Educational quality of the programme

At VUB the quality of the education takes centre stage. This isn't something we say lightly: we scrutinise our programmes regularly to align them with changing student needs in a rapidly changing society.

Our strenghts

  • A unique advanced master: the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) is the only programme in disaster medicine and health disaster management worldwide at an advanced master level.

  • Cultural diversity: the large cultural diversity among students and staff promote lateral thinking and in-depth discussions on ethical matters.

  • Highly qualified and dedicated staff: the staff has extensive experience, both in/with? research as well as in working in the field. There is a strong interrelationship between the programme and the professional field, including a large international network of alumni.

  • Continuous quality improvement: annual questionnaires regarding all aspects of the programme provide the teaching staff with crucial feedback needed to optimise the learning experience.

  • E-learning platform: the e-learning platform allows for self-directed study under faculty guidance to learn the core content of the program. Together with the readily accessible teaching staff the platform guarantees a high level of interaction between both teachers and students. Two-week residential course: to apply the knowledge and insights gained through e-learning, a two-week residential course is organised including debates, interactive workshops, simulation exercises, culminating in a full-scale exercise with the army, Red Cross and other disaster relief and service departments.


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.


Opportunities for development

  • Additional interactive modules are needed to enhance the learning process beyond relying on static PDFโ€™s.

  • A research component could be added to every course module instead of focusing on research in one specific module. More integration can be achieved, resulting in a research line through all course units.

  • An impact analysis of the programme on the work field may yield interesting results to further refine the programme.

  • To improve the studentsโ€™ workload, extending the programme to 90 or 120 ECTS might prove advantageous to the studentโ€™s workload.


What is the programme working on now?

  • Possibilities for further investment in teaching staff are being examined. To consolidate the management of the programme an Executive Committee was introduced in 2018 to support the Strategic Management Board. In the Executive Committee all stakeholders are represented.

  • Comparing the programme learning outcomes and curriculum to other disaster medicine and/or management courses is providing valuable input to keep the programme up to date.

  • To increase funding for students from low-income countries, the programme makes use of its international network and contact its alumni in order to investigate possibilities for additional funding from European projects, foundations, governmental sources and individuals


This public information is part of VUBโ€™s quality assurance and was approved by the Course Council in 2021.