UT wants NVAO accreditation for controversial Master's in Public Management

| Rense Kuipers

The UT wants to have the part-time Master's in Public Management certified by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This is in anticipation of the verdict of the Education Inspectorate, which pointed out to the UT that the programme may not be properly accredited.

Archive U-Today: UT rector Tom Veldkamp at a previous University Council meeting.

The UT is still awaiting the final report and verdict of the Education Inspectorate. In anticipation of this, the decision to accredit the programme by the NVAO was submitted to the University Council on Wednesday morning. The Council approved the plan to send Public Management to the NVAO for a so-called 'New Programme Test'.

Public Management is a so-called 'executive part-time programme' offered by the UT. The UT had this master's programme accredited by the  European Association for Public Administration Accreditation (EAPAA), but was informed by the Education Inspectorate last summer that this accreditation may have been done incorrectly. The Inspectorate is of the opinion that the UT should have this programme inspected by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).

'Be proactive'

Rector Tom Veldkamp said that with this NVAO application, the UT is anticipating a negative assessment by the Education Inspectorate. 'We don't know yet what the verdict will be, but by applying for this accreditation, we can offer a solution in the event that the diploma won’t be recognized anymore. That's why we want to be proactive, so that in the worst case scenario we can offer a solution to the people who now have a diploma.'

The other reason is that this part-time master's programme is the only programme within the UT range that is not accredited by the NVAO. 'And it is our standing policy that every programme we offer must be accredited by the NVAO,' says Veldkamp.

Not automatically a new diploma

According to the rector, the application does not mean that the Public Management graduates will automatically receive a new diploma, should the current diplomas be declared invalid. 'But with some adjustments, they can earn a diploma again.'

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