Master of Science in Civil Engineering

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. Broad programme with many prospects of the future: The civil engineering programme’s goal is to train critical and scientific-based engineers who can be internationally employed in the broad field of civil engineering. As a consequence the job market has a large number of opportunities to offer, both technical and non-technical: engineering offices, contractors, civil administrations, research and development, banks and insurances, consultancy.
  2. Talent development: Our students have a certain freedom of choice to compose their study programme according to their own interests. They have the possibility to subscribe to a specialisation package (construction design, dredging & offshore hydraulics or business administration), to subscribe to elective courses (technical and social), and to choose the subject of their master’s dissertations. Many students also subscribe to a national or international business apprenticeship in their programme.
  3. Projects and group work: In every year we offer at least one project course in which the students learn to handle multidisciplinary tasks in a goal-oriented way. To this purpose they cooperate in teams, because of which they also learn gradually a whole range of “soft skills” like planning, persuading, presenting efficiently, giving feedback to one another, and reporting. In addition to this they have to execute assignments in group for various course units in the bachelor and master programmes, in which real-life issues are covered.
  4. Well-equipped laboratory infrastructure: The programme can take advantage of well-equipped laboratories, some of which are of an international level.
  5. Student organisation: The civil engineers’ student organisation Poutrix, provides a unique “ecosystem” with extracurricular activities (e.g. guest lectures, building site visits, company visits, courses, job fairs, annual trips), which are often organised in collaboration with the teachers.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. High level: Graduates experience that the programme has a good reputation both nationally and internationally, because of which they have no difficulty in finding suitable jobs at a high level.
  2. Motivated team of teachers: The programme is supported by committed teachers who combine their research expertise with an enthusiasm to keep dedicating themselves to the quality of their classes. The teachers, including guest professors from practical sectors, are internationally active and see to a good link with the practice.
  3. Student satisfaction: The official student questionnaires show that the students are very satisfied, both with regard to quality, organisation, consistency, and with regard to the programme’s content.
  4. Approachability: Our teachers and study Programme Committee are extremely approachable for students. This way problems can be quickly discovered and tackled.
  5. Evaluation: Our students appreciate that they are well-informed about the way in which they are evaluated and about the content of the evaluations because they know exactly what to expect.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Sustainability: Aspects of the environment and sustainability are incorporated in various course units, but the students do not experience this as such. We will have a closer look on how to make it more explicit.
  2. Workload: We need to make sure that the master programme’s workload does not increase. We will examine whether it is achievable to make a better planning and to coordinate the content of the various projects.
  3. Internationalisation: The master programme in English scores high on internationalisation in the official student evaluation. Nevertheless, we need to keep on rising to the challenges like the quality control of the foreign students’ inflow and a better development of the internationalisation at our university.