Quality of the European Master of Science in Photonics

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) and Universiteit Gent (UGent). Below, the findings resulting from the quality cycle at the VUB are presented.

Assets of the programme

  • Interuniversity: the master programme leads to a joint degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. Lecturers at both universities are active in high-level research in the fields they teach, facilitating the adaptation of course content to the latest scientific developments.  
  • Multidisciplinary: core photonics courses are combined with a wide range of photonics electives and multidisciplinary modules (Biomedical Engineering, Business Engineering, Information Technology, Electronics, Physics & Materials). The programme also includes entrepreneurial and innovation topics with dedicated courses, internships and networking events.
  • International mobility: the programme has a long tradition offering Erasmus+ Exchange mobility and has, over the years, built up a vast network of partner universities and research institutes where students can study during a semester or a full year. 

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



  • By offering an online introductory course on some basics concerning photonics to be followed prior to the start of the programme, new students could be better acquainted with technical terms and this would partly resolve language barriers.
  • By implementing & optimizing the digitalisation of the courses in the programme for both lectures & evaluation modules, the programme aims to meet the needs of today’s international student in an increasingly online environment.

Current developments

  • Based on the input of students and candidate-students, the programme decided to implement the possibility to choose for a digital year in the programme, thus reducing the financial burden to follow the programme. This digital year is scheduled in the first master year of the programme, while hands-on training and research work takes place during master year 2. This curriculum change will take effect as of 2021-2022 and will be evaluated at regular intervals.
  • In parallel with the implementation of the new learning track with a digital year, a new communication strategy with a brand new website is launched. By deploying several social media channels the programme hopes to reach and recruit future students. The launch of a dedicated website, www.studyphotonics.com, aims at both current and future students by providing information on admission requirements, scholarships, programme structure, student life, events & job opportunities.
  • New collaboration agreements are being set up with universities worldwide. All of thesepartners offer high-level education in the field of optics & photonics. In addition the prorgamme can further contribute to and help expand the continuously growing international photonics network by exchanging students.

Commission des Titres d'Ingénieurs (CTI)

The Flemish Engineering programmes are audited on a regular basis by the Commission des Titres d'Ingénieurs (CTI, France). This entails an in-depth evaluation of the programmes focused on the quality of engineering education. The positive outcome of a CTI procedure leads to the recognition of these engineering degrees within France (granted by the French Ministry of Higher Education).

Report of the CTI on the Photonics Engineering programme (see Master en Sciences de l’Ingénieur en Photonique)


Publication date: 1 February 2021


Where does our information come from?

Here are our sources