Over the past year, the HMSM has worked hard on an intensive accreditation process. The objective was to obtain both national and international accreditation for its study programme while still retaining its distinctive feature of ‘Small-scale and Intensive Education’. The result? A pass with flying colours in all aspects of the assessment.
The assessment panel – made up of representatives from the NVAO (the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders), and THE-ICE (the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education) – graded the study programme as GOOD for each of the four NVAO standards used for the limited accreditation of educational institutes. It also found that the HMSM met all of the criteria that THE-ICE sets for its members. The panel members were of the opinion that the study programme continues to deserve the ‘Small-scale and Intensive Education’ distinctive feature, citing its close community, the many extra-curricular activities and the above-average results of graduates as some of the reasons.
Excellent tutoring and coaching
The NVAO assessed the study programme based on the following four standards:
- Intended learning outcomes
- Teaching-learning environment
- Student assessment
- Achieved learning outcomes
For all four standards, the HMSM was awarded the highest possible score of ‘good’. The panel was of the opinion that the intended learning outcomes were ‘ambitious’, and that the programme was ‘solidly good’, with a good balance between education, practical experience and research. The exam programme (year 4) was described as being ‘well considered and innovative’. In addition, the tutors were found to be ‘well-qualified and very committed’ and ‘the tutoring and coaching of students’ was described as ‘excellent’. Furthermore, the panel found that our alumni are very much sought after within the hospitality industry and that they are usually promoted to good positions. They also remain very much involved with their alma mater, and in doing so, continue to make a contribution to the quality of the study programme.
A very high standard
In addition to the Hotel Management School Maastricht, other hotel management study programmes in the Netherlands also obtained national and international accreditation. All of the institutes involved worked together on the accreditation process in what could be described as a unique achievement. The panels overlapped, making it possible for them to compare the various study programmes with each other. When providing feedback, the panel members from other countries commented that the standard of hotel management programmes in the Netherlands is very high. ‘Swiss hotel management programmes may have the best reputation,’ they argued, ‘but the Dutch certainly score just as highly!’. They therefore advised us not to be quite so modest and to put the ‘Dutch Hotello’, along with all of the characteristics that are so typically Dutch (openness, critical approach, creativity, innovation and a hands-on mentality), firmly on the international map.
A worldwide network
For the Hotel Management School Maastricht, becoming part of the THE-ICE community means gaining access to a large, worldwide network of hospitality study programmes. One important advantage is that the HMSM will now take part in an annual international benchmarking process. This will enable the HMSM to make more of a mark as a leading, international hotel management programme that is attractive to students both at home and abroad. This, in turn, will enable the HMSM to achieve its mission of training qualified and passionate hospitality professionals who are capable of making a contribution to the development of, and innovation in, the international hospitality industry to even better effect.