News and Events

2015-ECA-NVAO Seminar

3 December 2015, Parkstraat 28, The Hague

“National Implementation of the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes”


The Ministers of the EHEA adopted the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes on 14-15 May 2015 in Yerevan. The purpose of the European Approach is to ease external quality assurance of joint programmes. In particular, it will:

  • dismantle an important obstacle to the development of joint programmes by setting standards for these programmes that are based on the agreed tools of the EHEA, without applying additional national criteria, and
  • facilitate integrated approaches to quality assurance of joint programmes that genuinely reflect and mirror their joint character.

It is now possible for higher education institutions providing a joint programme to select a suitable quality assurance agency from the list of EQAR-registered agencies ( The agency will use the Standards and Procedure in the European Approach to carry out a single evaluation or accreditation of the entire joint programme. The result is to be accepted in all EHEA countries.

This seminar concentrates on the national implementation of the European Approach. Can the implementation start right away or are changes in national legislation necessary? What challenges do HEIs/joint programmes, agencies and governments face in applying the European Approach? Is recognition of joint programmes and the degrees awarded assured? These and other questions will be looked at from the viewpoint of different stakeholders such as the Bologna Secretariat, European Commission, national recognition authorities and governments, EQAR, QA agencies, and of course the perspectives of joint programmes and their students and alumni.

The seminar will start with plenary sessions in the morning, followed after lunch by three workshops with special attention for internal/external QA and recognition challenges. The main results of these workshops will be discussed, with a focus on possible solutions for implementation challenges, in the panel discussion.

The seminar will be useful for HEIs providing joint programmes, joint programme coordinators and students, QA agencies, recognition authorities and government representatives.

Please note that this seminar on 3 December will be followed by meetings which are exclusively for ECA members on 4 December.


Programme ECA-NVAO seminar 3-4 December 2015

European Approach for Quality Assura of Joint Programmes

Patricia Pol NVAO Joint Programmes and Internationalisation of HE

Claire Morel ECs Support to the National implementation of the European Approach

Colin Tuck European Approach Status and Challenges

Wicher Schreuders A View From ProDeJIP

Mark Frederiks European Approach for QA of JP

Lucien Bollaert Feedback and Panel Discussion

View pictures taken during the conference

ECA Live stream



Travel Guide

From Schiphol Airport to The Hague

The quickest and easiest way to travel from and to the Schiphol airport is by train. From Schiphol Airport there are several direct trains to the central station of The Hague (Den Haag CS).
Schiphol railway station is situated directly below the airport. You can pick up a free baggage trolley from the platform. Via Schiphol Plaza, you can walk straight to the departure or arrival hall.

Train tickets

The journey planner on this website will provide you with information on the Schiphol – The Hague – Schiphol timetable. It also contains the latest travel information, including details of temporary timetable changes.

From the Central Station to the hotel

The hotel is Novotel Central and its address is: Hofweg 5-7, 2511 AA The Hague, The Netherlands
You can do either of the following:

  • walk from the Central Station to Novotel (15 minutes)
  • take a taxi from the Central station;
  • follow indications at the station to take a tram at the tramstop situated above the railway station (in Dutch: Tramhalte Centraal Station, Tram Boven). You will have to take stairs to get there. You can use lines 2,3,4 or 6 (and stop at “Spui”).
  • It is a 2 minutes walk from there.View Larger Map

From the hotel to NVAO premises

The NVAO premises are situated at Parkstraat 28, 2514 JK The Hague, The Netherlands. It is approximatly a 10-15 minutes walk from the hotel.

View Larger Map


NVAO was one of the founding members of ECA. In the founding treaty NVAO got the task to communicate and coordinate with other countries.


NVAO was one of the founding members of ECA. In the founding treaty NVAO got the task to communicate and coordinate with other countries. According to NVAO an organisation like ECA would provide a better insight into alternative ways of accreditation, supervision and external quality assurance. Of course, co-operation within ECA enhances the legitimacy of the Dutch and Flemish accreditation systems. Furthermore, the international recognition of the Dutch and Flemish accreditation systems would also lead to a strengthening of the international position of the higher education systems in both countries.
Mutual recognition of accreditation decisions should lead to less cross-border checks and bureaucracy; it therefore gives the institutions a better position to realise their international ambitions.

More about NVAO

Although the governments of the Netherlands and Flanders fund NVAO the organisation is totally independent in procedures, methodologies and decision-making. NVAO is responsible for an area where 22 million people live. There are over 150 higher education institutions where almost one million students are enrolled. The quality assurance system before the Bologna Declaration was signed in 1999 had a focus on programmes and was essentially an external assessment of a programme by an assessment panel (of peers). After the Bologna Declaration was signed the governements of the Netherlands and Flanders wished to increase the international transparency of its higher education. Furthermore, in the context of the new European bachelor and master qualifications a need arose to benchmark these new bachelor and master degrees.
The Netherlands and Flanders are among the most open economies in the world and in the light of the internationalisation of the labour market, the governments also wanted to internationally guarantee the quality of its higher education.
The Netherlands and Flanders therefore introduced programme accreditation and made accreditation a precondition for public funding, for the right to award officially recognised qualifications (diplomas) and for granting study finance to students (eg. grants, social services). In addition to programme accreditation,  institutional audits were introduced in 2011. Institutional accreditation pilots will take in Flanders starting in 2016 and are being proposed in The Netherlands as well.
Apart from its role as an accredition organisation, the NVAO plays a proactive role in higher education issues and policies. In the international arena, the NVAO sees itself as an active member of its ‘umbrella’ organisations: globally (INQAAHE), regionally (ENQA) and topically (ECA).

let's talk!

Skip to content
Master the art of investing in Canada with Immediate Core Immediate Altex