The studies are orientated by default of the minister for education and cultural affairs conference (KMK, quality assurance of apprenticeships, by decision of the minister for education and cultural affairs conference of 22.09.2005).
The necessary and fundamental elements of a lasting quality assessment system were given, such as accreditation, evaluation and care as well as the teaching competence.
Educational accreditation is a quality assurance and validation process by which Universities and other institutions of higher education are evaluated by an independent body against established academic standards. This is to ensure a high level of educational quality and if certain standards are met, accredited status is granted by the agency.
This is accomplished through a peer-review process in which delegates from other accredited institutions and reviewers with a practical background help to conduct evaluations. Although the standards used to carry out these evaluations may vary, in general, inter alia, the following are going to be reviewed:
In Germany, the quality assurance process is independent of the Government and performed by private associations. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (Kultusministerkonferenz or KMK) ensures quality development and continuity in tertiary education. Amongst other things, the KMK created The Foundation for the Accreditation of Study Programmes in Germany or Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) to pursue its responsibilities in educational quality management. The Accreditation Council certifies accreditation agencies and establishes guidelines and criteria for programme accreditation. Currently there are seven certified agencies which accredit study programmes for Bachelor and Master degrees from state or state recognised Higher Education institutions in Germany.
Those responsible for the programme have always valued the input that comes from accreditation procedures as it provides us with expert opinions from learned and unbiased evaluators. Consequently, the LL.M. programme in IT / IP Law - which was established in 1999- was not only the first LL.M. programme in Germany, it was also one of the first study programmes seeking to be accredited and evaluated by an independent accreditation agency. Since first being accredited in 2001, Eulisp underwent another two re-accreditation procedures. The most recent procedure was successfully concluded in February 2010. Following its newest review, the programme was re-accredited unconditionally for a seven-year term.
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The evaluation consists of different interdependent components. On the one hand, the students receive their evaluation form after the end of the semester which gives them the opportunity to really evaluate all the lectures offered in Hanover. In addition, at the end of the respective winter semester, students are given an evaluation sheet which they can fill out anonymously to indicate how highly they valued their lectures. The evaluation system EvaSys is also used. The assessment is made in view of the arrangement of lectures, application of teaching materials and the behaviour of the lecturer. Besides this, students are encouraged to make other suggestions, in particular in relation to their stay abroad and expressing their views on student care.
DAAD Seal of Excellence
The LL.M programme in IT / IP-Law offered by the Leibniz University Hanover's Institute for Legal Informatics is the only postgraduate degree course in law to be awarded the DAAD's Seal of Excellence. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of the Sciences and Humanities awarded the LL.M programme the honour of being in the “Top 10 International Master's Degree Courses, made in Germany“. The prizes are awarded to international Master`s degree programmes that possess an outstanding and innovative curricular concept that emphasises a cross-disciplinary approach and meticulous student selection process. This must be combined with professional support, advice services and comprehensive quality assurance measures, a strong International Profile, and, most importantly, an excellent Curriculum.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of the Sciences and Humanities awarded the LL.M Programme as being in the “Top 10 International Master's Degree Courses, made in Germany“. It was held in 2006 and 2008 and provides important orientation, not only for prospective students but also for employers and higher education institutions. The past ten years have seen Germany establish itself in the international education market as an attractive place to study and research, thus helping to re-establish “Educated in Germany” as a worldwide appreciated and acclaimed quality seal. Nevertheless, in the future we will see the internationalisation process continue to present a central challenge to Germany's Universities, where only those institutions that offer attractive prospects to the world's most astute minds will succeed.