinical apprenticeships the students are intensively monitored by a specialist in the subject, in the case of some treatments they are even monitored one-to-one. During patient interviews schedules are drawn up and the work produced is evaluated afterwards by means of a coordinating portfolio.
  3. Strongly developed clinical cornerstone: By linking a permanent training to the advanced master’s programme (ManaMa), an extensive clinical component has been provided in the programme. This ensures that the students have the opportunity to receive hands-on clinical education. For acknowledged specialities an external apprenticeship has been built into the programme to ensure the specialist trainee to gain experience not only by an apprenticeship in a university hospital but also outside this setting.
  4. Room for experimental research: Every DST has to write a master’s dissertation to be awarded a diploma. All DST dissertations are based on proper experimental research. In some cases this results in presenting the research at an international congress or even in the publication of the research findings.
  5. International final evaluation: At the end of the programme every DST takes a final examination by jury. This jury consists of teachers of the own programme and is complemented by an international expert who also evaluates the examination. This final examination consists of 2 parts. The first is a clinical part for which the DST prepares several cases that he/she has treated during the programme. The DST presents the cases and is examined by the jury who assesses both clinical knowledge and theoretical background. In the second part the master’s dissertation is defended: the DST briefly presents the research he/she conducted and is subsequently interviewed by the jury. The international expert contributes greatly to both parts.


Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Evidence-based education: Teachers are heavily involved in scientific research, take part in international congresses, and give (international) lectures. This way they are very well-informed about the most recent findings in their field and they are able to integrate these findings in theoretical and clinical education. For instance, recently published articles (A1) are frequently integrated in the education. In addition to this, journal clubs are organised during which recent publications are presented to and discussed with the DSTs.
  2. Teachers’ quality: In addition to their heavy involvement in scientific research teachers also work in the clinical practice. This enables them to offer integrated theoretical and clinical education at a high level.
  3. Link theoretical, preclinical and clinical education: Before administering new techniques that have not been covered during the basic training to patients, they are mastered by practice in a preclinical setting. This method can also be used for techniques already known that have to be executed at a higher level. To this purpose the programme has strongly invested in the construction of a modern preclinic.
  4. Talent development: DSTs are encouraged to take part in seminars, and national and international congresses. This way they are introduced to other programmes and visions, they expand their outlook and they learn to reflect critically. Moreover, they are encouraged to present their own work at these fora. These works can be both clinical and research related. DSTs are also granted the opportunity to pass on their own knowledge by coaching BaMa students at the clinic.


Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Intake at the programme: Because of the variety of the students’ intake profiles the levels of the candidates who want to enrol in the programme differ a lot. On top of that the way in which the intake is regulated differs from main subject to main subject and coordinating criteria are necessary. There is a plan to organise the intake more specifically to make sure the best candidates are selected for each main subject.
  2. Curriculum adaptation: Even though the programme is strong with respect to content – which has been proven several times by the international accreditation of certain main subjects – a curriculum adaptation is much needed. Some of the courses that are now common course units are not as relevant for every programme, because of which a thorough reform of the curriculum is imperative. The goal of a similar curriculum adaptation is to come to an optimal programme which also meets the international standards for all main subjects.
  3. Application of methods and evaluation forms: It is also necessary to reconsider a more efficient application of the correct methods and evaluation forms that are more closely linked to the learning outcomes. That is why the programme intends to make a list of these methods and evaluation forms and to draw up an improvement policy, ideally together with the planned curriculum adaptation.