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Program Development

How programs are developed, introduced, and revised. The development and implementation of the bachelor’s and master’s programs offered at Freie Universität Berlin typically follows a specific process.

  1. The dean’s offices announce newly planned upcoming bachelor’s and master’s programs to the executive board by a previously agreed deadline. With the aid of the subject-specific divisions within the Central University Administration, the executive board collects, evaluates, and prioritizes all of the submissions.

  2. If necessary, a date is set for the appropriate vice president to meet with the dean’s offices of the departments in order to discuss the portfolio of programs submitted and the programs’ focuses and structure.

  3. The individual study and exam regulations are prepared by the department representatives, based on sample study and exam regulations and module templates provided by the central administration. These regulations govern the specifics of the programs, while the Bylaws on Academic Matters (Satzung für Studienangelegenheiten) and the Bylaws on General Examination Matters (Satzung für Allgemeine Prüfungsangelegenheiten) set out rules that apply equally to all study programs at Freie Universität Berlin.

  4. Then the draft version of the study and exam regulations typically undergoes a conceptual review. This review is based both on external standards and recommendations (from sources such as the Conference of Ministers of Culture, the German Rectors’ Conference, and the German Council of Science and Humanities) and on internal principles regarding the introduction and implementation of study programs (such as the Principles and Framework Concepts for Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs, the Framework Concept for Master's Programs, the Bylaws on Academic Matters, the Bylaws on General Examination Matters, and Criteria for Decisions on the Introduction of Master’s Programs).

  5. While the program is undergoing the conceptual review, the university also reviews its capacity in order to ensure that the planned academic program can be offered with the existing academic staff.

  6. When the initial reviews are complete, the study and exam regulations undergo a legal review before being adopted by the body authorized to pass resolutions (the department council).

  7. New programs are established based on the regulations that have been adopted. The Academic Senate is responsible for formally creating the programs, at the suggestion of the executive board.

  8. New programs require the approval of the Senate Administration for Education, Science, and Research (Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung).

The bachelor’s and master’s programs that have been established are monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis for quality assurance purposes. Feedback from the departments, analysis of questionnaire responses from current and former bachelor’s program students and instructional evaluations are used to determine whether programs need revision. Central review and testing processes also aid in this process. Amending or revising study and exam regulations involves a conceptual and legal review process similar to that used for introduction of new programs. The body responsible for adopting the regulations is the department council.