Quality of the Master Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management

When choosing a study programme, high quality education is what you are looking for and that’s exactly what we provide at the VUB. By continuously monitoring the programmes we know what their strengths are and how we can continue to improve them. 

The programme is jointly organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Universiteit Gent and Universiteit Antwerpen. Below, the findings resulting from the quality cycle at the VUB are presented.

Assets of the programme

  • Expertise from 3 universities combined in 1 programme: the master programme is jointly organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universiteit Gent and Universiteit Antwerpen, each with their own complementary focus and expertise.
  • Interdisciplinary: the programme offers an integrated approach of biological, geological, chemical, physical and social aspects of aquatic environments in its widest sense. As the students are trained in both fundamental and applied sciences, they graduate as scientists familiar with policy-making.
  • International Master Programme (ICP): ‘Oceans & Lakes’ is supported by the VLIR-UOS (Flemish Interuniversity Council – University Development Cooperation) and hence comprises a well elaborated development-oriented curriculum. The international, diverse student group provides an ideal setting for peer training.
  • Hands-on education: field and laboratory courses and training abroad, for example on research vessels ensure that students gain knowledge and skills in authentic environments.
  • Personal guidance: the course coordinator and secretariat officer advise students on their individual programme options and provide help where necessary. The excellent teaching staff is very dedicated and highly approachable.

Where do we get this information from?

We routinely ask our students to give their honest opinion about the study programme during their academic career. We also consult our professors and assistants and gauge the expectations in the future field of work. Lastly, we receive structured feedback from our former students and compare our programmes with others at home and abroad.

Quality Cycle



  • The programme attracts students with diverse academic backgrounds. For interdisciplinary programmes, and Oceans & Lakes is no exception, it is a continuous challenge to maintain the balance between providing students with the same background knowledge while simultaneously covering sufficient depth of knowledge.
  • Because students have diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, there is a huge potential for peer training. While consistent efforts have been made to leverage the potential of peer learning, Internationalisation @home activities could be more structurally embedded in the programme.
  • In addition to the theoretical classes and field courses, more laboratory classes could be incorporated in the programme.

Current developments

  • The programme will consult the professional field to keep track of the expectations regarding the competences of graduated students.
  • As the participation of alumni in the programme is highly valued, continuous efforts are made to bring in their expertise into the curriculum.
  • The programme is establishing new collaboration with universities abroad, which has as an effect that the programme attracts more students and can offer more internship positions.
  • The programme is optimising the balance between lacustrine and marine sciences by adding more courses about lacustrine sciences to the curriculum and by including more examples about lacustrine sciences to existing courses.


Publication date: 1 February 2021

Where does our information come from?

Here are our sources