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“Athens International Master’s Programme in Neuroscience”

The Quality Assurance Policy of the Department of Biology is in full compliance with the quality policy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and ensures that the Department of Biology (Hereinafter referred to as “the Department”) is fully committed to providing high quality education in both Greek and foreign languages to all prospective higher education students, by organizing and implementing Postgraduate Programs of high academic standards and significant added value, both in Greek and English, in the most prominent areas and scientific fields of the Department.

Additionally, the Department seeks to develop a creative research environment, promote freedom of scientific expression, and guarantee an open working environment for all staff and members of the academic community. The Department is therefore committed to the implementation of this quality policy in all the postgraduate programmes it currently offers, as well as those planning to offer in the future, as per the quality procedures followed by the University's Internal Quality Assurance Unit (IQAS), ultimately achieving the goal of continual improvement. Through this Quality Policy, the academic profile and orientation of postgraduate programmes are enhanced, their purpose and object, as well as the implementation of specific goals set each year are met, the means and ways of achieving the above are set and the participation of stakeholders in their evaluation and redesign processes is ensured.

For the implementation of this policy in the postgraduate programme “Athens International Master’s Programme in Neuroscience” in particular, the Department is committed to apply the quality processes/procedures provided for and analyzed in the Quality Manual of the IQAS of the Institution, and applied at the level of the Curricula of the Department with the required specialization/individualization for the said postgraduate programme, in close cooperation with the university's Quality Assurance Unit (MODIP). All quality assurance procedures of the postgraduate programmes of the Department are subject to inspection, review, and revision, carried out on an annual basis by the Internal Evaluation Group (OMEA) in collaboration with the Institution’s MODIP.

The processes/procedures for the monitoring and continuous improvement of the quality of the postgraduate programmes are the following:


. Implementation of a quality assurance policy: This includes specific quality assurance actions, with the aim of creating a framework within which the Postgraduate Programs must operate.

. Allocation and management of resources: Postgraduate programmes of the Department should be allocating their resources through procedures that ensure the best choices are made, so that an appropriate environment for the Institution to achieve its objectives is created and thus the provision of all necessary resources in personnel, funding, infrastructure, and equipment is ensured. Postgraduate programmes are to properly operate and continuously improve their effectiveness to the highest degree as per the specific quality objectives set.

. Establishment of quality assurance objectives:  All postgraduate Programs of the Department that operate or will start their operation within each academic year should be establishing specific, measurable (by specific indicators), and directly observable annual quantitative and qualitative objectives, determined on an annual basis for each postgraduate programme, after consultation and agreement with the administration of the Departments and the postgraduate programmes. The achievement of these objectives is considered decisive for improving the effectiveness of all internal functions (administrative, educational, and research) of the postgraduate programmes.

. Periodic internal evaluation and monitoring: All postgraduate programmes of the Department, in collaboration with the Institution’s MODIP, should be undergoing an annual internal evaluation & monitoring. In all postgraduate programmes, such internal evaluation procedure, as well as evaluation of all the relevant processes, is routinely carried out, so that through the identification of certain elements or issues that need correcting and subsequent implementation of improvements -jointly agreed with the MODIP- to achieve the objectives set, improvements in the Department's postgraduate programmes will eventually be materialised.

. Collection of quality data: measurement, analysis and improvement: Effective procedures are applied for the collection and analysis of data on postgraduate programmes (data for students, teaching staff, the structure and organization of courses, teaching, provision of services to students of postgraduate programmes, etc.) and these data are then fed into the information system (OPESP) of the “Hellenic Authority for Higher Education” (HAHE), as well as the internal information systems of each Department and the Institution.

. Publicising Information: Through this process, all information concerning postgraduate programmes becomes readily available and updatable, presented with objectivity and clarity. The provision for dedicated space on the Department's website for the promotion of the postgraduate programmes is examined, as is the provision for a bilingual page and procedures for validating and updating its respective content.

. External Evaluation:  In all the postgraduate programmes of the Department, a process of periodic certification by HAHE is applied, which is carried out through external evaluation by committees of independent experts.

The application of the above procedures in the “Athens International Master’s Programme in Neuroscience” ensure:

. the appropriateness of the structure and organization of its Curriculum,

. the learning outcomes and the resulting qualifications of the graduates of the postgraduate programme, align -to the maximum possible extent- with the European and National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education Level 7,

. the promotion of the quality and effectiveness of the teaching work of this postgraduate programme through its monitoring by its coordinating committee, the OMEA, the administration of the Department and the Quality Assurance Unit of the NKUA,

. the qualifications of the teaching staff, and especially those of external collaborators, are suitable for the training of postgraduate students,

. the drafting, implementing, and reviewing of specific annual quality objectives aiming at the improvement of the postgraduate programme,

. the level of demand for the acquired qualifications of graduates in the labor market, through regular investigation of the needs of the labor market and the monitoring of the progress of the graduates of the postgraduate programme,

. the support services provided to postgraduate students -including those designed for students with disabilities- are of high quality and meet the need for their effective monitoring, e.g. easily accessible and readily available administrative services, libraries, online services, scholarships, and student welfare services suitable for the postgraduate programme,

. the efficient utilization of the financial resources of the MSc -as these derive from tuition fees- so as to provide the necessary services to postgraduate students and to facilitate the operation of programmes both within the Department’s premises, but also all activities requiring off-site handling, e.g. on-site visits to locations outside the Department for comprehensive field training,

. the conduct of the annual internal evaluation and review of the quality assurance system for the postgraduate programme with the collaboration of the OMEA and MODIP of the Institution.

Regarding the “Athens International Master’s Programme in Neuroscience”, the Quality objectives the Department of Biology will focus its efforts on will be the following:

. Increasing the number of prospective students from Greece and abroad.

. Attracting students from other fields of science (other than Biology).

. Improving the graduation rate of Master’s students

. Establishing a “Winter & Spring School of Advanced Neuroscience Courses”.

. Increasing the number of hybrid seminars.

. Increasing the number of guest lecturers from abroad.

. Introducing a new website.

. Producing promotional videos of the programme.

. Increasing contacts on LinkedIn.

. Increasing contacts on Facebook.

. Producing video material on anatomy

. Digitizing cerebral slices for the course on Anatomy