19 November 2015 | EQAF Paper

A tribute to transversal expertise: What is the contribution of non-disciplinary experts to evaluation committees in academic programme evaluation in French-speaking Belgium?

Denis Berthiaume, Audrey Van Ouytsel and Caty Duykaerts


Expert evaluation of study programmes has been a common feature of quality assurance systems in Europe and worldwide. In general, expert committees are formed of disciplinary or professional specialists who examine said programmes with a “peer review” approach.

In the French part of Belgium, expert committees have included, for several years now, three other types of experts, namely education, quality management and student experts. Their contribution has been significant in the process of programme evaluation but empirical evidence was needed to understand the nature and value of their contribution better. This exploratory research project thus examines the contribution of “transversal” experts. A variety of data collection and analysis procedures have been used to gather evidence that takes into consideration the experience of both “transversal” and “non-transversal” experts. Results point to five areas of contribution for “transversal” experts. These five areas raise further questions as regards the composition of expert panels.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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