Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology

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. Focus on research: The programme greatly emphasises the acquisition of research competences. The graduate biochemistry-biotechnology student is capable to a high degree of carrying out experiments independently which lead to insights into the functioning of biomolecules, into the role they play in various life forms and into their connection with phenomena as development, growth and illness, and is capable of applying these insights into the solution of real-life problems.
  2. Multiperspectivism: Our students receive a broad education within the life sciences, in which biomedical and bacterial biotechnology, and plant biotechnology receive ample treatment. By means of cross-curricular practicals the students familiarise with the multidisciplinary nature of life sciences research.
  3. Knowledge creation: The programme attaches great importance to a strong theoretical knowledge of basic sciences, which is especially created during the first year and a half. This is followed by an extensive theoretical and practical training in molecular life sciences.
  4. Integration theory and practice: The programme consists of a large number of hours of seminars and practicals during which the theoretical knowledge from the lectures is practised in the well-developed laboratories and practical rooms. During those trainings the programme sharpens the students’ critical mindset and problem solving thinking and the students are kept informed of the latest technological developments in the field. In the master years this is done by actively participating in a real-life research in prominent research laboratories.
  5. Talent development: In the master programme students can choose from various major/minor combinations based on their interests, and they are moulded further into independent researchers. The students can also opt for an economy minor or an educational minor, or they can propose an interdisciplinary minor themselves.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Research competences: The programme is closely-knit to the famous Ghent Biotech Cluster. Students come into contact with and participate in top research in research laboratories which are equipped with the most advanced infrastructure. Nearly all teachers actively conduct research daily.
  2. Feedback: The programme pays great attention to giving feedback. Following the first semester a group feedback is organised. We also inform the students about the most important issues to keep in mind after the practicals and projects.
  3. Internationalisation: The students have the opportunity to attend an English programme during the master programme, because of which a good deal of foreign students take those classes. During the projects and master’s dissertations the students come into contact with foreign researchers. The programme also stimulates our Flemish students to participate in Erasmus programmes.
  4. Approachability: As a medium-sized programme we dedicate ourselves to a direct and intensive personal contact between teachers and students. This takes shape even more clearly in the practical programme, where students are in full-time contact with the coaches. This aspect is also much appreciated by our students in the programme’s evaluation.
  5. A high-quality programme: The graduates’ profound and broad theoretical and practical knowledge is much appreciated, both by the (international) research community as by the Flemish Biotech sector.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Course load: The programme is quite intensive with lectures in the morning and practicals in the afternoon. Graduates describe the programme generally as rather heavy.
  2. Entrepreneurship: The strongly scientific-oriented programme offers limited room to develop entrepreneur competences.
  3. Social competences: Because of the strong focus on research competences and the emphasis on the acquisition of practical experiences in life sciences, there is only limited room to acquire social competences.

   

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