VU University Amsterdam is a leading research university that ranks among the best in Europe. In order to maintain this position and improve its research efforts still further, it is vital to measure the quality of the research carried out to gain an insight into which areas might be improved.
The quality of the research carried out at VU University Amsterdam is assessed on a regular basis, in accordance with the Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP). The SEP was set up by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
Every research institute and unit at VU University Amsterdam conducts a self-assessment once every three years. Additionally, research activities are evaluated every six years by an external committee. The self-assessments are evaluated by the University Monitoring Committee (UTC). The assessment consists of an evaluation of both the scientific and societal relevance of the research, and the standard of supervision and teaching of PhD students is also examined. The comments received following the external evaluations form an important thread for the university when setting out its research strategy.
The approach that VU University Amsterdam will be taking during the next few years towards shaping its quality assurance policies and other related procedures is summarized in the Quality Assurance Memorandum. It covers quality safeguards, transparency and the need to emanate excellence, and provides the framework for quality assurance in the research units. Monitoring quality assurance is ‘work in progress’, so the memorandum will inevitably be modified and tightened up from time to time.
Most research projects at VU University Amsterdam are adjudged to be good to excellent. The university takes measures if ever there is a negative opinion.
The evaluations are described in the following reports, which are available to the public: