Master of Science in Geology

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: Geology does not stop at the borders and is by definition an international field. The programme pays great attention to problem solving thinking based on interdisciplinarity and wants to stimulate a critical attitude towards geological thinking. Throughout the programme the students are trained to apply their knowledge acquired in new contexts and are urged to think scientifically inventively; motivated for lifelong learning.
  2. Programme: The renewed programme intends to consolidate a broad scientific basis by means of a gradual increase in basic knowledge and competences of geology during the bachelor years. The master years are focussed on two main points that reflect research expertise, viz geology of basins and orogens (orogenic belt of the earth’s crust), and groundwater and mineral resources.
  3. Freedom of choice: In the master years sufficient possibility (30 credits) has been left open for further deepening (elective courses), an apprenticeship (professionalisation), internationalisation (Erasmus+), or education.
  4. Integration theory and practice: The programme allows the master’s student to opt for a long professional apprenticeship with a company or a scientific institute at home or abroad, during which the student goes through every stage of the professional work field, with special attention to problem solving and applied thinking. Graduates find jobs quickly.
  5. Unique to the geology programme is thinking in four dimensions (space – time): The modern geologist is a conscious scientist who has to be able to devise efficient solutions to a sustainable management of natural resources in the long term.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. Motivated team of teachers: The programme strives to apply the most recent findings of geological research to the education provided. During the master years research based education receives ample treatment in the courses of the majors ‘Groundwater and mineral resources’ and ‘Basis and orogens’.
  2. Link with the work field: At students’ request a long professional apprenticeship with a company or a scientific institute has been built into the master’s programme, by which the students come into contact with real-life situations. Within the courses the links with the work field is also highlighted by the deployment of alumni as visiting lecturers or by collaborations.
  3. Approachability: The Geology programme is a relatively small programme, because of which consultation and coordination between students and teachers can be approachable and efficient.
  4. Methods: We make sure that the variation in working and evaluation methods prepare the students for the challenges of the future, geological work situation and for problem solving thinking, with sufficient attention to both oral and written communication.
  5. Field course: The field is and will continue to be the geologist’s primary working space. The programme strongly commits itself to (international) field courses during which the students have to apply their spatial geological insights imparted into a dynamic geological dimension.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. Monitoring study success generation students: We will attach more importance to the distribution of the precise content of the courses in the first bachelor year, to a continuous screening (SIMON), and to the communication of expectations with prospective students.
  2. The programme needs to intend a continuous monitoring to ensure an equally balanced workload in the bachelor and master programme, since the geology programme is based on a variety of working methods during which the students receive numerous assignments (reports on field courses or field trips, writing papers, discuss case studies, etc.). Tools which have to be fully exploited to inform students include drawing up a balanced assignment calendar, clear guidelines and providing feedback at regular times.
  3. Corporate sustainability and the social relevance of geology needs to be in the limelight constantly.