Flexible within existing frameworks

Challenges and solutions

On November 26, the Quality Issues working group within the Making education more flexible zoneorganized a network meeting “Flexible education within existing frameworks: challenges and solutions”. Frank Vriens (Avans University of Applied Sciences) leads the working group: “We can look back on a successful meeting. There was a lot of interest and interaction, and the expert panel was subjected to real questions. ”

Here is a report.

Quality issues

The purpose of the meeting was to collect experiences from institutions that are working on making education more flexible; what are they up against within the current system of external quality assurance? The working group will then work with this knowledge. There will be an anthology with solutions to the issues. Do you want to stay informed of the results? Send an email to sam.stuijver@surf.nl.


Prior to the meeting, institutions were able to formulate and submit a case. The participants were divided into break-out rooms based on three questions:

  • The non-regular student: contract students and/or students who follow a flexible path, unlike regular students, do not automatically belong to a study program, an academic year or even an institution. How do we guarantee quality?
  • Non-regular educational offer:institutions increasingly offer education that does not fit within the traditional curriculum of a degree program. How is quality assurance (internal and external) guaranteed for this education?
  • Assessment after an individual program:can a student receive a full diploma after completing an individually composed educational program that has been followed at several study programs and/or institutions?

Existing frameworks

It became clear that a lot of thought is already being given to the realization of flexible learning paths from the various institutions and in partnerships. Much is possible within current legislation and regulations, but the frameworks are not always clear. The many questions emphasized the relevance of the topic of this meeting: ‘quality assurance’.

Expert panel

The expert panel consisted of employees of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO)and Hobéon certification agency. The panel listened to the many plans of making education more flexible, answered questions and thought along with the issues of those present. This was experienced as very pleasant by all. Due to the many questions that arose, the panel offered to be available for a follow-up session. To be continued!

Header photo by Fabio Bracht via Unsplash

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