The present assessment regarding the distinctive quality feature internationalisation is specifically aimed at the Bachelor’s programme in Physiotherapy of Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Hanze UAS).
The programme was assessed by an assessment panel convened by Hobéon. Prior to the audit the panel members studied the self-evaluation report and undertook a site visit in Groningen on the 21st and 22nd of November 2017.
The Bachelor’s programme in Physiotherapy is part of the School of Health Care Studies (SHCS). The programme aims to educate students to become innovative, entrepreneurial, internationally oriented and research oriented physiotherapists, with a broad perspective on health care and with an eye for technological developments. Hanze UAS focuses on three themes (Energy, Healthy Ageing and Entrepreneurship), of which two are clearly reflected in the programme. The programme has three streams: (i) a Dutch and (ii) an English track (both 240 EC) with a nominal duration of four years, and (iii) a Dutch fast track (240 EC) with a nominal duration of three years. The contents of these tracks only differ to a limited extent.
Standard 1 – Intended internationalisation: Good
According to the audit panel, the vision and ambition on internationalisation and its related goals are very well documented and supported by all stakeholders. The audit panel is impressed by the thorough and structural way the international aspects of Physiotherapy are presented in the documents.
Together with the course management, the internationalisation work group defined and documented multiple relevant and verifiable objectives to contribute to the ultimate realisation of the programme’s ambition regarding internationalisation.
The internationalisation goals include measures that contribute to the overall quality of teaching and learning. In a few cases the connection between measure and quality could be made more explicit (in writing).
Overall assessment of Standard 1
Although the relation between some of the measures and the overall quality of teaching and learning could have been described and documented more explicitly, the audit panel established that the goals are periodically evaluated resulting in new and adjusted measures. Also, the panel takes into account that the internationalisation goals of the programme, which relate to both its policy-oriented and content-oriented aspects, are well-documented and supported by all stakeholders. The audit panel therefore rates Standard 1 as ‘good’.
Standard 2 – International and intercultural learning: Good
The panel believes that it is a strong and distinctive asset of the programme that it has defined separate international and intercultural learning outcomes. These learning outcomes support internationalisation as one of the focal points of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and tie in with the School of Health Care Studies’ vision on internationalisation. The panel concludes that the learning outcomes of the Physiotherapy programme clearly entail the consideration of cultural and international issues relevant for a starting physiotherapist on bachelor level.
The audit panel is pleased with the way in which the assessment system of Physiotherapy encourages and challenges students to work on the development of their international and intercultural competences.
Based on the assessments, project results and the theses reviewed, as well as the feedback from alumni and work field representatives, the panel is convinced that the students achieve the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes of the programme and that they are well-prepared to perform as physiotherapists at Bachelor’s level in an intercultural and/or international environment.
Overall assessment of Standard 2
Considering the fact that the learning outcomes of the programme clearly entail the consideration of cultural and international issues relevant for a starting physiotherapist, and the competences are assessed in various ways during numerous blocks, as well as the panel’s observation that students undisputedly achieve the learning outcomes on internationalisation, the audit panel rates Standard 2 as ‘good’.
Standard 3 – Teaching and learning: Good
Internationalisation is clearly integrated throughout the curriculum from start to finish through cases with an intercultural dimension, cooperation with students from foreign partner universities, theory on intercultural communication, health care systems and illness perception, as well as minors and work placements abroad. All of these elements contribute to achievement of the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes.
The Physiotherapy programme consciously applies various teaching methods that align with internationalisation. The Skype-project, the use of training actors, the international classroom and the possibilities to study abroad encourage students to experience and reflect on different world views, whilst developing their ability to communicate with peers in an intercultural and/or international setting.
The learning environment of the Physiotherapy programme is amply suitable for achieving the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes, not only by the (regular) international classroom setting, but also through the large amount of interculturally oriented extra-curricular activities.
Overall assessment of Standard 3
Considering the thorough way in which internationalisation is incorporated throughout the curriculum, the deployment of suitable teaching methods aimed at bringing together students (and patients) from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, and the great international and intercultural learning environment, the audit panel rates Standard 3 as ‘good’.
Standard 4 - Staff: Excellent
From faculty resumes, as well as from the panel discussions with both students and lecturers, the audit panel gathered that the qualitative and quantitative composition of the staff unmistakably facilitates the achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
The audit panel encountered across the Physiotherapy staff a valuable mix of cultures, an overwhelming amount of international experience and the eagerness and enthusiasm to further broaden their international and intercultural experience. Both their qualifications and their experience are of an outstanding nature.
The appropriate examples of internationalisation activities through staff exchange, training and the conference visits, demonstrate that the programme facilitates staff to maintain and/or expand their intercultural competences and international experience. All of the staff have a thorough command of English.
Overall assessment of Standard 4
Considering the deliberate composition of the staff with regard to their international and intercultural competences, their fine qualifications and in-depth experience as well as their commitment to life-long learning, combined with the comprehensive internationalisation-related services provided by the programme, and the high esteem of the students for their knowledgeable lecturers, the audit panel rates Standard 4 as ‘excellent’.
Standard 5 - Students: Good
The audit panel considers the composition of the IPP student group, that features a variety of national and cultural backgrounds, very much in line with the internationalisation goals of the programme. In an adequate way, the IPP students are at ease and familiar with creating an international classroom for the students in the Dutch stream. The audit panel endorses the ambition of Physiotherapy to attract more international students to improve the IPP/Dutch student ratio.
The audit panel observed that the intercultural assignments, the mixed work groups and the virtual mobility project, sometimes combined with the experiences of study abroad and international work placements, makes the programme successful in reaching its internationalisation goals.
The audit panel considers the welcoming, mentoring and counselling of the new (international) students relevant and effective. The facilities for finding a good work placement abroad are highly regarded and the programme supports students with the formal endorsement of their Dutch diploma in other countries.
Overall assessment of Standard 5
Taking into account the deliberately created culturally diverse composition of the student population, the appropriate intercultural and international experience gained by the students and the possibility for student to ‘go the extra mile’, and the fairly well-furnished services aimed at (supporting/stimulating) internationalisation, the audit panel rates Standard 5 as ‘good’.
Based on ECA’s assessment rules, the panel nominates the Bachelor programme in Physiotherapy of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences for the Certificate for Quality in Programme Internationalisation.