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Our education

Range of programmes

Based on our focus on innovation core value, The Hague University of Applied Sciences considers it important to examine and supplement our range of programmes in a critical manner, on the understanding that any new programme must provide genuine added value to the existing range of higher professional (HBO) bachelor’s programmes (the ‘enrichment principle’). The institution routinely involves external stakeholders when formulating and developing the policy that governs the range of available programmes, both through close analysis of the ‘market’, as well as through intensive involvement of the field and other interested parties when designing new programmes. The Executive Board wishes to add at least one English-language programme (or programme variant) per year; in September 2009, the ‘Safety & Security Management Studies’ programme variant was added. On 1 September, the Climate & Environment programme was launched – a programme unique in the Netherlands. The autumn also saw the start of the development of the Mechatronics programme, a project being carried out in collaboration with three other universities of applied science (Avans, Fontys and Saxion). The Executive Board has decided to discontinue the part-time track of the Accountancy programme; no new students were admitted after 1 September.

The Hague University of Applied Sciences sees the provision of master’s degree programmes as one of its core tasks. The master’s in Social Architecture was added to the range of programmes in July, and in September it was decided to apply for a subsidy for the programme from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). Previously it had been decided to create a master’s in Project Management, and to offer three master’s degree programmes from foreign partner institutions in The Hague. All activities at the Academy for Master’s and Professional Courses (M&PC) are in line with the mission and vision of The Hague University of Applied Sciences as formulated in HOP 7.

In January the Academy for ICT & Media decided to take part in an initiative by the Open University and request an ‘Open University of Applied Science Computer Technology Network’ ( Informatica-Netwerk Open Hogeschool, NOH). This means that the part-time Computer Technology programme will be offered under the licence of the Open University. The NOH Computer Technology programme has an innovative character, achieved by working with 'blended learning', by providing teaching materials in the form of Open Educational Resources, maintaining a flexible entrance level, and through the application of workspace learning. In 2010 applications will also be submitted for the Macro Efficiency Test ( Macrodoelmatigheidstoets) and the New Programme Test ( Toets Nieuwe Opleiding).

The external Commercial Economy and Communication programmes in Leiden will be transferred to Hogeschool Leiden after the summer.

Programmes

Bachelor’s degree programmes

In 2009 The Hague University of Applied Sciences offered 46 full-time bachelor’s degree programmes at four campuses in the fields of economics, healthcare, behaviour and society, computer technology, education, and technology. Seven of these programmes were offered in English (or as English-language variants). The range of available programmes also included 21 part-time courses and eight work-study bachelor’s programmes (four of these programmes are structured so that students start with a full-time study programme, and subsequently complete their degree in a structure that combines concurrent work and study) one of which is available as a work-study programme only. In addition to bachelor’s degree programmes, two (two-year) associate degree programmes were also offered in Facility Management and Installation Technology. The programmes in Computer Technology and Technology & Computer Management are offered both at the main campus and in Zoetermeer; Information Security Management is available at Zoetermeer only. The Physical Education Teaching and Sports Management programmes are provided at the Laan van Poot location. In Delft (as of 1 September 2009, formerly in Rijswijk) students are now able to take a number of technical programmes, as well as the Technical Computer Management programme.

Minors

2009 also saw a considerable rise in the number of available minors. Minor programmes numbered 106, nineteen of which were offered either entirely in English or made accessible to students of English-language programmes who are not fluent in Dutch. The number of minors actually taken was lower than the number of programmes available, as not all of the programmes generated sufficient student interest. The minor market in 2009 was very well attended.

In the autumn, following an evaluation memorandum on policy regarding minors and their execution, the Executive Board made a number of decisions concerning the system. The most important alteration concerned the introduction of a clear distinction between applied science minors (broad and accessible to all students) and academy minors (specialised, with entrance requirements). A new Minors Committee has been charged with the implementation of this new structure and with quality assurance within minor programmes.

Master’s degree programmes

In 2009, the Academy for Master’s & Professional Courses (M&PC) offered seven master’s degree programmes in Dutch, with a total of around 150 enrolments. The five English-language master’s degree programmes attracted double the amount of enrolments, from around 30 different countries. Recently developed master’s programmes such as Organisational Coaching and Risk Management highlight the position of The Hague University of Applied Sciences as a regional supplier of ‘professional masters’. A quality survey among students of the academy showed that students are satisfied: they gave the institution a ‘mark’ of 7+.

Professional Courses

In 2009, around 1200 students took one of the 60 post-HBO (higher professional education) programmes, also known as Professional Courses. The strength of these courses and training programmes lies in the immediate applicability of their content in the workplace. As the practical teachers are themselves active in the field, all theory is rooted in practical experience. The exchange of professional and personal experiences among the various participants in the group is regarded as particularly valuable.

Continuing Higher Education (CHE)

Students aged over 50 are eligible to register for open courses in a wide variety of subjects, ranging from philosophy and spirituality to art and music. Courses are also given on specific subjects, such as Dante and the lesser-known aspects of Paris. In 2009, around 800 students were registered for a CHE course. On a smaller scale, CHE courses in the Gouda Public Library were also launched in 2009.

Focus on student success

In recent years, improving student success rates at The Hague University of Applied Sciences has received enormous attention, both from the Executive Board and management and from the teacher teams. Despite all efforts, results remain below the set targets. The universities of applied sciences have reached an agreement with the Minister to increase efforts in order to achieve a sustained increase in student success rates. The current aim is for 90% of students who began the main phase of their study programmes in 2008/2009 to graduate in 2012/2013. The universities of applied sciences have also pledged to make additional efforts to increase student success among students of non-Western ethnic minority backgrounds, for which the Minister has earmarked additional funding for the five universities of applied science in the Randstad metropolitan region (G5 funding).

It is for this reason that student success was given top priority in 2009. Clear targets and plans for 2009 were drawn up, which included a major focus on a more results-oriented approach and the need for stricter activities guidance. The result is a programme focusing in 2009/2010 on student entry and the first year of study. Set targets, particular attention to students from non-Western backgrounds and supervision by a programme director ensured that the programme was properly and thoroughly executed.

The following targets were set for increasing graduation rates and improving the quality of education:

Cohort results:

  • 70% of students to pass the first year within two years

  • 90% to subsequently obtain a bachelor’s degree within four years

Educational demand factor:

  • 1.3 years for first year

  • 3.5 years for the main phase of the study programme

Student success was also given priority in the academies’ plans, which contain a targeted analysis per programme followed by the interventions chosen, formulation of the desired results and efficient monitoring of the interventions and their intended effects. The academies’ policy plans relating to student success and the associated budgets were updated and included in the regular Planning & Control (P&C) cycle.

The academies receive support from the general programme in the form of a cohesive package containing the following measures:

  • improved academic career counselling

  • promoting successful switching
  • supporting the academies in monitoring their chosen interventions
  • helping to develop the established language policy across the institution
  • increasing student success rates among first-generation students (G5).

The programme teams have started work on their chosen interventions with great enthusiasm. Their monitoring plans are complete, and the data they require to conduct research on the interventions has been collected in a database, called the onderzoekshuis (house of research). Initial monitoring has now also been carried out, during the mentor project and intake interviews.

Internationalisation

In 2006, as part of ‘World Citizens in the Making’ ( Wereldburger in Wording, WBW) 2006-2010, The Hague University of Applied Sciences formulated student and teacher mobility targets up to 2010: 12% mobility for students in 2007, 15% in 2008, 18% in 2009 and culminating in 20% student mobility in 2010. For teachers the rates were 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% respectively. The 2010 target for the international student population was 10% (with the following scheme for exchange students and students taking a full programme: 2006 6%, 2007 7%, 2008 8%, 2009 9%).

In 2009 a study was conducted into which targets had been reached from the WBW 2006-2010 policy plan. The study revealed that the number of English-taught bachelor’s and minor programmes planned for 2010 had already been reached, and that only one more master’s programme needed to be developed. A summer school was also begun, and incoming student mobility exceeded the target figures. Recent years have shown a marked increase in the number of students applying for scholarships via the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP). Twenty-one students were awarded a scholarship in 2009 compared to 13 in 2008. Both outgoing student/teacher mobility and student satisfaction regarding the international orientation of the curricula remained below the expected levels. The number of students taking part in scholarship exchange programmes showed a slight increase, and in 2009 more students took part in an international exchange or work placement for programmes that do not list this as a requirement.

2009 saw the appearance of the memorandum titled ‘Continuing the WBW policy plan – themes for the years to come’ ( Voortzetting beleidsplan WBW - thema’s voor de komende jaren), which is based on the research conducted and interviews with key figures in the field of internationalisation within the organisation. The memorandum mentions 10 themes, to which activities will be linked in 2010.

Financial support for internationalisation

At the end of 2009, the Executive Board decided to continue the Financial Support for Internationalisation (FOI) scheme for the next few years. For the time being, an annual amount of €100,000 has been earmarked for this purpose. The Executive Board also decided to allocate an additional budget so as to be able to grant the applications for the academic year after all.

Immigration

In 2009 The Hague University of Applied Sciences participated in two pilot projects launched by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). These projects are part of a wider programme that focuses on the preparation and implementation of the Modern Migration Policy to be introduced as from 1 January 2011.

The first pilot project provides for the combined application for an authorisation for temporary stay (MVV) and a regular residence permit (VVR). The combined application reduces the time the IND needs to process the request, which means that the student is issued with a residence permit two to three weeks after arriving in the Netherlands, while the regular process takes at least five weeks. The permits are currently still being issued at the institution itself. In addition, The Hague University of Applied Sciences joined a pilot project for extensions. As a result, all students are now able to apply for an extension of their residence permits via the institution. The International Office (IO) takes care of the entire application procedure. The only thing the students need to do is fill in an application form and pay the IO fee. They can then collect their residence permits at the institution itself.

Accommodation

In 2009 the institution rented 432 rooms from student housing corporation DUWO to accommodate international students, which means the number of rented rooms has now stabilised. The average rent however increased to €370 per month, which is largely due to rising energy prices. Several older buildings have been removed from the portfolio.

Quality Assurance

The Hague Framework

A quality framework developed by the Education & Student Affairs department (O&SZ) is used as an assessment framework for internal audits in preparation for external accreditation. The framework is updated on an annual basis. For each subject, the framework provides a definition or description, development instruments and best practice study programme examples that apply throughout the institution.

Internal audit

In preparation for the accreditation, seven internal audits were conducted in 2009, involving the following study programmes: Business Informatics, Informatics, Information Services and Management, Social Work, Industrial Product Design, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Skin Therapy. The internal audits, which were coordinated by O&SZ, have resulted in various improvement measures. O&SZ also conducted risk analyses and audit training courses for the study programmes that were reviewed in 2009.

External audits

Hobéon (a consultancy charged with the certification of higher professional education institutions) reviewed four of the institution’s study programmes in 2009: European Studies (HEBO), Management, Economics and Law, Public Management, and Small Business and Retail Management (the last-named programme as part of a reaccreditation programme in 2007).

In all cases, analysis of the management reviews and the underlying files and reviews resulted in a positive opinion for accreditation, and the Executive Board applied for accreditation for these programmes accordingly. European Studies also applied for an additional ‘Internationalisation’ quality mark for its European Studies-3 track. The outcome of this application was not yet known at the end of 2009. Public Management and Small Business and Retail Management have both been accredited. The result of the procedure for the other programmes will become known in the course of 2010.

Accreditation

At the end of 2008 the Executive Board, based on a positive report from Hobéon, applied for accreditation of the following study programmes: PABO (Primary School Teacher Training), Safety and Security Management Studies, Bachelor of Law, HALO (Physical Education Teacher Training Programme), Business Mathematics, Commercial Engineer, Electrical Engineering, Human Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management Science, and Technical Informatics. In 2009, all these study programmes were accredited for the next six years. The Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) programme was not accredited in this first round, as the audit report failed to meet the NVAO’s requirements. CMD will undergo a supplementary audit in 2010.

Innovations in education

E-merge

As in 2008, The Hague University of Applied Sciences was actively involved in 2009 in various projects run by the E-merge consortium. E-merge is a platform for cooperation on ICT in education between the universities of Leiden and Delft and the Leiden and The Hague University of Applied Sciences. A new round was launched in 2009, with projects aimed at increasing student success rates and promoting learning continuity pathways.

The most eye-catching projects are ‘e-Coach’ and ‘Intake into Bachelor’s Programmes’. Within the e-Coach project the first steps were made towards the development of a system for proactive notification from OSIRIS. The system ensures that student counsellors and the students themselves are automatically alerted, via e-mail messages, when the number of credits obtained falls behind schedule so that immediate action can be taken. The system also signals situations in which a student is ahead of schedule, enabling the student counsellor to highlight opportunities for the student to enrol in additional programmes. In the ‘Intake into the Bachelor’s Programme’ the C&M department develops tools to help future students make a well-balanced choice of study. The idea is that this should help to prevent students from switching programmes or ending their studies prematurely.

E-merge is also a major component of the national Acculturation project. As part of that project, The Hague University of Applied Sciences has developed a programme to help Chinese students prepare more effectively for their higher education studies in the Netherlands before their arrival, based on a videoconferencing concept.

A new E-merge project round is scheduled to be launched in 2010. The need for continuation of the cooperation platform will be evaluated in 2011.