Continuing Education Master: Educational Quality in Developing Countries

Brief description of the Master Programme

The University of Bamberg as a professional development program in a blended-learning format offers the international Master’s programme „Educational Quality in Developing Countries“ (IMPEQ). It was developed to respond to the skills shortage with regard to educational quality development in developing countries, especially in Sub-Sahara-Africa.

The aim of the program is to provide people in leadership positions of the education systems with in-depth knowledge and leadership competencies to bring about change in their education systems, to be able to design, influence, manage and evaluate reform processes in their systems. Besides, the programme facilitates the emergence of qualified research capacities that can support the development of educational quality in the respective countries.

The programme was developed in close cooperation with education experts from Sub-Sahara Africa and development cooperation in order to provide a programme that fits the needs of those working in the education sectors in developing countries.

The programme covers a period of two years. As a blended-learning programme, it alternates between periods of attendance and periods of self-learning, during which students continue with their regular work. The programme starts with a four-week period of attendance in Bamberg, followed by three four-week periods in Butare/Rwanda and a final four-week period again in Bamberg, finishing with a graduation ceremony.

Formal description of the Master programme (length, ECTS scope, degree, title)

The international Master’s programme in continuous education "Educational Quality in Developing Countries" covers four semesters of full-time studies with 120 ECTS; 40 ECTS come from the participants’ professional experience.

After successful completion of the programme, the title ‘Master of Arts (Educational Quality)’ is awarded. For excellent students, a PhD option is available.

The Master’s programme is divided into 15 modules, including the Master’s thesis and recognition of professional experience. Its guiding didactic principle is independent learning through research. This combines interpersonal development, scientific research, subject-specific skills and professional development. The Master’s programme is taught in English, French is supported; the Master’s thesis can be submitted in English, French or German.

A maximum of 25 students can be accepted per cycle. There is a possibility to participate in certain modules only. 

The Institute of Educational Science at Otto-Friedrich-Universität is responsible for the Master's programme. Otto-Friedrich-Universität is solely responsible for the content, level and evaluation of the programme.

The programme is set up as a blended-learning programme with intense, four-week periods of attendance at Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg and at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) in Huye/Rwanda.

The Master's programme is structures into

- Attendance (100 days divided into five periods of attendance),

- Practical work (regular work, projects),

- Self-study.

The Master's programme is characterised by a broad range of blended-learning offers with alternating periods of attendance and self-study. In order to ensure the best possible academic success, systematic mentoring is provided. In addition, the concept of "learning by researching" in different places of education is pursued constantly.

Qualification goals

  • The course of study is dedicated to a high degree to an international transfer of knowledge in study and teaching. Graduates have deepened and broadened their knowledge of the normative foundations of educational systems, the theory and empirical basis of educational quality at the teaching, institutional and system-related levels as well as their development. They are familiar with the current state of research on school development in the context of development cooperation and are able to apply the acquired knowledge in a well-founded way. They have become familiar with the relevant qualitative and quantitative research methods and can apply them accordingly.
  • During their studies, graduates have also deepened their skills in the independent acquisition of knowledge, information and methods. 
  • From modules 6, 7 and 8 on research methods, graduates have acquired in-depth knowledge of empirical methods of data collection (e.g. qualitative and quantitative study design, questionnaire surveys; interviews, group discussions, observation) and data analysis (e.g. descriptive statistical and inferential statistical methods and the programs for evaluation (e.g. SPSS) as well as qualitative content analysis and programs for data processing (MaxqDA). They are able to characterize and compare these empirical methods, to select the most suitable method for their project and finally to independently design and perform more complex quality measurements. They are also able to read the results of international large-scale assessments and draw appropriate conclusions.
  • By carrying out a relevant project as part of their Master's thesis, graduates have gained in-depth practical experience in the planning and independent implementation of research projects using scientific theories and methods.

  • After successful completion of the Master's programme, graduates are able to analyse educational quality and respective development measures. They are also able to plan and comprehensively assess their own measures of improving the quality of education, schooling and teaching. In seminar papers, they have examined educational developments from their employment, where they continue working parallel to their studies. They have reflected on these developments intensively and sharpened their reflexivity.
  • Over the courses of modules 6, 7, 8: Measuring and Documentation I-III and modules 12, 13, 14: Project Module I-III, graduates have learned efficient working techniques, acquired the ability to critically analyse problems and to think conceptually. Over the course of the seminar papers and master's thesis (Module 15: Master's Thesis), they have gained competences for the implementation of projects to increase the quality of education, which will enable them to work in the context of evidence-based education and instructional planning in schools or school authorities.
  • For work in the context of education system development and quality monitoring, they have acquired occupation-specific skills in the observation, assessment and improvement of teaching quality through modules 9 and 10 (Quality Development I and II) and gained competencies in change management. They have expanded the understanding of their role as teachers, to be facilitators and guides for learning.
  • With the expanded competences in empirical methods and  project management, students have also qualified for employment opportunities outside the field of education and teaching.

  • Through international experience and intercultural exchange, gained, for example, during their study stays in Germany, graduates have optimised the organisation of their studying and learning.
  • Through independent data collection, self-managed study phases, presentations, group work, and participation in excursions, they have expended, deepened and embodied new flexibilities in the understanding of their professional roles and personal identities.
  • Through group work, self-learning phases and work in learning communities, they have trained in teamwork, constructive criticism and conflict resolution skills. They have expanded their communication and presentation skills.
  • Through modules 9 and 10 on Quality Development I+II in combination with module 11 (Work Experience), graduates have increased their self-concepts, strengthened their self-assessment skills and gained ideas for personal and professional development.

  • The course of study aims to strengthen graduates the civil social engagement and understanding of responsibilities.
  • Through the learning units in the modules on Education and Normativity I+II as well as in modules 4-6 (Theories of Educational Quality I-III) and modules 9-10 (Quality Development I-II), graduates of the programme will be supported in their functioning as multipliers in the field of quality schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa, thus contributing to the quality of education in the development sector.