C. Schmidt

DW Akademie (GERMANY)
Since October 2014, the University of Istanbul – together with the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (HBRS) and DW Akademie – is offering a Master´s Program which is modeled after the International Media Studies Program, operating in Bonn, Germany, since 2009.
The curriculum combines the disciplines of media and development, journalism, communications and media management, training students to become competent journalists, media experts or managers in the media sector.

Students taking part successfully in the program will receive a Double Degree: Allowing them to carry the title of Master of Arts both from the HBRS and the University of Istanbul.

Following previous cooperation between the involved institutions (e.g. in the form of Summer Schools) the idea of a long term study program arose in 2011. However, the process leading to the opening of the Master´s Program in October 2014 was lengthy and complex.

This was due to the challenges arising from the incorporation of two differing higher education systems – those of Turkey and Germany. Solutions had to be found in order to enable the creation of joint examination regulations, to obtain the approval of the Turkish Higher Education Accreditations Commission but also regarding the fulfillment of German and EU criteria and regulations of higher education. Further, the adaption for practical implementation of the program under different circumstances than those given in Bonn posed some challenges.

Now that the first intake has started its studies of IMS in Istanbul, questions regarding Quality Assurance of the project are of enormous importance. The cooperating institutions have identified key principles for guaranteeing a continuous high standard in the implementation of the program.
The Quality Management of the project is based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Model. It includes activities in the areas of teaching and learning processes; in the field of research; as well as regarding administrative processes and services. This comprehensive approach is designed to enable the assurance of high standards at all levels of cooperation.

There still exist few comparable study programs to the one being observed here. Insights into the processes of development and implementation, the challenges and successes, can serve future cooperation projects as lessons learned.

With regard to Quality Assurance of International Joint Master´s Programs, the presentation at INTED 2015 will contain detailed information about the activities resulting from the principles of Quality Assurance in the above named areas. The proposal of best practices is based on the practical experiences obtained in this specific project. In addition, knowledge acquired through further cooperation projects of DW Akademie with institutions of higher education in other countries is included in the analysis.

Links: www.ims-master.de