Master of Science in Plant Biotechnology

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. Advanced Master: The programme aims at students who already have a Master's degree or a 4-year Bachelor degree (including a thesis).
  2. International intake: The aim is to recruit students from all over the world. The teaching language is English. Scholarships (also by industry) are possible.
  3. One-year duration: A one year programme (60 ECTS) that strives for a rapid specialization and meets the relatively limited (financial) resources of some students. However, the programme can be flexibly spread over two consecutive years with the compulsory courses in the first year and the elective courses and the Master’s dissertation in the second year.
  4. High level: The students have sufficient basic knowledge, which is assessed via a thorough screening during the intake interview.
  5. Plant biotechnology is a worldwide research domain, whose breakthrough innovative results initiate a growing branch of networks and industry for food production, bio-energy and medicines.

 

Quality assurance: strengths

  1. The programme is well organized and supported by an excellent and highly motivated staff with an impressive track record for research and strong commitment for the student’s learning outcomes through varied education and evaluation methods.
  2. There is an open-door policy and low threshold guidance, a strong administrative support and intense personal contact of the staff with the students, resulting in a good group dynamic amongst the lecturers and the small group of students.
  3. The workload and feasibility of the programme are closely surveyed by formal and informal feedback of students. Our lecturers have a lot of attention for the students’ diverse backgrounds and often check whether everyone is able to understand the course and achieve the learning outcomes.
  4. Because biotechnology is by definition a crossroad of different disciplines (i.e. chemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science) multi-perspective-ism is inherent in all courses.
  5. The programme helps students to develop business skills (e.g. via excursions and company visits) and to easily find a job in local universities, institutes or industry.

 

Quality assurance: focus points with action plan

  1. By broader communication, the programme aims to make the learning outcomes and the further integration of business skills (e.g. seminars, master’s dissertation in industry) explicit in close cooperation with the workfield (e.g. scholarships from industry).
  2. The programme will continue to monitor the workload of students by study time measurements to optimize the feasibility of the programme and to increase the number of graduates.
  3. Alumni: The programme will keep track of the careers of alumni via linked-in.