United in experience: two PC’s represent 19 programmes
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Maastricht University takes up the challenge to represent 19 programmes in two Programme Committees. The Bachelor Programme Committee meets jointly with the Master Programme Committee. And it works!
We have one Bachelor Programme Committee and one Master Programme Committee, in which student members of the different programmes that we offer participate. Every department of our School is represented by a staff member, who participates in both the Bachelor as well as the Master Programme Committee. Both Committees meet jointly once a month under the supervision of one Chair (a professor). A secretary, appointed by the University, offers administrative support. During our meetings 15 student members, 8 staff members (the Chair included) and one secretary are present.
The student representative in the Faculty Board recruits the student members. Student members who participate in the PC’s also participate in the Student Council, which is an informal body within our School, founded by students. This structure ensures a close contact with their stakeholders, their fellow students. Department Heads see to their own succession. The Faculty Board officially appoints all PC members.
First Year Student Panel
No first year students participate in the PC’s. As their voice is also very important to us, we invite a selection of first year students to a rather informal meeting which we call the First Year Student Panel. Together with the Chair, secretary and educational staff member of the PC’s they meet after each period to discuss their experiences.
During the first meeting of the academic year the Chair gives a presentation on the structure, tasks and place of the Programme Committees within the organisation. During this meeting the members are divided in several task forces. These task forces all evaluate different aspects of the quality of education at SBE (Bachelor Programme, Master Programme, Exam Quality, etc). Task forces are composed of one staff member and two or more student members. This way, students learn how to perform evaluations and draft up reports under the supervision of a staff member. These task force reports are based on the results of student inquiries and are discussed in plenary meetings. After they have been discussed the secretary sends the reports to the Bachelor Master Management Team (BMMT) with an accompanying letter.
The results of those different task force reports combined with the results of the course evaluations are then laid down in a so-called ‘Overall Report’ for the previous academic year. This report is drafted up and analysed by the Chair, who submits it to the BMMT. This way a general idea on the quality of education can be formed. General developments or tendencies can be detected sooner, which helps to form a solid policy not based on incidents but on facts. And that is how we try to pursue the tasks that we are given by law in the best way we can.
“Our vision on the quality of education is based on the united strength of both our PC’s”