Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen Degree course: International Business and Management Studies;

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1 Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen Degree course: International Business and Management Studies; Variant: Date of audit visit: June 27 th, 2006 Full time course hbo-bachelor Netherlands Quality Agency (NQA) Utrecht, November 2006

2 2 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

3 Contents 3 Part A: Topics 5 1. Preface 7 2. Introduction 8 3. Audit procedures 9 4. Process to Final Assessment Assessment by Topic Overview of Assessment at Facet and Topic Level Overall conclusion 11 Part B: Aspects by Topic 13 Topic 1 Aims and Objectives of the Programme 15 Topic 2 Programme Contents and Structure 18 Topic 3 Deployment of Staff 29 Topic 4 Facilities 32 Topic 5 Internal Quality Assurance 33 Topic 6 Conditions for Continuity 37 Part C: Appendices 41 Appendix 1: Declaration of Independence by the Audit Panel Members 42 Appendix 2: Expertise of the Audit Panel Members 49 Appendix 3: Audit Visit Programme 53 Appendix 4: Overview of the Documents Made Available for Scrutiny 55 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 3

4 4 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

5 Part A: Topics NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 5

6 6 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

7 1. Preface This is the assessment report of the degree course International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) offered by HAN University Arnhem. In this report NQA accounts for its findings and conclusions and its working method. The audit was undertaken within the framework of the accreditation of programs of higher professional education. The audit process started in April 2006, when HAN IBMS submitted its internal report for evaluation to NQA. The audit visit by the NQA panel was on June 27th HAN IBMS aims at accreditation both in the Netherlands and in Germany. To this end, the study programme was also reviewed according to the German accreditation frame of Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA). The FIBAA-audit was at the same time as the NQA-audit. The panel consisted of the following experts: J. P. D. Riegen (Chair and domain audit panel member); Ing. J.C. de Jong (domain audit panel member); Prof. Dr. H.-H. Bleuel (FIBAA, domain audit panel member). Dipl.-Vw. D. Motoki (FIBAA, domain audit panel member) Ms F. van Rijn (student audit panel member); Ms Drs. R. van Empel (NQA auditor). This audit panel complies with the requirements laid down by NVAO (Nederlands - Vlaams Accreditatie Organisatie, Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation, in its Protocol ter beoordeling van de werkwijze van visiterende en beoordelende instanties (August 2005). This document is the protocol for review and assessment of study programmes. The audit panel includes members with domain-specific expertise, teaching and assessing expertise and expertise regarding the international developments within the discipline of the degree course (cf. appendix 2). The report consists of three parts: Part A: The Topic Report, with the conclusions of the audit panel concerning the basic quality of the programme at topic level. It also contains the considerations on which these conclusions are based. The conclusions are graded as either positive or negative. In addition, the final conclusion concerning the entire study programme is formulated in the Topic Report. Part B: The Aspect Report, with the assessments of the audit panel concerning the basic quality of the programme at aspect level. It states the findings that underpin that assessment. The assessments are awarded on a four-point scale as prescribed by NVAO: unsatisfactory [onvoldoende], satisfactory [voldoende], good [goed] and excellent [uitstekend]. The Aspect Report is the basis for the Topic Report. Part C contains all the relevant Appendices. NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 7

8 2. Introduction HAN is a university of professional education with some employees and over students, Dutch and foreign. HAN University was founded in 1996, when three earlier Institutes for higher professional education merged: HEAO Arnhem, Hogeschool Gelderland and Hogeschool Nijmegen. HAN s study programmes are offered by four Faculties. These are: the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Technology, Faculty of Health and Social Studies and the Faculty of Economics and Management (FEM). The IBMS-programme that is the object of this report is one of five study programmes offered in English only at FEM. These five study programmes in English make up Arnhem Business School (ABS). Arnhem Business School is part of the FEM s Institute of Business and Communication (IB&C). Some 60% of the students studying at IBMS in are from non-dutch origin, 157 out of 297. This international diversity of the students makes for an international atmosphere, enhancing the international study experience. The programme explicitly aims at this international mix. To that end, the programme management stimulates enrolment of non- Dutch students. In , 140 students were Dutch, 71 came from South East Asia, and 37 students were German. In September 2005, HAN-University introduced a large scale project of educational innovation, called HOF (HAN Onderwijsflexibilisering). The main element in HOF is emphasis on student driven education, aiming at enhanced flexibility in individual study-trajectories and enhanced responsibility of students for their educational process. All study trajectories contain a major (210 EC s maximum) and a minor (30 EC s minimum). The major contains the professional competencies of the study programme that students have enrolled for and that they aim at receiving an award for. The minor contains elective topics, resulting in a specialized qualification profile of the student concerned, with a broader scope of competencies and a more enhanced, or specialized, grasp of the competencies of the study programme. Another change, also in September 2005, in the IBMS-programme is enhancement of the emphasis on competence-based learning. This change in educational approach resulted in a change in the curriculum as a whole, since several formerly separate components of the programme will be on offer in the future in an integrated format. At the time of the visit, IBMS offered the first-year programme - the foundation year in the new format; this is a combined foundation programme for three of ABS study programmes. The second, third and fourth year IBMS-students were still offered the old programme at the time of the panel s visit in Arnhem in June In the aspect-report, the two programmes will be referred to as new programme and current programme. The panel studied both programmes for their assessment of HAN IBMS. As the main information on how IBMS is carried out concerns the current programme e.g. didactics, testing, coaching, students experiences, results -, the panel s assessment is based mainly 8 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

9 on the current programme. The new programme may well be an improvement, is the panel s conclusion. 3. Audit procedures The audit of the study programme complies with the procedures set down in the assessment protocol of NQA which is described below. The audit panel found that the internal report for evaluation and the appendixes were a clear basis for the audit. The review took into account the domain-specific frame of reference applicable to the programme (aspect 1.2). NQA distinguishes three phases in the review process: the preparatory phase, the audit visit and the reporting phase. A brief elaboration by phase is stated below. Preparatory phase The NQA auditor checked the internal report for evaluation for its quality and comprehensiveness (the screening), and determined its usefulness for the audit. When the internal report for evaluation and the appendixes had been found in order (May 2006), the panel members started their preparation for the actual audit visit (May-June 2006). They read the internal report - and the appendixes - for evaluation and formulated their provisional assessments according to a prescribed NQA-format for review. The panel members passed their questions on to the NQA auditor who, with a matrix of provisional assessments, made an inventory of main points and priorities for scrutiny of documents and for conducting interviews. The audit visit was prepared in a preparatory meeting of the panel. The main topics for review were determined. They formed the agenda for the visit, enabling the programme management and the panel to prepare adequately for the visit. The programme management indicated in their internal report for evaluation what domain-specific frame of reference it adheres to. Together with the field expert in the audit panel, the NQA auditor established whether the specific aims and objectives for the field of study were adequate, or whether detailed supplementation or specification was needed. The Aspectreport states on what national, professional and programme profiles the domain-specific framework and the programme contents and structure were based. Audit visit The NQA-protocol has a standard timetable for the visit. This timetable was adjusted to the specific situation at HAN IBMS (Appendix 3). Interviews were held with the Management Team, teachers and students. Joint interviews were held with graduates and representatives of the professional field. At the beginning and during the visit the documents requested for scrutiny were studied. In between the interviews, the panel members discussed their findings; at their final discussion, the panel decided on the definitive assessments of the programme concerning all aspects. At the end of the visit the panel gave some feedback on their impressions and experiences, without explicit conclusions about the review. Reporting phase Based on the findings of the panel, the NQA-auditor drafted a two-part report consisting of the Aspect Report and the Topic Report. In the Aspect Report, NQA reported on aspect level. The programme management received a draft of this report in August 2006 and NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 9

10 checked it for factual errors. Their reaction was returned to NQA in September 2006; it has led to some adaptations of the text. In the Topic Report, NQA states its conclusions on the topics and the study programme as a whole. With this report in hand, the programme management can apply for accreditation with NVAO. The Topic Report was presented to the programme management in October 2006 for a check on factual errors. The definite audit report was presented to the programme management in November The programme management could then submit it to NVAO together with an application for accreditation. 4. Process to definitive Assessment In Section 5, for each topic a conclusion is stated. The panel arrived at these six conclusions through their findings n each of the aspects of that topic. The Decision Making Rules set by NQA in the review protocol [Beoordelingsprotocol] and elaborated on further in the NQA memorandum Guidelines for the Formation of Assessment [Handreiking voor oordeelsvorming], have a key role in this decision-making process. The review takes into account any special emphasis the programme management might have placed on the programme and the domain-specific framework. Extensive substantiation is to be found in the Aspect Report. 5. Assessment by Topic Topic 1: Aims and Objectives of the Programme All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. Topic 2: Programme Contents and Structure All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. Topic 3: Deployment of Staff All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. Topic 4: Facilities All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. Topic 5: Internal Quality Assurance All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. Topic 6: Results All aspects are at least assessed at the level of satisfactory. The conclusion on this topic for the IBMS programme is therefore positive. 10 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

11 6. Matrix of Conclusions and Assessments at Aspect and Topic Level Topic/Aspect Topic 1 Aims and Objectives Aspect 1. Domain-specific requirements Aspect 2. Bachelor s level Aspect 3. Orientation HBO bachelor s degree Topic assessment Topic 2 Programme Contents and Structure Aspect 1. HBO requirements Aspect 2. Aims and objectives in relation to programme-contents Aspect 3.Coherence of the programme Aspect 4.Study load Aspect 5. Intake Aspect 6. Duration Aspect 7. Co-ordination of structure and contents Aspect 8. Assessments and examinations Topic assessment Topic 3 Deployment of Staff Aspect 1. HBO requirements Aspect 2. Quantity of staff Aspect 3. Quality of staff Topic assessment Topic 4 Facilities Aspect 1. Material facilities Aspect 2. Student counselling Topic assessment Topic 5 Internal Quality Assurance Aspect 1. Evaluation of results Aspect 2. Measures for improvement Aspect 3. Involvement of stakeholders Topic assessment Topic 6 Results Aspect 1. Level achieved Aspect 2. Educational outcomes Topic assessment Study programme IBMS good good good positive satisfactory good good satisfactory satisfactory good satisfactory good positive satisfactory good satisfactory positive satisfactory good positive good satisfactory satisfactory positive satisfactory satisfactory positive 7. Overall conclusion On basis of the conclusions written up in Section 5 of the Topic Report, which in turn are based on the findings as written up in the Aspect Report and shown again in the above matrix, the panel finds that the programme scores positive on all six topics. This results in a positive overall conclusion about the IBMS study programme at HAN. NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 11

12 12 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

13 Part B: Facets NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 13

14 14 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

15 Topic 1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME Topic 1, Aspect 1 Domain-specific Requirements Good Criterion: - The final qualifications of the programme correspond to the requirements set by the profession in the Netherlands and abroad and professional practice, in the relevant domain (field of study/discipline and/or professional practice). The panel s assessment is based on the following findings: The requirements of the programme correspond to the Dutch requirements for a degree course in International Business Management Studies, as they comply with the nationally accepted IBMS-competencies, laid down in a document of the National Platform IBMS (Landelijk Overleg IBMS) that was approved of by the HBO-raad in 2004: Framework Competencies IBMS, Den Haag, September This document, referred to as the Framework from now on, largely complies with an earlier report on IBMScompetences, written up in International Business and Management Studies, professional profile ( by Hobéon, Den Haag, 1999). These competencies are the basis for all IBMS-programmes in The Netherlands. The Framework contains the starting qualifications for graduates and a description of domains of expertise and domain competencies. During the study year the HAN IMBS-programme was based on two sets of final qualifications. The competencies as valid for the IBMS-programme from 2005 onward are laid down in the Framework Competencies, as accepted by IBMS-platform and HBO-raad. The requirements as still valid for the programme of the current main phase (September 2005-July 2008) have the same origin - the Hobéon report of and thus tally in content with those in the Framework. The set of competencies in The Framework contains eight generic 'economic' competencies and eight more specific, professional competencies. These sixteen competencies are described in the Framework in three levels of proficiency. - The generic competencies are: Leadership, Co-operation, Communication, Analyzing and Information Processing, Creative Problem Solving, Planning and Organizing, Learning and Self-development and Ethical Responsibility. - The profession-related competencies are: International Business Awareness, Intercultural Adaptability, International Strategic Vision Development, Organisational Policy Development, Entrepreneurial Management, International Marketing Management, International Operation Management and International Accounting and Financial Management. ABS adds to the IBMS-competencies by a stress on intercultural interaction. To that end, ABS requires its students to live and study in various cultural environments: their original cultural environment, the intercultural ABS-environment and a third cultural environment during study or placement abroad. All Dutch students must study and must also do placement abroad (cf 2.2). NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 15

16 IBMS is part of the domain Business Administration (BBA). In developing the Framework Competencies, the Dutch National Platform IBMS integrated the BBA domain competencies. IBMS discusses the relevancy of the final requirements with its Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) and also in their contacts with firms that are involved in placements and graduation assignments. ABS also gathers information on business developments through the media, (professional) literature and from colleagues within HAN and within other Institutes. A combined PAC was established in 2000 for CE, IBL and IBMS. In 2005 a specific PAC for IBMS was established, discussing requirements of the professional field and the consequences of these for final requirements, learning objectives, contents and didactics. The panel has seen minutes of the meetings of the IBMS-PAC A professional field survey and an alumni survey were held recently. - The professional field survey shows that the professionals feel that the competencies are relevant to the profession (IBMS professional field survey 2005). - The Alumni survey shows that 84% of the respondents feel that the competencies are relevant to their profession (IBMS Alumni survey 2005). In their current position, 80% of the alumni hold a position in a company that generates more than 20% of their turnover in international activities. Information on the international standard of the qualifications that IBMS aims at, and on their subject matter, is provided through the stabile contacts of IBMS with partner institutes (universities abroad), the international firms that students do their traineeship or their graduation assignment at and through the contacts with the firms that they work for (cf 1.3). Topic 1, Aspect 2 Bachelor s Level Good Criterion: - The final qualifications of the programme correspond to the general, internationally accepted descriptions of the qualifications of a Bachelor. The panel s assessment is based on the following findings: The Dublin and HBO- generic descriptors have been the basis for the development of the Framework Competencies by the National IBMS Committee (The Framework). On the basis of these descriptors, generic competencies are included in the competency Profile, focusing on interpersonal, task-oriented and intra-personal competencies. IBMS refers to the Dublin and HBO-generic descriptors as standards for its level of qualifications. The panel has seen how the 'old' and the 'new' IBMS-qualifications match with the Dublin descriptors (DD). IBMS provided a document with this match. As IBMS pointed out, DD 5, learning skills, are not included as such in the 'old' final requirements. Nevertheless, DD 5 is reached in the current programme, as learning skills are achieved as (matter of fact) a consequence and assessed - when students work in projects (cf. 16 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

17 2.1, 2.2, 2.7 and 2.8). Both 'old' and 'new' students are assessed on having reached all DD's. Topic 1, Aspect 3 Orientation HBO Bachelor s Degree Good Criteria: - The final qualifications are derived partly from the professional profiles and/or professional competencies drawn up by (or in consultation with) the relevant professional field. - The final qualifications reflect the level of the starting professional practitioner in a specific profession or related spectrum of professions for which a HBO qualification is required or useful. The panel s assessment is based on the following findings: The study programme aims at functions for its students in middle and higher management positions in international marketing, finance and management in the following types of organisations. Such as: - an enterprise which exports or imports products and services; - a subsidiary of a foreign enterprise; - a foreign subsidiary of an international enterprise; - an enterprise abroad. IBMS graduates are generalists with an international orientation. They are trained for positions in finance, marketing and management and are able to work in different cultural environments and co-operate with people from different nationalities. Their positions range from account manager, PR-manager, product manager, sales and marketing manager to international treasury manager and human resource manager. Some graduates started their own businesses or became consultants. The panel found proof of this in the documentation (IBMS vision document 2005), in the interviews with alumni, in the business cards that alumni had sent in (see below) and in the interview with the professionals. Alumni felt that IBMS-aims were fit-for-purpose, as they were able to function well in their jobs. Monitoring the developments in the IBMS-field is done by the Dutch National Platform IBMS, for all Dutch institutes offering IBMS. IBMS obtains information on the developments in the professional field and the relevance of the professional profile through the PAC, through contacts with Placement, Graduation Assignment and project organisations and through information on developments provided by media and professional literature. The national IBMS-competencies were recently redrafted, on basis of an international labour market survey and the experiences of the educational institutes that offer IBMS programmes. The panel has seen the documents on the development of the competencies. The current competency profile is based on these descriptions. HAN IBMS has adopted this professional profile and the characteristics of the professional NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 17

18 field and included these in their vision on the profession, resulting in a vision on education (IBMS vision document 2005). The IBMS PAC provides the programme management in Arnhem with additional information on developments in the professional profile. Through the alumni website that was started up in winter , IBMS aims to gain insight in where alumni are employed after their graduation, in order to enable teachers to verify their programmes and to give students a better view of the possibilities. Alumni, students and teachers can exchange information through this website. The programme management had asked graduates to send their business cards, so as to give the panel insight in where IBMS-alumni work. Study of these cards satisfied the panel that graduates work at the required level in respectable companies in IBMSrelated jobs. Examples are: business development, logistics management, account management, sales management, area management, product management, export, and international consultancy. Topic 2 PROGRAMME CONTENTS AND STRUCTURE Topic 2, Aspect 1 HBO Requirements Satisfactory Criteria: - Students acquire knowledge by studying professional literature, study material derived from professional practice and by interaction with professional practice and/or (applied) research. - The programme has demonstrable ties with current developments in the professional field of study/ the discipline. - The programme ensures the development of professional skills and has demonstrable ties with current professional practice. The panel s assessment is based on the following findings: The students knowledge of the professional field is developed by learning resources such as text books, cases, readers, internet/downloads and other international media containing references to recent research. The literature is up to standard (Booklist and syllabi list international foundation year and Booklist and syllabi list IBMS ). Cf. 4.1 concerning the mediatheek/library. Literature and study cases are selected by the teaching team during their process of updating the programme and designing new programme parts. The study programme aims at the development of professional skills and competencies in the form of: - contacts, such as (telephone) interviews with personnel and functional managers; - a 5 month in-company work placement in their 3rd year; 18 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

19 - an international business plan to be developed by students in their final year; - practical training connected to/supporting the projects; - practical placements and graduation assignments in an organisation with international activities; - business related projects resulting in a professional product (at least 1 per semester); - management simulations. Contacts with the professional field are established during projects, placements and graduation assignments, practical cases and articles and through personal contacts with representatives of the professional field and (applied) research. Short contacts and various approaches to placement take several forms some of which are listed below. These activities are supervised by teachers/tutors and company experts (Prospectus IBMS ): - In their 1st year, students interview an entrepreneur and they ask for help and advice in setting up their own Business Plan; - In their 2nd year, students execute a marketing research project for an existing company: e.g. interviews in order to develop a research proposal, desk research into different economies, industries and companies using recent literature, company annual reports and research databases (Prospectus IBMS ); - Later in their second year, students apply for and acquire an international placement; the internship takes place in their third year at IBMS. Skills are mostly acquired during the projects, cases, business simulations, and in the placement- and graduation assignments (Prospectus IFA and IBMS , project manuals, Placement manual and Graduation assignment handbook). Various IBMS teachers assist Lectors. Research results are presented to the IBMS department and the Knowledge Teams. These groups of teachers and the lectors do focus in depth study of IBMS-related theories. To that end, they monitor developments in the professional field and discuss the consequences of these developments for the theoretical elements in the programme and professional skills. The IBMS Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) meets two or three times a year to discuss the relevancy of the IBMS programme (e.g. HOF, cf Introduction) and the changes intended in the programme. They will suggest areas where more emphasis should be placed. IBMS PAC was instituted recently, as the panel concluded in the interview during the visit. During this interview, it was discussed that IBMS PAC will need to develop its modus operandi in the coming year. Alumni and students stressed in the interviews that they had hoped for more, and more internationally oriented, guest lectures. Members of the ABS-teaching staff are invited to deliver guest lectures and trainings in several of their partner universities abroad, e.g. in Spain, Germany, UK, USA. In exchange, teachers from international partners deliver lectures at ABS. Some of these partners are: Universidad de Barcelona (Spain), Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden (Germany), De Montfort University (UK), San Francisco State University (USA). The panel found several results of monitoring practice-oriented activities: - The monitoring results (Student satisfaction survey 2005; SSS 2005) of the 'current' programme, which will run out in July 2008, show an overall satisfaction with the study materials used in specific modules (IBMS Monitoring results). The results show NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor 19

20 that a majority of 92% of the respondents feel that the programme offers practical cases and is oriented at the profession. Some 68% of the respondents indicate that the programme prepares them adequately for their future career. - The Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs shows that on a ten-points- scale, HAN IBMS scores 6.9 on preparation for future careers. - The HAN IBMS alumni survey 2005 included the question IBMS prepared me well enough for my current position. Of the respondents, 12.4% agree fully, 42.7% gave the answer that this applies largely and 42.7% answered that this applies to some extent. Topic 2, Aspect 2 Relationship Between Aims and Objectives and the Contents of the Programme Good Criteria: - The programme is an adequate concretization of the final qualifications with respect to level, orientation and domain-specific requirements. - The final qualifications of the aims and objectives have been adequately translated into learning objectives of the programme or its components. - The contents of the programme offer students the possibility to obtain the final qualifications that have been formulated. The panel s assessment is based on the following findings: The content of the programme is in accordance with the nationally accepted IBMSqualifications and meets the standards of a Bachelor course. The programme allows the students opportunities to obtain the final qualifications. The panel scrutinized both programmes, the current programme and the new programme. The final qualifications are covered in both the current and the new curricula, as shown in the overview of the course contents that the programme management provided for the panel. The programme reflects all the final qualifications as stipulated in The Framework (cf 1.1). The final qualifications are elaborated in module-specific goals, in each module description or study unit description in the prospectus. In both programmes, IBMS-students spend their third year abroad. They study at a foreign university or business school for at least one semester, and spend one semester doing a placement at a company) abroad (Prospectus IBMS , p.30, 31). Learning objectives of the study abroad and the placement include experiencing other cultures and languages and also both broadening and deepening the knowledge of core subjects of the programme. All students first have to finish a foundation year, which is the entry-year for all ABSstudents. This concerns IBMS-students students of the other ABS-study programmes: International Human Resource and Quality Management, International Communication, International Logistics and International Finance & Accounting. The IBMS-students meet the other ABS-students in this foundation year. In this foundation year, the emphasis is on reaching the first level of the eight generic competencies (cf 1.1). 20 NQA HAN University, Audit Visit IBMS, hbo-bachelor

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