1. Angela
  2. APQN General Forum
  3. Monday, 16 July 2018
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The 7th Online Forum:

 

Capacity Building of Quality Assurance Agencies and Universities: Professionalism and Effectiveness

 

 

 

Led by Professor Angela Yung Chi Hou

 

Facilitated by Professor Jianxin Zhang and Professor Deepthi C. Bandara

 

 

 

The purpose of the APQN online Forum is to encourage participants from APQN members, either individually or in groups, to discuss topics related to quality assurance of higher education through the guidance of colleagues who are experts in the field of the chosen topic. The APQN online forum is anticipated to act as a platform for a very intense discussion and reach successful outcomes to satisfy all APQN members and meet their professional needs.

 

Up to present, APQN on line forum has been held six times, including “Learning Outcomes and Accountability – the Role of EQA and IQA”, “Role of EQA on IQA on Quality of Cross-border Higher Education”, “Quality Assurance for Sustainable Learning, Teaching and Research in Higher Education”. This year, APQN will continue to conduct the 7th online discussion forum during Aug, 2018. The upcoming forum will focus on three themes: Staff capacity building of QA agencies, Reviewer professionalism enhancement, and University staff QA manageable skills.

 

1.  Staff capacity building of QA agencies

 

As quality guardians of higher education, quality assurance agencies are required to guarantee “the credibility of the review process and to ensure the objectivities and transparency of their decisions or recommendation”. In order to achieve the goal, QA agencies should recruit capable human resources, develop favorable governance and maintain a stable financial system. Inevitably, quality of QA staff is the core of elements for a great success in QA exercises from a QA agency’s point of views. Over years, APQN has promoted staff exchange programs for all APQN members to learn and share each other’s QA experiences as well as enhance the staff capacity. The first theme of the forum will mainly discuss the strategies for QA agency’s staff training and the impacts of APQN staff exchange programs on QA agencies   

 

2.  Reviewers’ professionalism enhancement: All QA agencies will agree that professionalism of reviewers determines quality of external review activities. It is believed that “academics without QA training make their judgements only on the basis of what they know, and fail to appreciate innovations, so the external review process becomes a force for conservatism” (David, 2014, p3). Therefore, many Asian QA agencies consider reviewers’ training as a basic requirement before an onsite visit starts. In order to ensure that a visit team would successfully and professionally complete review exercises, QA agencies set guidelines or regulations for reviewers’ qualification and selection. In addition, QA agencies put strong emphasis on adequate training and capacity building methods for reviewers. Under this theme, qualification and selection of QA experts will be discussed interchangeably. All participants will be also encouraged to share good practices of reviewer training in their agencies.  

 

3. University staff QA manageable skills:

 

A success of an external review will depend on a well-established internal QA mechanism of a university. According to CHEA principle one, it indicated that “Quality assurance should be an integral part of institutional governance and clearly identified within the overall institutional management structure and system”. In addition, it emphasized that, “The functions and responsibilities of the quality assurance office should be clearly articulated” (Hou, 2016, p.9). In other words, the staff of University QA office should be fully committed to develop a quality assurance mechanism and provide training for faculty members and staff. Hence, University QA office would need to employ a sufficient number of QA professionals in order to design QA system, which would facilitate IQA implementation over teaching and learning activities. Therefore, the final theme will focus on university QA administrators and staff’s professionalism as well as their QA knowledge enhancement.  

 

Accordingly, the three-week forum will mainly focus on QA professionalism and effectiveness from both QA agency and university’s perspectives. Hence, the three sub-themes will be further discussed and facilitated by the following persons:

 

  1. Staff capacity building in quality assurance agencies by Professor Angela Yung Chi Hou

  2. Reviewer professionalism: qualification, selection, and training by Professor Jianxin Zhang

  3. University staff QA knowledge enhancement: quality in teaching and learning and IQA implementation by Professor Deepthi C. Bandara.

 

Timeline and Topic

 

Date/Week

Contents

Facilitator

Aug 5

Introduction

Prof. Angela Yung Chi Hou, Prof.  Jianxin Zhang & Professor Deepthi C. Bandara

Aug 6 to Aug 10

Staff capacity building in quality assurance agencies

Professor Angela Yung Chi Hou

Aug 11 to Aug 16

Reviewer professionalism: qualification, selection, and training

Professor Jianxin Zhang

Aug 17 to Aug 21

University staff QA knowledge enhancement: quality in teaching and learning  and IQA implementation

Professor Deepthi C. Bandara

 

 

 

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #7
Hi, everyone! This is Angela Yung Chi Hou, Vice President of APQN. Welcome to APQN 7th on line forum. We are going to undergo three week on forum with you all. The Main theme of th 7th forum is capacity building. I will take care of the first session on agency capacity building from 6 Aug to 10 Aug. Then APQN President Jianxin will be in charge of the second subtheme, docusing on reviewer's training. Finally, APQN board member, Professor Bandara of Sri Lanka would focus on the QA manangers training at universities.

Before we start our discussions and sharing, would you please come to Hi and introduction yourself to all participants !!
Look forward to meeting you all in the sky !!
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This time we have 16 participants from 4 agencies, including HEEACT (Taiwan), NIAD-QE (Japan), American International University-Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Indus University from Pakistan. I am so much looking forward to learning your experiences, too.

Angela

Comment
  1. Farheen Hassan
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #23
Good day and Greetings from American International University-Bangladesh. This is Farheen Hassan. Associate Professor and Additional Director of AIUB- Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC). It is a great pleasure for me to become a part of this forum. Looking forward to the fruitful discussion in this forum on both IQA and EQA. as well as on HEIs administration, Management and QA initiatives. Hope my participation in this forum through discussion and opinion will be beneficial.
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Hi, everyone! This is Angela Yung Chi Hou, Vice President of APQN. Welcome to APQN 7th on line forum. We are going to undergo three week on forum with you all. The Main theme of th 7th forum is capacity building. I will take care of the first session on agency capacity building from 6 Aug to 10 Aug. Then APQN President Jianxin will be in charge of the second subtheme, docusing on reviewer's training. Finally, APQN board member, Professor Bandara of Sri Lanka would focus on the QA manangers training at universities.

Before we start our discussions and sharing, would you please come to Hi and introduction yourself to all participants !!
Look forward to meeting you all in the sky !!
Comment
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Hi, everyone! This is Angela Yung Chi Hou, Vice President of APQN. Welcome to APQN 7th on line forum. We are going to undergo three week on forum with you all. The Main theme of th 7th forum is capacity building. I will take care of the first session on agency capacity building from 6 Aug to 10 Aug. Then APQN President Jianxin will be in charge of the second subtheme, docusing on reviewer's training. Finally, APQN board member, Professor Bandara of Sri Lanka would focus on the QA manangers training at universities.

Before we start our discussions and sharing, would you please come to Hi and introduction yourself to all participants !!
Look forward to meeting you all in the sky !!

Comment
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Greetings to all.  I am Syun Tutiya, NIAD-QE, Japan. I look forward to a series of good discussions in the face of the heat attacking Japan now.  That said, the login procedure was not easy with my PC and browser, just for the record.

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #9
Dear, Professor Tutiya, It is great to know you successfully log in the forum and welcome you and your colleagues to join the forum!! If possible, may you present an overview of yoru agency with all participants ?
Angela
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Warmest greetings from Taiwan! I am Dr. Grace Lu from Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT). I am currently working as the project associate fellow researcher. 

Hopfully we can have great discussions! Thank you! 

I also hope to include a short introduction of HEEACT here in the Response so that we can have a brief understanding of what HEEACT is for when participating through the discussion, here is the short introduction:

HEEACT is a national and professional third-party quality assurance (QA) agency in Taiwan that carries out higher education evaluations to assist the universities in contributing to society through best practices of providing quality education as well as research. One of HEEACT’s main missions is to ensure the credibility and quality of the qualifications and qualification system of higher education in Taiwan. Since 2006, HEEACT started to carry out external quality assurance evaluations over universities and colleges at the institutional and program levels. 

In general, HEEACT’s tasks encompass four major areas: (1) Conduct institutional and program accreditation for all higher education institutions in Taiwan, (2) Conduct researches of quality assurance (QA) in higher education, (3) Provide training courses, workshops and seminars for HEEACT reviewers and university staff, (4) Promote international recognition of Taiwan higher education.

Thanks for reading!

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #10
Dear Grace, Many thanks!! Angela
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Hi Everyone,

This is Mandy from HEEACT. HEEACT was awarded "2018 APQN Award of Staff Capacity Building" this year. On behalf of HEEACT, I would like to share our experiences for you. 

HEEACT has separated its training courses into three sustainable methods: courses-oriented training, project-oriented training, and incentive promotion and awards. These training not only focus on professional development but also personal growth through first-hand experiences, follow by an incentive award system.

1.      Courses-Oriented Training

Before the end of every year, human resources conduct a survey on the areas interested to be pursued. After considerable discussion with the top management, human resources design a set of courses tailors to the staff’s needs, with a minimum requirement of 15 hours/person.

(1)      Staff Training and Development Courses

The Staff Training and Development Courses in 2016-2017 are separated into three different categories: General Learning courses, Professional Training courses, and Professional Licensing courses.

l  General Learning Courses: MOE courses considered as an obligation to environmental studies, relevance in national policies, and information security. 

l  Professional Training Courses: courses concerning higher education quality assurance (QA), international conferences, and others in relevance to work responsibilities.

(2)          Language Courses

 

In 2016, HEEACT added a new course “Practical English in Higher Education” with British Council (BC), where HEEACT staff has a chance to learn terms regarding higher education and practice in daily business conversation and receiving international guests. This course is one of the important ways to enhance the common English language, which follows the trends of higher education issues being discussed. HEEACT believes by working on the language barrier, its team would be more involved in the QA system worldwide. 

2.      Project-Oriented Training

By offering courses-oriented training, HEEACT staff needs to be able to apply the knowledge acquired to its daily operation. Without implementation, staff members would not be able to further polish their working quality. Below are seven professional services HEEACT offers that enable it to strengthen its staff capacity.

(1)        Conducting Institutional Review/Program Accreditation

During HEEACT’s cycles of Institutional Review and Program Accreditation, the team’s (e.g. Accreditation Team) tasks are to plan and manage the accreditation logistics, and communicate with universities presidents, administration, and student bodies and senior reviewers/assessors. Additionally, HEEACT’s entire staff is required to support the extensive on-site reviews to make sure tasks are executed formally, accurately, and punctually. Throughout the years since establishment in 2005, under the influence of different terms of presidents and executive directors, the team continues to improve its standards and execution to make sure the nation’s higher education quality assurance is done accurately and matching the growing trends around us. HEEACT is currently (2018) in the preparatory process for the 3rd Cycle Institutional Review.

(2)        Conducting Research Projects

 

In 2016-2018, HEEACT has been conducting a total 15 research and specialized projects focusing on QA. Each project has an average of 5 staff members, including adjunct researchers and research assistants. Each staff may concurrently have multiple projects. 

(3)        Hosting Staff Exchange Programs

 

                    A new approach, HEEACT introduced the effective Staff Exchange Program in order to expand knowledge of its staff’s work overseas. In 2017, HEEACT invited Japan NIAD-QE and Malaysia MQA to participate in the staff exchange. Within a week’s time, the teams (e.g. Research Team) was encouraged to use the knowledge they acquired in the courses-oriented training, communicating in English HEEACT’s responsibilities, compare and contrast the differences, thus digest new insightful ideas and apply them to work (e.g. research projects and papers), which in turn contributed to growth of the organization. Aside from work-related training, the teams were also culturally motivated to interact and learn the differences between two countries.

(4)        Hosting Guest Lectures/Conferences

                     To be familiarized in professional areas, HEEACT has invited numerous experts to give special lectures. For instance, in 2017, Dr. Eddy Siong Choy Chong, Accreditation Director in Malaysia’s Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) was invited to share his expertise in foreign professional qualifications and accreditation. The invite was also extended to other national professional bodies’ to encourage useful and advance communication.

3.      Promotion and Incentive Award System

 

HEEACT has a diverse background in academic analyses and practical research projects. With two positions reserved for research fellows, they are required to conduct a research and publish the dissertation in duration of five years in order to apply for a promotion. Currently, one had been promoted to the rank of associate research fellow and the other in the process of applying.
   Award is also offered to encourage staff members to improve working quality. HEEACT encourages its staff to apply for international licenses, such as English certification, international audit certification, etc, for monetary incentive on an annual basis, on top of the raise in salary based on end-of-year individual evaluation/performance by top management.

 

 

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #14
Thank you for sharing HEEACT staff training program, Mandy
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Hello everyone. I am Sounghee Kim from NIAD-QE, Japan. I am happy to be able to take part in this online forum. My research interests include quality assurance of TNE and the challenges for Japanese accrediting agency concerning the assessment of internationalization. Also, I am currently involved in a research project of assessing university-wide internationalization of universities in Japan, a comparative study on assessment of learning outcomes and internal QA building in HE in Japan and Taiwan, and a comparative study on QA frameworks between Japan and Korea. 

I look forward to a meaningful discussion. 

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #17
Hi, Kim, welcome you to the Forum !!
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Greetings from American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB)! This is Md Imranul Haque, Manager & QA Program Evaluator, Institutional Quality Assurance Cell of AIUB. Its my pleasure to participate in this online forum and meet colleagues from HEEACT and other countries. I am one of the participants of the 2018 APQN-HEEACT Staff Capacity Building Program.      

Look forward to having fruitful discussions over this forum.

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #18
Hi, Haque, Welcome you to the forum. look forward to your agency's experiences and comments on warm up questions

Angela
  1. Yin-Chia Shao
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #21
Hi Mr. Haque, it is great to hearing you again!
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Let me bring to you the warm greetings from my university, the American International University-Bangladesh. It is indeed a good opportunity for me to continue my knowledge on QA after that fruitful Capacity Building I had with HEEACT. I will try to share my insights on issues that will be raised in this forum. My best regards to the HEEACT Staff, to Angela who is initiating this laudable undertaking and to the participants of this forum.

Pro. Dr. Charles C. Villanueva

Vice President Academics

Director, IQAC

Comment
  1. Angela
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #19
Dear Charles, It is good to meet you here and learn your experiences on staff capacity building

Angela
  1. Yin-Chia Shao
  2. 3 months ago
  3. #22
Dear Dr. Charles,
Welcome to join the APQN online forum. Please share your valuable advice and experiences with us.
Mandy
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