Inaugural Address at 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
(at BMICH in Colombo, Sri Lanka on March 30, 2019)
Dear APQN members, dear brothers and sisters in APQN big family, Good afternoon!
Today is a special day for me, special for the new Board of Directors (2019-2022) and special for 222 APQN members.
It is special because APQN just celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Founded in 2003, under the leadership of the founders, pioneers and 5 Presidents - Mr. Peter Cheung, Ms. Concepcion Pijano, Dr. Antony Stella, Dr. Jagannath Patil and Prof/Dr. Jianxin Zhang, APQN has made remarkable achievements. The 15-year efforts gave APQN the vitality of sustainable development and left us the spiritual legacy.
It is special because with the effort of the Voting Independent Committee as well as all the relative candidates within 5 months, new Board of Directors of the 6th Board have been elected. The Directors are Jianxin Zhang from China, Galina Motova from Russia, Deepthi Bandara from Sri Lanka, Grace I-Jung from Chinese Taipei, David Lambuckly from Vanuatu, Farida Nurmanbetova from Kazakhstan.
It is special because we embrace the new Secretariat: the Higher Education Evaluation Center (HEEC) of Chinese Ministry of Education(CME). At the 3rd Board Meeting in Bali Island in Indonesia, after the bidding procedure, HEEC successfully won the bidding and was chosen to be the host of APQN Secretariat.
It is special because we, the sixth Board of Directors, solemnly pledge to carry on APQN spiritual legacy forward.
I still remember, 3 years ago, on the sunny day of May in 2016, at the inaugural address of the 5th Board in “Paradise” of Fiji Island, I made the speech on 3 aspects: “Thanks, Pressure and Hope”. Today, I’d like to add 2 points “Legacy and Commitment”.
First of all, I’d like to say “Thanks”.
Thank you very much for your trust on me to be re-elected as APQN President! Thank you very much for your trust on the Board of Directors of the 6th Board! Thank you for your great support and love! It is our great honor and privilege to be trusted by all of you. Your support is our biggest motivation. Thank you!
Second, I’d like to say “Legacy”.
On a sunny day 16 years ago (2003) in Hong Kong, China, a small core group of QA professionals by doing pro bono service with a common wish for excellence in quality of higher education in the Asia-Pacific Region had a meeting... and APQN came into being! After 16 years, their efforts gave APQN the vitality of sustainable development and left us the following spiritual legacy.
- The Spirit of Dedication. Dedication is the passion and love for the cause of education quality bonded by the affection and friendship among our members. In the call of this spirit, the Board of Directors fulfill their duties in their respective positions in their home countries while completing APQN work as a dedicated cause without compensation.
- The Spirit of Sharing. Sharing means selflessness, generosity and a global perspective that reflects the conduct and morality of APQN. APQN is an organization of shared information, experiences, theories, and practices in quality assurance. The current and the previous APQN Boards have been working hard to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, win-win cooperation and sharing culture.
- The Spirit of Serving. Serving means that the Board of Directors should satisfy the requirements of higher education in the changing Information Age, answer the calls for excellent quality by the stakeholders, EQAAs, HEIs and the whole society, meet their needs and fulfill the duties entrusted. Being a Board director is not a privilege, but an increased responsibility for service. To serve the members whole-heartedly, satisfy their needs and help APQN going forward.
- The Spirit of Innovation. It is to improve and create new methods and new paths based on the needs of APQN members and the limited financial and human resources. The Board of Directors should consider APQN as their own careers, do everything possible to contribute in their areas of expertise, and constantly improve creative function of APQN.
- The Spirit of Sustainable Development. Sustainable development is to meet the present needs of the members without compromising future needs. It contains three key concepts: 1) diversity – to understand and accept the distinctiveness of all countries/regions of the Asia-Pacific Region; 2) equality – to make sure all members enjoy the same rights as prescribed in “APQN Constitution”; and 3) harmony – to promote harmonious relationship among APQN members, other international organizations and stakeholders in the QA field.
The new Board of Directors, especially I myself, together with 222 members in the APQN big family, pledge to inherit and carry on APQN’s spiritual legacy: Dedication, Sharing, Serving, Innovation and Sustainable development.
Third, I’d like to say “Commitment”.
Thank you again for your trust to elect us. We, especially myself, are aware of the importance of the position of APQN President and Board Directors. All we can repay you is our commitment, our hard work, our enthusiasm and our continuous love for APQN, for its prosperity and its sustainable development..
Today is a big day, it is our new starting point, a new challenge, a new opportunity. I feel, we, the new Board of Directors, are just like pupils sitting in the classroom facing the examination paper with many questions to be answered: 1) How to make APQN, this non-profit QA organization survive with limited finance? 2) How to make APQN, this non-government organization functions? 3) How does APQN, this regional QA network, can promote excellent quality both in external and internal QA? 4) How can APQN move forward with sustainable development…
Today, we, the Board of Directors, solemnly pledge to be devoted to APQN, to reach the goal of “Dissolving Boundaries for a Quality Region”, we will try our best to do things for APQN, “to be committed to the quality of higher education, to be supportive of both internal and external QA in the Asia-Pacific Region. “ Let’s join hands together, to walk shoulder to shoulder on the way to the bright future.
Me myself, I’d like to repeat my promise during this term as APQN President: “Do not ask what APQN can do for me, but ask what I can do for APQN.” I’d like to quote Peticlair: “If I have a strong commitment to my goals and dreams, if I wake up every day with a passion to do my job, everything is possible!" If we, all APQN members, have strong commitments to our goals and dreams, if we wake up every day with passions to do our jobs, everything is possible! Thank you!
The 6th President: Jianxin Zhang
The 6th Board Director: Jianxin Zhang, Galina Motova, Aijun Zhou, Jagannath Patil, Deepthi Bandara, Grace I-Jung, David Lambuckly, Farida Nurmanbetova