Student Reflection

Context

Ghent University has a long-standing tradition of student involvement. At Ghent University, student involvement can take different forms: student representatives contribute to and participate in the decision making process with regard to education at different levels (at the level of the study programme, the faculty and the university). In addition, individual students make themselves heard in annual surveys: course feedback, study programme feedback, Master’s dissertation survey, etc. In 2016, student involvement was highly and explicitly commended by the institutional review committee.

Purpose

To honour this long-standing tradition, and to anchor it even more firmly in our quality assurance policy, Ghent University’s Quality Conduct 2.0 (in Dutch: Eigen Regie 2.0) provides for so-called Student Reflection sessions. These sessions are organized for and by students on a three-yearly basis.

The purpose of the Student Reflection is threefold:

  • introducing into the study programme a broader and more diverse student perspective than the one obtained through student representatives;
  • generating a qualitative reflection on the entire study programme that goes beyond the individual course feedback, and adds additional in-depth information to the quantitative study programme feedback;
  • deepening dialogue within the Programme Committee and identifying possible points of concern.

 The Student Reflection contributes to Ghent University’s Strategic Education Objective No. 4 ‘Participate’. Participating students are invited to reflect critically and to help give shape to education policy, quality assurance and its assessment.

Being an integral part of Ghent University’s Quality Conduct, the Student Reflection will receive its due place in the Education Monitors, and comes under objective DS-0034:

"The study programme actively involves students in various commissions and boards, whereby students have a true impact on education policy and quality assurance. The study programme stimulates these students to act as ‘representatives’ and encourages them to be in close contact with their fellow students. The students also help determine the study programme monitor and assist in defining and executing the quality improvement plan. The programme committee (OC) discusses the results of student reflections that are carried out at least every three years in the presence of student representatives. This is recorded in the monitor."

Having a recent Student Reflection in the Education Monitor is one of the eligibility criteria for screening by the Education Quality Board.

Method

Ghent University’s Quality Conduct 2.0 (in Dutch: Eigen Regie 2.0) is based on trust. We therefore encourage students to take command of the Student Reflection process as much as possible, all the while, of course, providing the necessary prerequisites to support them in their autonomy.

The following elements are important:

  • for the organisation of the Student Reflection, a group of student-coordinators is put together by the Ghent Student Council and DOWA. These student-coordinators will be assigned as student employees for one or more semesters and will function as point of contact for student representatives from the study programmes;
  • the student-coordinators will organise a focus group with the student body for each programme and will be trained and coached for that purpose by DOWA and the Ghent Student Council;
  • in addition, the faculty quality assurance officer (CKO) can provide further practical support, for example by booking a meeting room on campus or distributing the announcement via UFORA;
  • when drawing up the reflection, the student coordinators first contact the student representatives of the study programme concerned;
  • to bring in the context of the programme, the student coordinator consults the most recent course feedback of the programme. The purpose of the student reflection is to gather more in-depth and constructive feedback, to detect points of attention, strengths and possible improvement proposals from the student perspective;
  • when recruiting participants for the focus groups, particular attention is paid to the involvement of minority groups in order to bring in a sufficiently diverse student perspective;
  • the Student Reflection results in a critical constructive reflection report that focuses on points of attention, strengths and possible areas for improvement, taking into account the privacy of both the focus group participants and the lecturers;
  • the reflection report is submitted to the next Programme Committee. The programme discusses the Student Reflection in the OC in the presence of student representatives;
  • the student reflection and the discussion of the Programme Committee are included in the Education Monitor under objective DS-0034 and submitted to the Education Quality Board;
  • the student reflection takes place at least once every three years and is part of the screening by the Education Quality Board.

Last modified Aug. 3, 2022, 3:28 p.m.