|Project group name:||Indicators of Quality|
|Project group leader:||Dr Antony Stella, Audit Director, Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA)|
|Project group members:||Ms Concepcion Pijano, Executive Director, Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), Philippines|
|Ms Chuluuntsetseg Dagvadorj, Officer of External Relations and Program Accreditation, The Mongolian National Council for Higher Education Accreditation (MNCEA), Mongolia|
|Progress reports:||May, 2006|
|Contact details:||Level 10, 123 Lonsdale Street|
|Melbourne Victoria 3000|
|Tel: +61 3 9664 1025|
|Fax: +61 3 9639 7377|
|Mobile: +61 (0) 439 03 05 73|
The project on Indicators of Quality is a step to identify the practices followed in the APQN membership with respect to denoting quality of higher education – both quantitative and qualitative. It would lead to a better understanding of the quality assurance standards and decision making of the Quality Assurance Agencies (QAAs). It could pave the way for subsequent policy formulation for regional cooperation as well as result in system wide improvements. A significant issue in regional cooperation is mutual recognition of quality assurance outcomes and facilitating academic mobility. The project on Indicators of Quality has the potential to contribute to the above-mentioned areas that need attention.
Indicators of Quality
The statements of standards used by the various accrediting agencies as well as the criteria and parameters used by many other quality assurance agencies are essentially indicators of quality that go beyond numbers. Each accrediting agency publishes its set of standards that form the basis for its accreditation decisions. To assess how far the institution/program has fulfilled a standard, the QAAs may use the quantitative as well as qualitative indicators and management statistics. An analysis of the current usage of indicators of quality reveals a great deal of diversity. However, one can be sure that as QAAs learn to work together, soon there will be greater convergence in the many critical components of quality assurance systems and the framework on ‘Indicators of Quality’ would strengthen this convergence.
In phase I, the major inputs for the project will come from the QAAs with respect to the indicators of quality they use. The heterogeneity among the countries, the developmental stage of higher education of the countries/territories of the region, the priorities and the existing mechanisms to obtain data on certain aspects vary widely and this project will recognize these variations. While the goal of the project would be to identify a common set of indicators that reflect higher education standards, it will also recognize that any list of recommended indicators of quality is likely to be an ideal which few QAAs would be able to use in full.
In phase-1, to collect data on the indicators of quality used by the different APQN members. the working group is evolving a structured questionnaire. Based on these inputs the project will identify the common pattern and the different uses of or objectives served by the indicators of quality in the Asia-Pacific region. These developments are expected to be completed by the end of 2005 and will be sent to APQN members for comments. It will also be reported at the 2006 APQN meeting. Based on the feedback from the APQN members, Phase-II of the project for 2006 – 07 will be shaped.