Master of Science in Computer Science 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. Balanced offer of content: The programme sets great story by the field’s fundamentals on the one side, and by applications, practical competences and soft skills that are crucial for a professional IT worker on the other side. Practical competences and soft skills are practised in the project learning pathway.
  2. Flexible and up-to-date programme: Part of the programme consists of 63 credits profiling courses which enable the students to specialise and/or broaden their knowledge. The elective course units are adapted every year to the latest trends and evolutions, and are all, without exception, based on current international research at the UGent.
  3. Ample attention for research and academic education: The students do not only need to have mastered their expert knowledge, but are also trained to be competent researchers and professionals with an academic thinking and value frame: constructive-critical, ethical conduct, appreciate the reality’s complexity, with an open mind, daring, meticulous, respectful…
  4. Engineer education: The students are explicitly trained to take on important leading technical functions in the work field, either as employee or as entrepreneur. They do not only practice technical competences but also management and business competences.
  5. Enterprising programme: The programme explicitly stimulates entrepreneurship. The students are encouraged to present their own project suggestions in the project courses. Durf Ondernemen and The Foundry have been developed in the Computer Sciences programme. An increasing number of graduates establishes their own job. The companies that have been established by graduates in the past 10 years employ about 500 employees.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Structure: The programme is clearly structured: 80% compulsory courses + 20% elective courses. Because of the tightly organised compulsory curriculum in the first four years all students acquire every international required basic competence. In the last year there is room for specialisation and/or broadening.
  2. Team of teachers: All teachers are actively involved in international top research, which ensures the education’s topical value. All core curriculum teachers are either author or co-author of, in sum, 250 scientific publications each year. Three teachers hold the prestigious research grants of the European Research Council.
  3. Top-level: The students and alumni agree that the programme is an excellent preparation for further studies or for first jobs. Students from the Computer Science programme are regularly admitted to supplementary studies at the most prestigious universities in the world. Eleven percent of the alumni works abroad, the halve of which in large global IT companies outside Europe.
  4. Communication: The students are painstakingly kept informed of the programme’s activities, from events relevant to them, to apprenticeships and student jobs in the IT sector. The master students also receive weekly job offers to make them familiar with the offers on the job market. The academic year starts with a common opening lecture for every year.
  5. Alumni: Ever since its origin in 1992 the programme monitors all graduates’ career paths on LinkedIn, and their accomplishments in the specialised press. Major alumni news is shared with teachers and students. Students are involved in the programme’s quality assurance by means of the advisory board.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Diversity: The programme would benefit from a more mixed and coloured inflow, but we realise that this depends on the inflow in the programme years at which we recruit. The programme actively contributes to the implementation of the diversity action plan of the faculty of Engineering and Architecture to that purpose.
  2. Internationalisation: The master programme is taught in English, but scarcely attracts good foreign students. On the other hand only few local students complete part of their programme trajectory abroad.
  3. Campus: The students are right to indicate that they frequently have to commute between the Plateaustraat and the Zwijnaarde Campus. The programme regrets this and is actively in search of a solution to teach as much as possible at one campus.