FAQ for institutions

I am an institution of higher education and would like to know more about tropEd

1. About membership

The tropEd Network is an association of recognized institutions of higher education, collaborating institutions and individuals who are active in the field of International Health. The tropEd Network seeks to collaborate with other networks and institutions with similar goals in this field. In view of the five-year tropEd priorities, the network will first and foremost concentrate on the European – African, European – Asian and European -Latin American collaborations, rather than embarking on collaborations with other industrialized countries.

A Letter of Intention could be sent to the tropEd Secretariat at any time. The representative of the applicant institution will be only invited to the tropEd General Assembly at one of the two or three time points a year during the meeting is holding.

Based on the letter of intent sent by the institution, the tropEd Secretariat will invite the representative to join one of the tropEd General Assembly meetings and briefly present the institution and its teaching provision in the field of international health. If the GA agrees, tropEd will ask the institution to fill in a self-evaluation report. If this report approved by the EC members, tropEd will send a member of the General Assembly (who does not come from the same country, without any ongoing research and teaching collaboration and with experience in evaluation) to perform an at least two-day evaluation visit of the institute and assess the teaching and institutional arrangements based on the self-evaluation report and additionally discussions with students and teaching faculty. Travel and accommodation costs are to be covered by the evaluated institution. A site visit report will be presented to the GA at a later meeting with the presence of the applying institution and a decision on the intended membership will be taken then and there. The statutes will be signed by authorized representative of the new member. Self evaluation report should be sent within six months after the initial meeting. The application process should be complete within a year.

For detailed information concerning the tropEd members, please refer to the tropEd statutes, Chapters 4 to 7.

tropEd has three types of memberships: Institutional full members, collaborating institutions and individual members. To be a full member, an institution needs to offer at least one course or module to the tropEd Masters Programme and be recognised as an institution of higher education by a national authority. Other institutions of relevance to International Health, including those which may offer specific courses of interest to the network, but are not institutes of higher education, may join as collaborating institutions. Individuals who are active in and/or provide relevant contributions to the tropEd Network, may join the association as individual members.

Members are expected to participate at least once a year in General Assembly meetings and to be in regular contact with the Secretariat. Collaborating institutions overseas can partcipate the meetings in person once every two years and with virtual media once every year. Institutions which do not participate in any of the activities or meetings or which have not paid their membership fee during the period of one year or have not submitted the tropEd membership annual report will receive a reminder from the Executive Committee/Secretariat and will be regarded as having withdrawn from the network if no satisfactory response is given within three months. Normally, members that do not offer courses or modules during two consecutive academic years will be excluded as full members, but may continue as Collaborating Institutions.

According to tropEd statutes article 5 and amendment 1, Art. 1.1, the annual membership fee for a tropEd full member is 1500 Eruo; According to tropEd statutes article 6 and amendment 1, Art. 1.2, the annual membership fee for a tropEd Collaborating institution is 500 Eruo. According to tropEd statutes article 7 and amendment1, Art. 1.3, the annual membership fee for an individual member is 50 Eruo.

tropEd is open to any sponsors who would like to support the tropEd goals.

tropEd members will sign the tropEd statutes which is considered the agreement between tropEd member institutions.

The tropEd representative should regularly join the tropEd General Assembly meetings, should implement and follow-up the decisions from the GA in the respective institutions, should answer the queries and requests of tropEd students timely, should actively participate in the tropEd activities such as task forces, working groups, etc, should ensure the provision of necessary student and course documents, hand-in the tropEd membership annual report and should also represent tropEd in the respective institutions and outside.

2. About course accreditation

tropEd accreditation is the formal acceptation of a course by the tropEd General Assembly in accordance with the tropEd Standard Quality Framework. Once a course has been accredited, it is listed in the tropEd course database. And presented on the tropEd webpage when the course is runing. An accredited course meets tropEd quality assurance requirements. Only the ECTS credits from an accredited course can be transferred and accumulated towards the Master of Science degree in International (Global) Health, after the students have successfully completed this unit.

Only tropEd member institutions are eligible to offer tropEd-accredited courses. The submission of a course for accreditation can only be initiated after the tropEd membership of the submitting institution has been confirmed by the tropEd General Assembly. Once membership has been terminated for any reason, the accredited courses of this institution will be automatically deleted from the tropEd webpage. While the course can be facilitated by any lecturer, the submission for accreditation must be done through the tropEd representative of the member institution.

tropEd accredited courses are offered to postgraduate students, especially for those in the Master of Science programme in International (Global)Health. The level of an advanced module needs to be demonstrated higher than that of the core courses. Topics and contents of the courses should be relevant to International (Global) Health. tropEd courses should be modularised and suitable for the mobility of tropEd students.

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme of study. Its aim is to facilitate the recognition of study periods undertaken abroad by mobile students through the transfer of credits. ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits are equivalent to the workload of a full-time student during one academic year.

Student workload can be calculated through Student Investment Time (SIT). SIT consists of all the time required to complete planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects, examinations, and so forth and it is allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.). It reflects the quantity of work in each component required to achieve its specific objectives or learning outcomes. According to tropEd consensus, 25-30 hours SIT is equal to one ECTS credit point. A full working week can not have more than 45 hours SIT. There is no direct link between contact hours and credits. SIT only represent student workload measured in time and says nothing about the academic level of a course or the prestige of a teacher/lecturer.

15 to 20 ECTS can be accredited for a tropEd core course.

A tropEd advanced module can be accredited between 1,5 ECTS credit points to 12 ECTS credit points.

A full accreditation submission form prepared in accordance with these guidelines should be submitted to the tropEd Secretariat by e-mail at least two weeks prior to the tropEd General Assembly meeting. If received late, it will be kept for the next GA meeting four months later. Two weeks before the GA meeting, the tropEd Secretariat will compile a course list and send it together with all course descriptions to all GA members. GA members will be able to download the course descriptions accordingly.

It is important to have the member institution representative attend the GA meeting if modules from this institution are submitted for accreditation or re-accreditation.

During the tropEd General Assembly meeting, each course will be reviewed by all GA members and two rapporteurs will give comments on eligibility, relevance, and coherence of the course, together with a suggestion for the appropriate course accreditation category. After an open discussion within the GA, a final decision will be made, recorded in the minutes and sent to all GA members.

The decision on course accreditations is recorded in four categories:


  • Category 1: Accredited. The module will be included in the course list on the tropEd website and in the tropEd database of courses without delay.
  • Category 2: Accepted with minor changes. The revised course/module description will be sent to the tropEd Secretariat accompanied by a statement describing which changes have been made. The EC will review the new course description for final accreditation during a phone conference. Once accredited, the module will be included in the course list on the tropEd website and in the tropEd database of courses. The EC will inform tropEd members at the next GA meeting about all modules which have been accredited since the last GA meeting. The validation period of a Category 2 is one year. In case the revised course description has not been submitted to the EC within one year, it should be submitted to the GA again.
  • Category 3: Accepted with major changes. Re-submission to the GA is necessary. The revised course/module description will be sent to the tropEd Secretariat accompanied by a statement describing the changes which have been made.
  • Category 4: Rejected. A completely new submission to the GA is necessary.



Courses are accredited for a five year period. Once accredited, courses are not automatically re-accredited.

Re-accreditation is necessary every 5 years or at any time when major modifications are made to a course/module.

The validation period for each accredited course is shown on the tropEd website. The course will be deleted from the internet if re-accreditation has not been initiated by the date shown.

Four years after accreditation, a reminder e-mail will be sent by the tropEd Secretariat. Institutes should start the re-accreditation process within the last year of the existing accreditation period.

A minor change could be the change of wording of course title; change of the course language; change of course attendance; change of course coordinator; change of course fee etc.

A major change could be of SIT and ECTS credit points; of course venue; of course objectives and contents; of learning methods and assessment methods; of prerequisites for the participants or change of selection criteria etc.

Please contact Orisel Santiesteban: tropedsecretariat@gmail.com for enquiries.

Fifteen years of the tropEd Masters in International Health programme: what has it delivered? Results of an alumni survey of masters students in international health

L. Gerstel1, P. A. C. Zwanikken1, A. Hoffman2, C. Diederichs3, M. Borchert3 and B. Peterhans2

1 Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3 Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charite – Universit€atsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany