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Joint Degree-Joint Programme

The Ministers of Education accepted a new European approach to quality evaluation of joint programmes in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

The European Approach for Quality Assurance or Joint Programmes (see Frameworks/documents) makes it possible, on the basis of one quality rating to obtain accreditation in all countries of the EHEA where programme accreditation is mandatory. Condition is that the applying organisation is registered in the European Quality Assurance register for Higher Education (EQAR) and use the European framework for the assessment.

The European approach applies to joint programmes for which it was agreed the following definition: Joint programmes are understood as an integrated curriculum coordinated and offered jointly by different higher education institutions from EHEA countries, and leading to double/multiple degrees or a joint degree.

Joint programmes can therefore lead to different modes of degree provision: two diplomas (double degrees), more than two diplomas (multiple degrees) or one joint degree (joint degree) are possible.

For joint degrees NVAO uses a protocol that is based on the Dutch regulations on joint degrees. There are protocols for new joint degrees and existing programmes (see Frameworks/documents). Dutch law allows you to create a joint degree to connect to both a programme as a main subject within a programme.


The accreditation terms for joint programmes are the same as for other Dutch programmes. In the European approach is an accreditation term of six years.

NVAO handles applications for new programmes within six months and for existing programmes within three months. Upon receipt of the draft decision by NVAO, the institution may appeal (see below). 


The main documents are presented on the right side of this page. 

Submitting applications

  • additional information: see protocol joint degree
  • via email address (max. 30 Mb)
  • + by email 2 copies of the application dossier (existing joint degree-joint programme)
  • + by email 7 copies of the application dossier (new joint degree-joint programme)


In 2019 NVAO rates for the assessment of an existing joint degree-joint programme 850 euros per applicant, and for a new joint degree-joint programme 18,700 euros.

Different rates apply to different procedures. The cost for foreign visits or the use of external experts, advice or additional requirements are additional invoiced. There is a rest rate if the request for a new institutional audit is hereby repealed.

More information

NVAO Contact: Lineke van Bruggen, policy advisor Department The Netherlands