In continuous dialogue with stakeholders

Quality of Education at the VUB


Continuous improvements in dialogue with stakeholders

Here at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, we set great store by the quality of our education, which is why we are continuously working on further development and improvement of that quality.  In the first instance, this is especially taken up by our teaching staff, the lecturers and assistants, in the course councils. They consult with the students, alumni, representatives from the professional fields, external peers and experts.


Quality assurance instruments

The quality of each of the VUB study programmes is closely monitored. We use a variety of quality assurance instruments (e.g. benchmarking, focus groups, student feedback surveys, alumni surveys, work field consultations) to do that and involve both internal and external interested parties. Based on the results achieved from the various quality assurance instruments, the course councils work continuously on improving the quality of education.


Quality cycle

The quality of the study programmes is also assessed in overarching processes. In those interrelated processes, we look at the quality cycle, quantitative and qualitative data on the study programme, the results of all quality assurance instruments and how they are followed up. This is carried out by means of a peer review organised by the VUB in the context of its quality assurance system or by means of a review by an external review or accreditation body.

The VUB's quality assurance system is structured as a cycle, in which the separate components of the system are interrelated. The upcoming quality cycle will be effective from academic year 2021-2022. More details can be found on the next tab.


More information

As these pages are under construction, we invite you to visit the pages in Dutch for more extensive information on our quality principles, the tools we use and the support we offer to the programmes.



Quality cycle

The VUB's quality assurance system is structured as a cycle, in which the separate components of the system are interrelated. The upcoming quality cycle, effective from academic year 2021-2022, is built on the following foundations:

Triannual Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan of the programme is at the core of the cycle. It covers a period of 3 years and represents the foundation for systematic and future-oriented policy and management. It states the programme’s long term objectives and high priority corrective actions. The programme can specify how it will respond to the central and/or faculty educational policy guidelines.

Peer Review

Replacing the quadrennial quality assessment, the Peer Review will take place every 6 years. The Peer Review is a dialogue between the Course Council and internal and external peers, aimed at discussing and monitoring the Strategic Plan and potentially identifying opportunities for improvement. The aim is to gather the experts’ feedback on the programme’s profile, curriculum and graduation standards.

The Peer Review does not result in a judgement, but in a report with recommendations, which the course council can use to adjust its Strategy Plan. After consultation with Education and Student Affairs, Course Councils can still opt for an external quality assessment or an audit by an accreditation
agency, replacing the Peer Review process.

Internal Follow-Up Meeting

Three years after the Peer Review, the progress of the Strategic Plan’s execution is discussed during the Internal Follow-up Meeting with the Vice-rector of Education and Student Affairs (OS). This dialogue is centered around the central policy themes and the adequacy of the support provided by OS. The outcome is a set of mutual agreements on the required support, and the potential adjustment of the Strategic Plan.

Education Quality Council

The newly established Education Quality Council is mandated by the Academic Council to make a formal decision on the programme’s quality and management. This formal conclusion reflects the strategic and managerial competence of the programme and is described as ‘Good’, ‘Satisfactory with recommendations’ or ‘Insufficient’.


strengths, oppportunities and current actions

Public information on the quality of study programmes

The quality of each of the VUB study programmes is closely monitored, using a variety of tools and processes, and involving both internal and external stakeholders. The information on the assessed quality is publicly available in a 'Public Information sheet'. This document shows the programme’s strengths, opportunities and current actions.

Based on the input from the quality assurance tools (e.g. benchmarking, focus groups, student feedback surveys, alumni surveys, work field consultations), the quality assurance staff writes a first draft, which is revised by the Course Council and ratified by the Education Quality Council. The Public Information is subsequently published on the institution’s website and updated at least once every 3 year.

The public information sheet can be found through the study programme webpage of the specific programme. At the bottom of that page a link with 'Educational Quality' or 'Onderwijskwaliteit' will direct you to the sheet.


Support and Contact

High-quality education is a common effort of many actors, such as lecturers and students, alumni and external experts. Lecturers and Course Councils are supported by the staff of the department of Education and Student Affairs. This support is threefold: 

For more information on these topics, please contact the corresponding team.