Each Partner has its own internal evaluation system and has a watch body, for the student’s career development. These internal bodies, called ODE (Observatoire du Devenir des Etudiants) in UB, SED/IEZ (Servicio de Evaluación Docente/Irakaskuntza Ebaluaziorako Zerbitzua) in UPV/EHU, SSSPP (Student Satisfaction Surveys: Policy and Procedures) in SOTON, and the Employment Unit of ULg have been providing precise statistics since their implementation in the early 1990’s. Based upon these local practices, the MER Consortium will promote its own evaluation, to achieve a uniform standard. This will be based upon student feedback, which will be collected through an on-line questionnaire. Scholars will be asked to express their opinion on the Consortium’s working, after they have returned to their home institution. Such practices are relevant, because our programmes have existed over a long period of time.
Other institutional organs such as Student Councils and Commissions in charge of curricula, are also used to guarantee high educational standards.
All Partner Universities of the Consortium have signed the Erasmus University Charter, which ensures a rigorous application of the ECTS procedure. All of the Partners take very seriously QA and enhancement of teaching and learning activities. Consortium members have recognised formally each other’s quality assurance protocols. All relevant quality assurance protocols will be undertaken at the institution delivering the relevant part of the programme.
QA issues are addressed in a variety of ways by each institution; the student will have an important role to play in many of them (see below).
- By completing (anonymous) student evaluation questionnaires, for each unit of the programme (content, organisation, quality of teaching, instruction language, a level of support received), for each mobility and for the whole programme.
- By becoming a student representative on relevant committees, or by providing feedback to other students representatives in relevant committee meetings.
- By contact with the personal Mentor/Tutor and (Master Thesis) Supervisor.
- Through informal contact with other members of staff.
Two sets of tasks are allocated to the Associate Members, in terms of course monitoring.
The first group focuses upon the design and update of the course content, in terms not only of the scientific excellence and state-of-the-art, but also in terms of the applicability of the acquired knowledge in a professional non-university environment. The different Associated Members conduct targeted R+D+I activities, with the main aims of increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of the private sector; likewise, to support science-based decision-making and management, by public authorities. Achieving success in this complex environment, requires both excellence and mechanisms for continuous updating to the new needs and risks. Thus, the Associated Members are essential, to guarantee that the original course programme fulfils all the needs and for monitoring the expected evolution in the structure and content, for maintaining a top-level and continuously updated training programme.
The second group covers specialised methods, techniques and expertise. The students will receive training from top experts in each of the fields; this is achieved through the combination of the expertise available at the Universities and at the Associated Members. This group covers also the possibility of using the unique facilities available at the Associated Members.
Reception and Accompanying
On “Reception and Accompanying” matters, the quality assurance mechanism is internal to the Consortium, but it will take place between the four sites, which have different cultures and administrative practices. Effectively, this is a pilot project for the respective institutions, in that this partnership will lead to comparison of practices and to the establishment of common standards. These will concern academic standards (quality of teaching and content of study programme), as well as reception and accompanying (coaching and counseling, student services). Evaluation practices vary and depend upon the different academic cultures, pertaining to the way relationships with students are dealt within the institutions.