Systemic reaccreditation? Meaning … ?The University is required to regularly review degree programmes: is the programme doable, and can students complete the requirements within a given time frame? Does the programme fit legal requirements? Does it meet the structural target? If so, the study programme is (re-) accredited - it receives an official certificate. If not, the accreditation body requires changes and sees to their implementation before the certificate is granted.
In the past years, Göttingen University has gone through several rounds of accreditation and reaccreditation: Every five to seven years the Department compiled reports and sent them on. From this year, the University has decided to do things differently and to set a systemic process in motion: from now on, degree programmes are expected to be reviewed every other year, focusing on specific aspects. The key tool to this is meetings and discussion groups at eye level. What professors and students say has the same weight in these meetings. All voices should be heard and considered equally. Further information (currently in German only) can be found on the Faculty's website on the accreditation process (see link on the right).
What does that mean for us?The Department of English will begin this process in the summer semester 2020. The discussion rounds will take place in calendar week 22 (the week starting May 25, 2020). Before we can embark on roundtable meetings, though, we will have to decide which points to look at first. Over the next six years, eight core criteria will have to be reviewed:
1. the didactic concept of the programme;
2. how 'doable' the programme is;
3. the cooperations offered by the Department as far as they are relevant for the programme;
4. the number of staff members and the quality of equipment at the Department and at the University;
5. how transparent and how well-documented decision-making processes are;
6. in how far diversity - the inclusion of students from different social or cultural backgrounds, or students with special needs - , gender neutrality and equal opportunities are part of the programme layout;
7. quality management in courses, outcomes and didactics; and
8. "specific aspects that pertain to special degree programmes" (this is really very vague for which I apologise - the German list of criteria is not very explicit either!). Apparently this applies mostly to degree programmes with special aims, such as the Master of Education