In 2005 a formal accreditation system was added to Flanders’ long-standing external quality assurance system. This turned the external reviews from a fruitful exchange of ideas among peers into a high stakes assessment. Many feared that this would ruin the improvement oriented atmosphere of the peer reviews. The University of Antwerp reflects on four years of experience and presents a few cases. The examples show that – depending on circumstances – the prospect of gaining or losing a formal accreditation can either have a stimulating or paralyzing effect on programme directors and staff in their preparation for a peer review. The University of Antwerp has added new elements to its internal quality assurance system in order to provoke the stimulating effect of accreditation and promote creativity.
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