Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

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. This is a broad engineering programme in which various aspects that are important in a business context are combined, i.e. scientific, technological, economical, organisational, and human factors. This master’s engineers are excellently prepared to face concrete challenges, to solve problems, and to take the lead in companies and organisations to strive for “operational excellence”.
  2. This engineering profile is much wanted in the business world and is offered many job opportunities in very diverse companies and sectors. The programme is also much appreciated by the students themselves.
  3. The programme strikes a balance between academic, research-related competences and professional, hands-on competences. Most teachers have close contacts with the business world. During their classes and assignments they share both their hands-on experience and their relevant research findings.
  4. Students have a certain freedom of choice to compose their study programme according to their interests. They can choose to subscribe to a mix of technical, managerial and social elective course units; they can select the subject of their master’s dissertation; and they can opt to subscribe to an (international) apprenticeship.
  5. Student association ORLean joins the students in various extracurricular activities, such as lectures, company visits, meetings with alumni, etc. and helps the students to establish networks in doing so.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. In many course units assignments and group works are offered in which the theory needs to be tested by and applied in practical cases, which provides the students immediately with relevant business experience.
  2. The programme takes actively part in the development of new, activating methods in which classical lectures make way for methods in which the students seize the initiative. Various course units are switching over to forms of blended learning and online learning combined with Q&A, independent project work, and feedback sessions.
  3. Students become acquainted with state-of-the-art software tools and packages for various applications, such as data processing and management, optimisation, statistics, simulation, automatization and operations management (ERP).
  4. In addition to the formal student representation in the study Programme Committee, the students are also unofficially consulted to keep our fingers on the pulse. This decreases the distance between students and teachers, which facilitates the quick and open discussion of possible problems.
  5. The programme’s development and implementation is evaluated by the business world by means of the advisory board established, the members of which are, amongst others, managers and alumni.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. We are attending to a better distribution of the project work across the different course units of the programme to avoid that many deadlines coincide or that too little time is left for certain courses (without project work).
  2. Many students conduct their master’s dissertations in a business context and gain their first hands-on experience that way, which is in theory a positive trend. However, in some cases this is at the expense of the scientific, academic quality of the work produced. We will keep a closer watch on this topic during the monitoring and evaluation.
  3. Since the IEOR master still has no specific preparatory bachelor programme, students are still insufficiently acquainted with the programme. That is why we intend to draw both students’ and companies’ attention by the programme’s profile and familiarity by means of a prominent presence on various information sessions and graduate fairs. In addition to these measures, we also strive to organise our own bachelor programme in due course.