Master of Science in Business Engineering (Operations 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

Business engineers are experts at planning, designing and managing the inflow of goods, services and information in and between companies, and apply their unique knowledge and competences in analysing, integrating and optimising those inflows. This ensures business engineers to bridge the company’s aspects of business economics on the one hand, with attention for effectivity, efficiency, and economic viability; and business functions oriented towards technology, production, research, and development on the other hand, with attention for quality, productivity, and sustainable innovation.

  1. Multiperspectivism: The interdisciplinary nature forms a large part of the business engineer programme (HIR). A business engineer needs to have a good understanding of the possibilities and limitations of technological products and processes which are the foundations of the value chain, and of the context of business economics in which the value chain issues are situated. Therefore, the programme consists of a unique combination of (business-)economic, scientific-technological, and domain specific components, complemented with a general educational component and special attention for innovation and entrepreneurship. The programme’s name reflects this well: “Engineering the business”.
  2. Talent development: The programme does not only strive to impart knowledge to the students, but also to apply that knowledge in different contexts. In the bachelor programme the students learn to apply scientific techniques (e.g. mathematics, statistics, informatics) to solve problems and to manage the inflow of products and information in and between companies. In the master programme the students learn to develop new evidence-based techniques which can be employed to solve those problems. This takes place individually or in a team.
  3. Knowledge creation: The educational philosophy ‘Creative Knowledge Creation’ serves as a basic principle. The programme considers knowledge the fundament of creativity. Knowledge construction is supported by the methodological learning pathway in which it is taught how to analyse relevant investigation and business problems. In that pathway a business engineer adopts a critical attitude towards (his own) knowledge and the unknown forms a challenge rather than a threat: the engineer’s technical-technological knowledge serves as point of departure. A business engineer has to be able to explore certain subdisciplines. In conclusion, communication also leads to knowledge development: by means of a firm basis of business economics, a broad knowledge of new technologies, and a clear focus on production, services and logistics the business engineers bridge the different disciplines in the business.
  4. Programme: The programme combines a domain specific education consisting of three HIR essential courses: 1) operational research and data science, 2) operational management, and 3) business informatics with a broad general education in business economics, a polyvalent technological-scientific education in basic sciences and engineering disciplines, and a general social education in various auxiliary and cognate sciences (including communicative competences, competence in foreign languages, and competence in collaboration in teamwork).
  5. From Research-led teaching to Research-based learning: First of all we target knowledge transfer of (recent) scientific insights from the teacher to the student (research-led teaching). In addition to that transfer scientific competences are taught, aimed at acquiring scientific competences and techniques and at gaining insight into the research process (research-based learning).

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Preparation: The programme introduces the students of the joint first bachelor EW, TEW and TEW: HIR to the HIR essential courses. This has to support students in making a conscious choice at the start of the second bachelor year.
  2. Possibility of international experience: The programme provides a number of mobility windows which offers the students the chance to gain international experience. As a consequence 1 in 3 graduates has international student experience.
  3. Possibility of hands-on experience: During the programme the students can opt for a hands-on experience by work placement (non-compulsory). The faculty’s recently installed work placement service supports the students in their search of hands-on experience.
  4. Evaluation: During the programme’s last years the acquisition of intellectual competences is at the forefront. This is acquired by means of authentic evaluation through simulations and games, cases, research projects, work placements, and the master’s dissertation. In this evaluation the students are exposed to a concrete issue from the actual professional or investigation context. In this evaluation the knowledge competences, the intellectual competences, and collaboration and communication competences are central.
  5. Students’ satisfaction: The students are overall satisfied with the programme. It especially draws the attention that the programme scores with its structure, evaluation and cooperative learning.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Investigation competences: We want to focus more on the development of investigation competences throughout the complete study programme for all students. We want to achieve this by means of the following action points:
    • Stimulate teachers to implement recent scientific literature in their programmes.
    • Increase the share of the methodological learning pathway of the programme and fine-tune the various courses.
  2. Teaching methods: Gradual and controlled replacement of classical lectures by the implementation of new activating learning methods. These new methods create more opportunities concerning the application of knowledge and competences and stimulate critical insights into the theory.
  3. Feedback: The students are right to indicate that they receive too little feedback on their projects. That is why teachers confer more with each other on the assignments’ timing by means of the term conference, what the expectations are, and how the students will receive (interim) feedback.