Self-assessment system called off

The plan to allow universities to use self-assessment for their programmes has been called off. Universities will remain dependent on the official inspectors of the NVAO, the accreditation organization of the Netherlands and Belgium.

Bussemaker’s plan to allow research universities and universities of applied sciences to use self-assessment had already been brushed aside by the VVD, D66, SP, PVV and GroenLinks. Bussemaker went back to the drawing board, but that was also to no avail.

VVD, SP and GroenLinks want the accreditation organization NVAO to continue assessing every programme individually, but far less exhaustively than the current procedure. Bussemaker felt it was not a good idea to present both plans to the House of Representatives and therefore came up with a third alternative: a combination of the two.


The third alternative would be ‘a coupling of the institutional test and institutional accreditation. An institution with a favorable test and an accreditation would then be eligible for the mitigated programme test, which is included in the proposal’, says the minister.

A number of research universities and applied sciences universities would thus be assessed as a whole, for example. If they satisfy the requirements, then the programmes would be tested individually, albeit more lightly. This would ensure less bureaucratic fuss.


The parties can live with this plan. However, D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen feels that the representatives involved in the pilot must be able to either cut short or stop the assessment. But according to Bussemaker, that will not be necessary because if the board of an institution is indifferent to its own representatives, that school has a problem. ‘That is why we have the supervisory boards and the minister to act on this.’

Bussemaker wants to send a letter to the House of Representatives as quickly as possible. Within one month, there should be a governmental decree addressing the pilot.