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The Master's programme in Logic at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has been awarded the status of 'Excellent' by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The NVAO assessment panel called the Logic programme 'one of the best, if not ‘'the'' best degree programme in Logic in the world'.

Photo: Fred van Diem

Over the whole of 2014 to date, only six other programmes out of all Bachelor's and Master's curricula in Dutch higher education have received a rating of excellent. For the NVAO to award this designation, a programme has to consistently far surpass the accepted basic quality level across the board and serve as a national/international model.

From thesis to peer-reviewed article

Among the panel's observations were that lecturers teaching the Master's programme in Logic are first-class researchers, that the curriculum is challenging and that the quality of testing is extremely high. It further noted that the level of Master's theses is substantially higher than may be expected, and was impressed by the large number of theses that result in peer-reviewed publications. It also applauded the strong emphasis on research, enabling the majority of graduates to be accepted to PhD positions at leading universities.

Positive assessments

In its assessment of programmes at the UvA's Faculty of Science in the 2013-2014 academic year, the NVAO's independent panel of experts assigned positive ratings to all Bachelor's and Master's programmes in the fields of logic, computing science and mathematics. In addition to the excellent rating awarded to the Master's in Logic, two other Master's programmes – Software Engineering and System and Network Engineering – were rated as 'Good'. The other degree programmes also received positive assessments with ratings of 'Satisfactory', with several also receiving a qualification of 'Good' on one of the three assessment standards.

Bachelor's and Master's programmes in the fields of physics and astronomy were also assessed during the 2013-2014 academic year; the final conclusions are still to be announced by the NVAO.

About the NVAO

The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) was established by the Dutch and Flemish governments as an independent accreditation organisation tasked with providing an expert and objective assessment of the quality of higher education in Flanders and the Netherlands. The final conclusions are ranged on a scale from unsatisfactory to satisfactory, good and excellent.

In its assessment, the panel considers three areas: intended learning outcomes, educational learning environment, and assessment and achieved learning outcomes.