HBO-Bachelor International Business – Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen

Groningen, Netherlands

Reviewed by NVAO

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Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen

Executive summary

This report contains an assessment of the quality of internationalisation of the bachelor programme International Business (IB) at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. The audit was performed by an international panel, convened by Hobéon and validated by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), during a visit to Groningen on 28 November 2019. The panel’s finding, considerations and conclusions are based on a self-evaluation report, on additional materials illustrating the programme’s performance on internationalisation and on a series of discussions with different internal and external programme stakeholders.

According to the panel, the IB programme in Groningen fulfils all criteria and all standards of the CeQuInt evaluation framework and this up to a level which often surpasses the generic quality that can be reasonably expected from an international perspective. The panel considers that internationalisation constitutes an intrinsic element of the school and is at the core of the IB programme. Moreover, the six programme internationalisation goals have a direct bearing on the quality of teaching and learning and are sufficiently concrete to be monitored. Nonetheless, these goals are formulated in a rather generic way that does not set the programme apart from other IB programmes in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the panel recommends the management team to monitor carefully that the recently produced key performance indicators that are linked to the programme goals are more clearly defined, feasible and eventually achieved.

In terms of international and intercultural learning, the panel appreciates the way in which the school is integrating its international and intercultural profile in the nationally agreed IB framework and how each of its six programme internationalisation goals is covered in one or more programme learning outcomes. According to the panel, the assessment system is not only robust but also reflects the character of the study programme, including the international and intercultural aspects of the curriculum. The panel thinks highly of the level of graduate achievement: students are adequately prepared for a follow-up study or a position on the labour market with tried and tested international and intercultural competences.

The panel considers that students are offered good quality teaching and learning. This appreciation relates not only to the curriculum, but also extends to the teaching methods and the learning environment. According to the panel, the curriculum, teaching methods andlearning environment of the programme are relevant for the type of education the school and the university offer to the IB students in Groningen. Moreover, the panel thinks highly of the way in which the international and intercultural dimensions impact the curriculum, the didactical underpinning and the learning environment of the IB programme.

In terms of staff, the panel considers that the number and quality of staff are appropriate to deliver the IB programme. It appreciates the international, intercultural and language expertise of the staff. The opportunities for staff professionalisation are numerous and appropriate. Having met highly motivated teachers on site, the panel fully understands that students are very satisfied with the knowledge, skills and availability of the staff who contribute to a safe and welcoming learning environment.

In terms of students, the panel considers that the composition of the student body is truly international and interculturally diverse. The IB curriculum allows students to acquire extensive international and intercultural competences. Moreover, students can use a variety of services e.g. the learning labs, which are of good quality and benefit from the international and intercultural dimension of the IB programme.

In sum, the panel considers that the IB programme at Hanze UAS in Groningen fulfils each of the five standards of the CeQuInt assessment framework. Its overall judgement on the programme’s quality of internationalisation is positive.