VLUHR Quality Assurance
The DocNomads Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Documentary Film Directing was assessed on the nine standards and underlying sub-standards of the ‘European Approach for External Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes’ framework by an external, international panel in 2019. This panel acted on behalf of the VLUHR Quality Assurance Unit, an EQAR registered agency that carries out assessments in the European Higher Education Area.
The panel visited and interviewed all parties directly involved with the study programme on all locations of the programme. The panel personally interviewed with the programme management team, teaching staff, students, representatives of the professional field, alumni and personnel responsible at programme level for internal quality assurance, study guidance and student tutoring. Prior to this on-site visit, the programme management (Academic Board) had been asked to present a ‘self-evaluation report’ and a wide variety of documents as a tertiary source of information.
The panel gave weighted and motivated judgement for each (sub-)standard. The panel’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations were eventually published in a report. This report has been published it its entirety on the VLUHR website because it ‘intends to provide objective information to a wide audience about the quality of the evaluated programme’ (p. 3).
The three institutions organising DocNomads are proud that the VLUHR Quality Assurance Unit found the entire programme ‘compliant’ with all the standards and sub-standards of the ‘European Approach for External Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes’ framework.
Moreover, the external quality assessment panel, ‘supported by facts and analyses’ (p. 9) concluded that:
- ‘The status of the DocNomads programme in their institutions is exemplary’ (p. 24)
- ‘The intended learning outcomes comprise knowledge, skills, and competencies and are clearly appropriate to the field of documentary filmmaking. There is a particular emphasis on the documentary filmmaker as author and the development of the ‘voice’ of the student. The panel recognises this emphasis clearly as an added value in the profile of the programme. This is also recognised by the representatives of alumni and the professional field that were met by the panel.’ (p. 28)
- ‘The programme has a rich and interesting approach to exploring documentary filmmaking. The panel finds it a truly blended approach with a great variety of teaching methods. Each partner makes use of its local insight and traditions, which the panel believes, really benefits the students. In that way, the ‘jointness’ of the programme is exploited well. Particular attention is dedicated to translation and dialogue between different ‘film languages’ and cultural backgrounds and interpretations.’ (p. 31)
- ‘DocNomads can truly be envisioned as one mobile film school. The contacts with diverse educational approaches and encountering diverse perspectives on filmmaking, strengthens the students’ achievement of the intended learning outcomes. The stated approach of ‘unity in diversity’ is appropriate. It is clear the teaching staff, students and alumni are all passionate about the programme and have developed a real ownership of the brand ‘DocNomads’ (p. 37)
The DocNomads consortium takes pride in the results of this external quality assessment and is committed to maintain and continue improving its programme.