Victimology and Criminal Justice (wo-master) Tilburg University

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1 Victimology and Criminal Justice (wo-master) Tilburg University 6 December 2011 Initial accreditation Panel report

2 Table of contents 1 Executive summary 3 2 Introduction The procedure Panel report 6 3 Description of the programme Overview Profile of the institution Profile of the programme 7 Assessment per standard Intended learning outcomes (standard 1) Teaching-learning environment (standard 2) Assessment (standard 3) Graduation guarantee and financial provisions (standard 4) 18 4 Overview of the assessments 19 Annex 1: Composition of the panel 20 Annex 2: Schedule of the site visit 21 Annex 3: Documents reviewed 23 Annex 4: Intended Learning Outcomes 24 page 2

3 1 Executive summary The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) received a request for an initial accreditation procedure regarding a proposed master s programme in Victimology and Criminal Justice at Tilburg University. NVAO composed an expert panel, which studied the information dossier and discussed the proposed programme with representatives of the institution and the programme during a site visit. The following considerations played an important role in the panel s assessment. The development of the master s programme has evolved from the growing importance of victimology as a scientific field and the increased emphasis on the position of victims in society. Research institute INTERVICT at Tilburg University plays a leading role in this field. It is highly specialized in the study of victims from multiple perspectives. Its expertise and outstanding academic quality were recognised in 2010, when the institute was appointed Tilburg University s first centre of excellence. In establishing the profile and content of the programme, representatives of the work field were unfortunately not involved. However, the panel learned that some informal discussion with stakeholders did take place and that the programme developed its unique position after information had been obtained on other programmes in victimology. In addition, INTERVICT operates in close alliance with organizations in the field of criminology and as such is well aware of the needs in the field. Representatives of the work field who were present during the site visit confirmed this and emphasized the need for a programme in victimology; they especially appreciate its interdisciplinary character. According to them, the programme will be of great value for organizations involved with victims. Overall, the panel is positive about the profile of the programme. The programme aims to prepare students for a professional position, but the emphasis on autonomous academic thinking as well as the opportunities for students to develop their research skills reveal a thorough academic orientation and sufficiently guarantee the qualification of graduates as PhD-candidates. The content of the programme (including preparatory courses) is sufficiently coherent and covers all the intended learning outcomes. The programme should develop a more formal strategy to ensure its coherence on the long term. The programme is very ambitious. It will bring together students from various academic backgrounds and nationalities. In order to bridge cultural and disciplinary gaps, the programme aims to recruit highly motivated and highly skilled students. It has developed preparatory (summer) courses which are useful to help students become acquainted with an unfamiliar discipline. The programme s didactical approach is based on small-scale lectures which will stimulate students interaction and if necessary, students will receive individual tutoring. The panel regards this approach as suitable for the ambitious outlook of the programme, but remarks that the admission criteria need to be refined. The panel has great trust in the staff of the programme who are all involved with research at INTERVICT, while most do not have other teaching responsibilities. The staff team includes various disciplines and nationalities and guarantees sufficient experience in interdisciplinary and intercultural teaching. The facilities offered by Tilburg Law School are up to standard and additional provisions for international students have been arranged. page 3

4 Tilburg Law School has adopted the University s central policies with regard to the examining board and assessment quality. The policies include a coherent system of safeguarding the quality of the assessments. The assessment methods that will be used in the courses are coherent with the teaching methods and the intended learning outcomes of each course. The assessment of the thesis is in line with the general policies at the faculty. The assessment criteria reflect the master s level and sufficiently include the interdisciplinary element of the programme. The panel advises the programme to develop an assessment plan as soon as possible and to communicate grading criteria and assessment regulations transparently in a study guide. The panel has established that the programme guarantees that students can complete the entire curriculum and that the programme reserved sufficient financial means. In summary, the panel is of the opinion that the expertise of INTERVICT, the admission criteria, the didactical approach, the assessment system and the qualified staff team, allow the programme to educate an international student body in one year to understand and analyse the role of victims in criminal justice and in society, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Although the programme still needs to make several elements explicit and specific, it was far enough developed for the panel to establish its solid foundation. The panel remarks that the programme could well be extended to a two-year programme. With this final remark, the panel wants to underline its enthusiasm: it advises NVAO to take a positive decision regarding the quality of the proposed master s programme Victimology and Criminal Justice at Tilburg University. On the 21 November 2011, the panel received a letter in which the programme indicated and explained under which field of study in the Dutch national register for Higher Education Programmes (CROHO), it should be registered. The panel approves this explanation and the registration of the programme under the field of study sectoroverstijgend. The Hague, 6 December 2011 On behalf of the Initial Accreditation panel composed to assess Victimology and Criminal Justice at Tilburg University, Joke van Staveren LLM (chair) Jetse Siebenga Msc (secretary) page 4

5 2 Introduction 2.1 The procedure NVAO received a request for a limited initial accreditation procedure regarding a proposed master of science programme in Victimology and Criminal Justice. The request (including information dossier) was received on 11 July 2011 from Tilburg University. Because of the international outlook of the programme, NVAO composed an international panel of experts: Joke van Staveren LLM, retired judge of the Amsterdam Appeal Court en former rector of Stichting Studiecentrum rechtspleging (educational institute judges) (chair); Prof. dr. Timothy Hope, Chair in Criminology, University of Salford (UK); Prof. dr. Chrisje Brants-Langeraar, professor in criminal and process-law (comparative justice), Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice, Utrecht University; Anton Schuurmans, master student Public and International Law, Catholic University of Leuven (student-member). On behalf of the NVAO, Linda te Marvelde and Jetse Siebenga were responsible for the process coordination and the drafting of the panel report. The panel includes the expertise deemed necessary by NVAO (Annex 1: Composition of the panel). All panel members signed a statement of independence and confidentiality. The panel has based its assessment on the standards described in the Assessment frameworks for the higher education system (NVAO, 6 December 2010, pg 43 41). The panel members first studied the information dossier (Annex 3: Documents reviewed) of the proposed programme. In a preparatory meeting on 20 October 2011, the panel discussed its first impressions. Timothy Hope could not attend this meeting. His input to the discussion was received by prior to the preparatory meeting. During the meeting the panel agreed on the programme of the site visit and as a result of the discussion, formulated questions to be asked during the site visit. In addition, the panel agreed on requesting the following information prior to the site visit: curricula of other programmes in victimology, additional information regarding the thesis, guidelines on the assessment criteria, study guides (if available), programme of the preparatory courses, overview of facilities for international students and a statement of graduation guarantee. The panel discussed the additional information on the evening before the site visit which took place on 9 November 2011 at Tilburg University (Annex 2: Schedule of the site visit). The panel formulated its preliminary assessments per theme and standard immediately after the site visit. page 5

6 On 23 November 2011, the draft version of this report was finalised taking into account the available information and relevant findings of the assessment. The panel finalised the report on 6 December Panel report The first chapter of this report is the executive summary of the report, while the current chapter is the introduction. The third chapter gives a description of the programme including its position within Tilburg University and within the higher education system of the Netherlands. The panel presents its assessments in the fourth chapter. The panel presents an outline of its findings, considerations and a conclusion. The outline of the findings consist of the information as found by the panel in the information dossier, in the additional information and during the site visit. The panel s considerations are the panel s subjective evaluations regarding these findings and the importance of each. The considerations presented by the panel logically lead to a concluding assessment. The panel concludes the report with a table containing an overview of its assessments per theme and per standard. page 6

7 3 Description of the programme 3.1 Overview Country Institution Programme Level Orientation Degree Location Mode of study Field of study The Netherlands Tilburg University Victimology and Criminal Justice master academic (wo) Master of Science in Victimology and Criminal Justice Tilburg Fulltime Sectoroverstijgend 3.2 Profile of the institution Tilburg University offers 24 bachelor s programmes and 51 master s programmes in Economics, Business Administration, Law, Social Sciences, Humanities and Technology. Some 3135 students are enrolled in various bachelor s and master s programmes offered by Tilburg Law School for the academic year The Law School employs more than 300 staff, comprising approximately 40 professors, 25 senior lecturers, 150 lecturers and other academic staff. In 2005, the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) was established as a result of a collaboration between the Tilburg Law School and the Tilburg School of Behavioral Science. This institute aims to develop and implement an interdisciplinary research and education programme in victimology. Institutionally, INTERVICT is a part of Tilburg Law School. INTERVICT recently became the University s first centre of excellence. 3.3 Profile of the programme Victimology as a scientific discipline was introduced in the 1940s and 1950s and has expanded ever since. Although it originally emerged as a branch of criminology, its growth led to the exploration and development of victimology as an autonomous discipline. INTERVICT is among the worldwide forerunners in exploring and developing victimology. The rising social awareness of the importance of victims rights is illustrated by the UN victims rights declaration on which the international community agreed in Both scientific and societal developments increased the need for a master s programme in victimology. Victimology is related to several domains which include law, political science, psychology, medical studies, economics and sociology/anthropology. INTERVICTS research programme is articulated through three strands: The impact of criminal justice responses on the experience of being wronged by crime. Homogeneity and heterogeneity in the experience of victimization. Developing multidisciplinary victimological theory. The proposed master s programme aims at enabling students to academically analyze and professionally solve problems arising from victimization. The programme focuses on the victim within the context of criminal law systems. Because of the associated domains, the page 7

8 programme is strongly interdisciplinary. In addition, it considers victimology from an international perspective. There is no other comparable master s programme in victimology and criminal justice in the world, which makes it unique. The one-year programme comprises 60 ECTS (European credit transfer and accumulation system) page 8

9 Assessment per standard This chapter presents the evaluation by the assessment panel of the four standards. The panel has reproduced the criteria for each standard. For each standard the panel presents (1) a brief outline of its findings based on the information dossiers and on additional information requested by the panel, and the site visit, (2) the considerations the panel has taken into account and (3) the conclusion of the panel. The panel presents a conclusion for each of the four standards. page 9

10 3.4 Intended learning outcomes (standard 1) The intended learning outcomes of the programme have been concretised with regard to content, level and orientation; they meet international requirements Outline of findings The programme categorises its learning outcomes and related objectives under three headers: knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes (appendix 4). The programme s main objective is to enable students to approach victimological or related subjects in an academic and professional context, by using their intellectual abilities and acquired skills. Students are introduced to victimological theory, empirical research and in some areas, practical interventions. The programme addresses legal, political, economic and psychosocial consequences and responses to victimization. The programme concentrates on victims of crime and victims of the abuse of power. During the site visit, the growing importance of victimology was emphasized by the representatives of the work field. In the Netherlands, the integrative approach of crime-related social problems by social services, police and the judicial system result in a increasing cooperation between policy makers from different agencies. There is a need for graduates who are able to understand victim-related problems from multiple perspectives derived from Social Sciences and Law. The field needs policy makers who are able to understand and use research results to develop a conceptual understanding of the position of victims. The programme aims to prepare students for such positions within victim-related organizations. It provides students with an understanding of research methodology up to an advanced level. Graduates of the programme will qualify for PhD-positions. According to the information dossier, very few other educational programmes that address victimology, specialise in this field. Most programmes have a wider (criminology) scope. Although the name of the programme refers to criminal justice, this mainly functions as the context for the study of victims and as such, is subordinate to victimology. The only other programmes in which victimology is a substantial subject are offered by Tokiwa University (Japan) and Seattle University (U.S). The panel studied the curricula of the programmes offered in Tokiwa and Seattle prior to the site visit. The research institute INTERVICT is part of an extensive network. It maintains close ties with other institutions, for example the World Society of Victomology (WSV). The chair of WSV is also the founding director of INTERVICT. Other related organisations and institutions include the council of Europe, the European Union, the United Nations and the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Considerations The panel has established that the programme indeed has a unique and straightforward focus on victimology. It is not only unique within Europe, where no programmes in victimology can be found, but also global, where no programmes that offer such a welldeveloped interdisciplinary, international outlook on the field of victimology can be found. The panel found that the balance between victimology and criminal justice could be better expressed in the name of the programme. The panel further advises the programme to clearly explicate its focus when marketing the programme to prospective students. page 10

11 Despite INTERVICT s extensive network, the formal and organized involvement of the work field in the development of the master s programme was limited, notwithstanding that the pioneering role of INTERVICT, its close connection with relevant organizations, as well as the informal discussions that were held about the programme with relevant stakeholders and the benchmark that was performed with other programmes, led to a coherent programme profile. The adequacy of the profile was confirmed during the site visit, when representatives of the work field expressed their enthusiasm about the profile and especially about its interdisciplinary character. The interdisciplinary and international outlook of the programme results in a challenging profile. The programme is unique and innovative and fulfils a pioneering role in extending the role of victimology in research and society. The programme aims to enable students to reflect on victim-related problems from various perspectives in national as well as in global contexts, in only one year. The programme prepares students for a position in a societal organization but it is likely that graduates of the programme will be attractive PhDcandidates. The close connection between the programme and INTERVICT, as well as the connections between INTERVICT and other leading institutions and organizations, provide the right context for the realisation of these ambitions. Conclusion The panel assesses standard 1 Intended learning outcomes as satisfactory. 3.5 Teaching-learning environment (standard 2) The curriculum, staff and programme-specific services and facilities enable incoming students to achieve the intended learning outcomes Outline of findings Curriculum The programme includes five compulsory courses, four elective courses and a thesis. All courses consist of 6 ECTS. Master s programme in Victimology and Criminal Justice Preparatory Courses Introduction to Research Methodologies in Social Sciences Introduction to law ECTS n/a n/a Compulsory Courses Theories and Perspectives on Victimization 6 Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Victimology (I and II) 6 Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Justice Victims in National and International Criminal Justice 6 6 Victimization of Vulnerable Groups 6 Master s Thesis 18 Subtotal 48 page 11

12 Elective Courses (Students choose 2 courses) Forensic Victimology and Psychology Current Issues in Victimology Disasters, Calamities and Victimization International Criminal Justice: Selected Topics Subtotal 12/24 Total 60 The information dossier contains a description of each course and the thesis. It also contains a schedule of courses for the academic year Two preparatory courses are scheduled prior to the start of the programme: one for students who lack sufficient knowledge in social sciences research methodology and another for students who lack sufficient knowledge in law. Summarized Course Description The compulsory courses Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Victimology I builds on the preparatory course in Research Methodologies in Social Sciences. During the site visit, the panel learned that students who are more advanced in social science research, can also choose Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Victimology II. This course introduces students to advanced and sophisticated statistical analysis while the basic course (I) introduces students to basic quantitative and qualitative research methods. Which course students will follow, depends on their academic background. The courses Theories and Perspectives on Victimization and Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Justice provide students with an interdisciplinary outlook and conceptualizations of Victimology and Justice. The course Victims in National and International Criminal Justice is aimed at the comparative examination of the evolution (or the lack thereof) in criminal justice systems in accommodating victim s needs and demands. The final compulsory course Victimization of Vulnerable Groups navigates between several disciplines in examining the specifics attached to victimization of certain groups identified as the most vulnerable in society. All courses comprise 6 ECTS and most courses consist of 12 lectures. It was clear to the panel in which courses students will discuss victims of crime but less clear which courses develop an understanding of victims of the abuse of power. The programme indicated that in the three courses Theories and Perspectives on Victimization, Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Justice and Victims in National and International Criminal Justice victims of the abuse of power will be studied. Thesis The thesis should reflect students ability to integrate various victimological and/or criminal justice perspectives and theories by answering specific research questions. In order to bridge theory and practice, students will be encouraged to liaise with both national and international institutions dealing with victim-related issues. The amount of credits awarded for the thesis are 18 ECTS, including a preparatory course of 3 ECTS. During the site visit, the panel learned that students have to start composing their research question during the first semester. At the start of the second semester, students have to present a draft proposal. Teaching methods The programme aims at providing small-scale education and expects students to participate actively during all lectures. Students will be encouraged to ask questions during the lectures page 12

13 and in several courses they will have to present and discuss their own papers. On average, each course consists of 12 meetings comprising formal lectures, practical exercises, discussion seminars and students presentations. Each lesson lasts 2 hours. Face-to-face instruction will vary between 170 and 180 hours out of a total workload of 1680 hours for 60 ECTS. Students will have 4 to 6 contact hours per week. The programme further offers tutorials to students in need of further instruction. Students who have to improve their (English) language skills, will be given the opportunity to follow additional courses in (academic) English. Prospective students The programme expects to recruit students with a bachelor degree in criminology, law or one of the social sciences. Students with a background in criminology will be admitted unconditionally. For all other students, the admission procedure includes a review of students performance during their undergraduate studies, as well as a review of the courses they have followed. During the site visit, the panel learned that the programme aims to attract highly qualified and highly motivated students. To enable a small-scale approach, it will aim at a number of 50 incoming students per year. The programme starts with the intake of approximately 16 students in the first year. Tilburg Law School s Admission authority will set requirements with regard to non-criminology students readiness and ability to undertake an interdisciplinary programme. The programme decided that Hbo-students do not qualify for enrolment. In addition, it requires students to prove their proficiency in English (TOEFL 600 or IELTS 7,5). The programme expects to recruit 50% of the total number of students from abroad (EU and non-eu), just as other international oriented master programmes of the University of Tilburg do. The programme has good opportunities to promote itself through its ties with INTERVICT and WSV. Staff The staff consist of 6 professors, 5 associate professors and 3 PhD candidates who are all part of INTERVICT. Staff members represent a variety of disciplines such as law, psychology, criminal law, international law, criminology, forensic psychology, political science and developmental psychology. All staff members perform interdisciplinary research in the field of victimology. In addition, many staff members teach in post-graduate courses that are organised around the globe by the World Society of Victimology. Most staff members do not have any other teaching responsibilities. PhD-students are required to spent 20% of their time to other activities than their own research. Individual tutorials will mostly be given by PhD-students. Coordinating and management responsibilities are divided among a programme director, the deputy director and a programme manager (administrative management). For almost all courses there are at least two responsible staff members of whom one will act as a course coordinator. The two staff members for each course represent two disciplines: law and social sciences. The staff-student ratio at Tilburg Law School is 1:15,5. The staff studentratio for the first year of the programme is calculated at 1:11. Facilities The programme will rely on the common facilities of Tilburg Law School and of Tilburg University. All lecture rooms are equipped with standard teaching and presentation equipment. The Tilburg University library consists of some 800,000 printed works and provides access to 11,000 electronic journals and to 130 databases. Enrolled students have unrestricted wireless access to the internet. The panel received additional information on the page 13

14 facilities for international students. These incorporate support with the arrangement of housing and visa, as well as the organization of arrival days and a buddy system. Considerations The international and interdisciplinary character of the programme will be quite demanding for students. They need to bridge not only the gap between several disciplines, but also develop cross-cultural understanding within one year. This will ask for extra attention from the staff. The panel is of the opinion that the teaching and learning environment adequately allow the realisation of these high ambitions. The panel has verified that it is likely that the programme will be able to attract highly qualified students, that the content of the courses reflect the aims and objectives, that all learning outcomes are sufficiently covered in the curriculum, that the programme uses small-scale, interactive lecturing, that it provides individual tutoring to students when necessary, that it demands students to perform substantive self-study and prepare themselves for the lectures, that it provides tutorials for students who need guidance in discovering specific topics, and that the staff team is sufficiently experienced and motivated to develop interdisciplinary understanding to students from different nationalities. Prospective students The panel is convinced that the estimation that the programme will attract 50% of the student population from abroad, is justified. Due to the unique role of the programme, the large network and the role of INTERVICT staff at the postgraduate victimology courses all over the world, the programme has good promoting opportunities. It is likely that the programme will draw attention of prospective students world-wide. The panel is on the other hand rather critical of the fact that students with a background in criminology are allowed unconditionally. This could compromise the small-scale didactic model and might interfere with the aim of attracting the best students. The panel advices the programme to adapt a more selective approach to students with a background in criminology and explicitly write down the admission criteria. Didactics The programme aims to provide lectures with a high degree of interaction. The small-scale approach, combined with substantial self-study and tutorials, will help students to bridge gaps between disciplines and develop a cross-cultural understanding. In addition, the panel is positive about the preparatory courses in the summer that help students with bridging disciplinary gaps. The panel foresees that bridging disciplinary gaps might require staff attention throughout the entire curriculum and finds it positive that the programme foresees individual tutoring. The panel established that the programme model highly stimulates autonomous academic thinking from the start and accordingly, prepares student for the writing of their thesis. Students who wish to pursue an academic career will be given the opportunity to participate in research performed at INTERVICT as part of their thesis. The panel advices the programme to also stimulate students who wish to pursue a professional career to do an internship. The extensive network of INTERVICT should be made available to these students. Content: preparatory courses The preparatory courses help students to develop understanding of unfamiliar disciplines. The course Introduction in Research Methodologies in Social Science includes qualitative and quantitative research methods and sufficiently allows students to participate in the page 14

15 following courses of the programme, among which are Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Victimology I and II. Students with a background in social science will obtain basic knowledge of law via the preparatory course and several other courses of the programme. The panel suggests that the programme considers intensifying the attention for (comparative) law in the curriculum for these students. Although students will obtain sufficient knowledge of law in order to understand the issues and complexities in victimology, additional (elective) courses will provide students with the opportunity to gain a more thorough understanding of the discipline. Content: programme curriculum The content of the programme reflects the aims and objectives of the programme. All learning outcomes are sufficiently covered by the content of the courses. The courses are structured in such a way that students first gain a basic understanding of theories and perspectives in victimology and have the opportunity to specialize as the programme unfolds. The curriculum s coherence is convincing. To ensure the coherence on the long term, the programme needs a formal strategy which includes organized regular staff meetings. The prescribed literature for the courses is sufficiently up-to-date and corresponds well with the ambitioned master-level. The panel is especially positive about the courses Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Victimology I and II because it allows students with more experience in social science research methodologies to achieve a higher level. At the same time, all students will, throughout the programme, develop sufficient understanding of research in social sciences and be able to obtain the programme s final qualifications. The course Natural Disasters seems to be on the edge of the programmes focus. The programme clarified the content of the course in which a comparison is made between the consequences of victimization of crime and victimization because of natural disaster. The panel is of the opinion that this course will stimulate students reflection and finds it as such coherent with the rest of the programme. The panel further questioned the positioning of the course Victimization of Vulnerable Groups in the second semester. Since this course is compulsory, it might be beneficial to students who develop their research proposal, to include this course in the first semester. Staff The INTERVICT staff team is highly interdisciplinary and international. The panel verified that all teaching staff is closely involved with research and is experienced in working with several disciplines and nationalities. Due to this experience, the panel regards the staff members able to teach in an international classroom. The number of staff members, their academic background and research and teaching experience, as well as their enthusiasm for the programme, convinced the panel that the team will be able to realise the high ambitions of the programme. Since most staff members do not have other teaching obligations and PhD-students are required to spend 20% of their time on other activities than their own research project, the programme has sufficient attention of all staff members. Facilities The panel has established that the general facilities provided for the programme at Tilburg Law School are up to standard. In addition, Tilburg University has ample experience with international master students and offers an adequate and complete support system for international students. page 15

16 Conclusion The panel assesses standard 2 Teaching-learning environment as satisfactory. 3.6 Assessment (standard 3) The programme has an adequate assessment system in place. Outline of findings Tilburg University recently redeveloped its central policies concerning the assessment of students. These policies re-define the tasks and responsibilities of the examining board, propose policies to be executed by the faculties and specify the role of the assessmentexperts. During the site visit, the panel learned that Tilburg Law School currently implements the new policies. In addition, the panel learned that Tilburg Law School itself took the initiative to develop a policy which prescribes the use of assessment methods in relation to course content. Policies The existing examining board will be transformed to one examining board for all master programmes of Tilburg Law School. This board consists of eight people who will be appointed by the Executive Board of Tilburg University. Membership will be based on expertise in the relevant field of a programme or a group of programmes. The board is responsible for the quality of the examination and will be advised by the examination committee. This committee ensures the quality assessment of the exams of each programme by an assessment expert. The assessment expert has the task to review a maximum of ten assessments per semester per faculty. The proposed policies prescribe that each programme director draws an assessment plan which presents the link between the learning outcomes and content of the programme. The plan further specifies the method of assessment and the position of each learning outcome in the assessment of several courses. Tutors are responsible for drafting the assessment plan. The proposal states that each new programme should have developed an assessment plan. The programme in victimology has not (yet) developed a plan as such since at the time of writing the application it was subject to the old regulations. As there is one examining board for all master programmes at Tilburg Law School, there is also one education committee for all master programmes. Members of this committee are students and lecturers from all relevant programmes. Assessment The assessment methods for the courses are described in the information dossier. Proposed assessment methods include written exams, essays, discussions, presentations, oral exams and the theses. During the site visit, the panel learned that the (administrative) coordinator of each course is responsible for the assessment plan but that the exams are made cooperatively as each lecturer presents questions concerning their field of expertise. The panel received a common assessment framework for the theses as part of the additional information. The panel has studied the common assessment framework for the theses. This assessment form mentions 5 categories (form, content, attitude, independence and graduation) which result in a final thesis mark. The criteria are subdivided in a list of points of attention. page 16

17 Besides the common assessment framework, the information dossier contains a number of focus points with regard to the thesis. Theses should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of victimology and give proof of the ability to integrate various victimological perspectives. The research question needs to be clearly designed and the methodology should be appropriate for answering the research question. Students will be encouraged to liaise with national and international institutions dealing with victim-related issues. Considerations Policies The panel studied the assessment policies and the organization thereof. It is positive about the position and responsibilities of the examining board and the examination committee. In addition, it is positive about the separate initiative of Tilburg Law School to develop general policies regarding assessment methods in relation to course content. The panel finds it positive that the Tilburg Law School requires each programme to draw up an assessment plan and recommends the programme to develop the plan soon. The policies as a whole sufficiently safeguard the quality of the assessments performed at Tilburg Law School. Assessment From the information dossier, the panel got a good impression of the used assessment methods. These are sufficiently varied, both formative and summative. The assessment methods are coherent with the working methods and the intended learning outcomes of each course. The following examples make clear how the assessment methods are fit to the learning outcomes, the knowledge presented and the teaching method of the course. Whereas for most courses students need to write a paper or answer essay questions, for the course Theories and Perspectives on Victimization, which aims to provide students with knowledge about victimology and its theoretical concepts, the assessment method is a written exam in which students will be tested on their knowledge. This assessment method is fit to the purpose of the course and allows the programme to ensure that students know all the relevant theories and perspectives in victimology, before following more in-depth courses. For the course, Current Issues in Victimology, the assessment is an oral presentation. The course itself is built up of a seminar for the duration of a week and contains at least one study trip. The assessment method allows students to present their oral skills and add to the diversity of assessment methods. The panel remarks that the assessment rules and grading criteria have not yet been fully developed and that the programme needs to establish a study guide which transparently describes these aspects. From discussions on the assessment methods and assessment criteria, the panel is confident that the programme will realise the assessment of students in accordance with the master level. Conclusion The panel assesses standard 3 Assessment as satisfactory. page 17

18 3.7 Graduation guarantee and financial provisions (standard 4) The institution guarantees students that they can complete the entire curriculum and makes sufficient financial provisions available. Outline of findings The programme is consolidated in the educational system at Tilburg University and more specifically at Tilburg Law School. The development and marketing of the programme as well as the investment in personnel, are incorporated in the financial structures of Tilburg Law School. In addition, INTERVICT will contribute a large part of the other necessary investments. The programme anticipates that the number of enrolled students will after two years be sufficient to balance the budget. The estimated number of students after two years is 60, the programme arrives at a financial break-even point at the intake of 40 students. On its own request, the panel received a letter from the chair of the University board and the Director of the University, which states that INTERVICT has reserved sufficient budget to operate the programme till at least 2017 and that the University Board guarantees that all students who enrolled to the programme within this period, will be able to finish it. Considerations The panel has established that Tilburg Law School has reserved sufficient financial means to realise the programme and ensures that students can complete the entire curriculum. In discussions with the higher management of the institution, the panel verified that the programme is sufficiently discussed with and supported by the higher management of the university. Conclusion The panel assesses standard 4: Graduation guarantee and financial provisions as satisfactory. page 18

19 4 Overview of the assessments The panel presents its assessments per standard, as outlined in chapter 4, in the following table. Theme Assessment 1 Intended learning outcomes Satisfactory 2 Teaching-learning environment Satisfactory 3. Assessment Satisfactory 4 Graduation guarantee and financial provisions Satisfactory page 19

20 Annex 1: Composition of the panel Chair Joke van Staveren LLM Van Staveren graduated in 1970 at the Law School of Leiden University. She obtained several functions within the Judiciary and was part of the editorial board of Trema, Journal for the Dutch Judiciary. From 1988 unto 1993 she was rector of the training and study centre for the Dutch Judiciary. Hereafter she was a board member for the Court of Zutphen and judge of the appeal-court of Amsterdam. She had been a member and chair of several accreditation committees of the NVAO. Member Prof. dr. Timothy Hope Hope holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of London and is now Chair in Criminology at School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at The University of Salford (UK). From he was a senior Visiting Research Fellow at the CJ-Quest network of the University of Edinburgh. Prof. Hope held positions at the universities of Keele, Manchester and Missouri-St. Louis where amongst others he was director of the Economic and Social Research Council Crime and Social Order Research Programme. He carried out research for governmental projects and governmental bodies. Member Prof. dr. Chrisje Brants-Langeraar Brants-Langeraar is Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Utrecht. University, Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice. She published widely on criminal justice and comparative justice. She teaches courses in Comparing Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice and Criminology, Comparative Criminal Law, Material Criminal Law and Criminal Process Law. Prof. Brants-Langeraar is board member of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association, the Dutch-Flemish council for Criminal Law. Member Anton Schuurmans (Student member) Schuurmans studies law, public law and international and European Law at the University of Leuven. From he was vice-chair for the Leuven Student Council (LOKO) and was part of the academic council and the General Board of the Catholic University of Leuven. His responsibilities included quality assurance, internationalization and student facilities. From , Schuurmans was board member of the Flemish Student Association (VVS). He acted as student member in several assessment committees for the NVAO. Secretary Jetse Siebenga Msc. Process coordinator Drs. Linda te Marvelde page 20

Criminal Law and Criminology. Faculty of Law, the University of Groningen

Criminal Law and Criminology. Faculty of Law, the University of Groningen Criminal Law and Criminology Faculty of Law, the University of Groningen Quality Assurance Netherlands Universities (QANU) Catharijnesingel 56 PO Box 8035 3503 RA Utrecht The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0)

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