Publication of "APQN Research on the COVID Impact on the Quality of Higher Education"

Publication of "APQN Research on the COVID Impact on the Quality of Higher Education"

At the end of June, APQN published the book entitled "APQN Research on the COVID Impact on the Quality of Higher Education". You can download it at APQN website at https://www.apqn.org/library/aac-proceedings.

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  1. Background of the COVID pandemic

At the end of 2019, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out out of a clear sky. It has brought the whole world into a painful halt. In April in 2020, over 1.5 billion students were forced to stay away from schools in over 190 countries, covering 90% of the world's student population.

The COVID Pandemic attacked all the global human being in a threatening and horrible manner, which has extended an open challenge to all strata of lives on the planet. Thomas Friedman believes, the COVID pandemic will become "There is the world B.C. — Before Corona — and the world A.C. — After Corona." Just like "B.C. (before Christ) and A.C. (after Christ). This is an unprecedented scenario in the world history of education.

COVID caught all of us by surprise and forced us to manage amidst huge uncertainty: uncertainty as to when we can travel again, uncertainty as to when business events will return and uncertainty as to when COVID will be over. The first step in dealing with uncertainty is to accept it – accept the situation we are facing. We have unusually spent over 1000 days during the pandemic, which are once-in-a-century days. In this battle without gunpowder smoke, more than 7 billion people in the world, no one is an "outsider", let alone a "bystander".

People all over the world are trying to cope up with the crisis. APQN work with the fraternity of the academic to get out of the messy situation and try to find appropriate solutions. We are happy to find that APQN utilize COVID lockdown as a springboard to disrupt with more sustainable solutions for the future. We have inclined towards "work from home" culture.

  1. APQN Action of the COVID Impact

 In the past 2-and-half years, APQN carried on many actions during the COVID pandemic, including 4 surveys, 7 interviews, 1 online forum,3 international online conferences, 1 online-teaching standard and other researches. The current book entitled "APQN Research on the COVID Impact on the Quality of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region" is the result of most of APQN actions under COVID-19. The book consists of 10 chapters as followings:

  1. I. APQN Survey on the COVID Impact on the HEIs
  2. II. APQN Survey on the Influence of COVID on the QAAs

III. Survey on the Effectiveness of Online Teaching in the HEIs

  1. IV. Review of APQN 2020 Online Forum
  2. V. APQN Board Interviews on HE Quality in COVID Crisis
  3. VI. Qualitative Research on Effectiveness of Online Course during COVID-19

VII. Academic Review of the 12th Higher Education International Conference

VIII. Research on the Meta-Review to the Asia-Pacific Quality Register (APQR)

  1. IX. APQN Standard for Online-Teaching Quality Assurance
  2. X. Overview of 2021 AAC on COVID Response Mechanism

The contents of the 10 chapters include the following 4 parts:

Part I is the research of chapters 1-3, which describes the impacts of COVID outbreak, such as "Survey of the COVID Impact on the HEIs", "Survey of the COVID Impact on QAAs" and "Survey on the Effectiveness of Online Teaching in the HEIs".

Part II is the research of chapters 4-7 which narrates the uncertainty and challenges during the of COVID-19, such as "Review of APQN 2020 Online Forum", "APQN Board Interviews on HE Quality in COVID Crisis", "Qualitative Research on Effectiveness of Online Course during COVID-19" and "Academic Review of the 12th Higher Education International Conference".

Part III is the research of chapters 8-10 which shows the results, such as "Meta-Review to APQR", "APQN Standard for Online-Teaching QA" and "COVID Response Mechanism".

Part IV is annex 1-6 which provides more details to the researches carried on during the pandemic, such as 4 surveys, 7 interviews, and "APQN Standard for Online-Teaching Quality Assurance" issued globally on May 30, 2021.

  • Acknowledgement

Last but not the least, deep appreciation to the 14 authors of this book. They are Jianxin Zhang (APQN 5th and 6th President, professor of Yunnan University and Chief Expert of Yunnan Higher Education Evaluation Centre, China), Galina Motova (APQN Vice President, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Public Accreditation, Russia), I-Jung Grace Lu (Assistant Research Fellow of Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, Chinese Taipei), Yahang Yang (research fellow at Center for China and Globalization, China), Xiaoyin Cao(licensed attorney in Illinois, U.S.A ), Daria Efremova (specialist of the Accreditation Office, National Centre for Public Accreditation, Russia), Anna Ishutkina (methodologist, analyst and translator at the International Relations Office, National Centre for Public Accreditation, Russia), Zhijie Xiang( PhD candidate at Yunnan University, China), Panpan Huang (graduate student at Yunnan University, China), David W. Sansom (Deputy-Director of the MPI-Bell Centre at the Macao Polytechnic Institute), Gan Cunyan (Director of Teaching and Learning Centre of Macao Polytechnic Institute), Shirun Wang (graduate student at Yunnan University, China), Wenjing He (graduate student at Yunnan University, China), and Jagannath Patil (founder Chairperson of Asia Pacific Quality Register, former APQN President and APQN Board Co-opted Director,  at National Assessment and Accreditation Council, India). Most of the research are volunteer work,without any funding. The authors carried on the research on a pro bono basis. They have demonstrated APQN spiritual legacy of "the Spirit of Dedication". As the current APQN President and chief-editor of this book, I am greatly appreciate for their dedication that is the passion and love for the cause of education quality bonded by the affection and friendship among our members!

The challenge of the COVID Pandemic is embedded with a huge opportunity. No doubt, higher education in the globe has been transformed by COVID-19, the lockdown, and eventually, the recovery. COVID-19 has pointed out that the world of education requires a paradigm shift. The educational systems should have been hybrid with both face-to-face learning as well as online learning components. Most of the higher education institutions (HEIs) have been in practice of holistic learning accommodating both offline and online systems. The present pandemic has forced all the academic institutions to shift to online mode of learning. APQN has a long way to go to realize its sustainable development under COVID-19.

Dear all, let's work hard to realize APQN mission of "enhancing the quality of higher education in the Asia-Pacific Region "!

(Written by Jianxin Zhang, APQN President as well as the chief-editor)

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