AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting 2020 (Online)
The First Online AUN-QA Assessors' Meeting
The first online AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting was held last week on Wednesday (May 27th, 2020). The meeting, which was actively participated by over 100 AUN-QA Assessors, has set the model and standard for future online conferences in the ASEAN region.
The meeting is held annually for assessors to discuss various matters pertinent to enhancing the quality assurance systems of higher education institutions in the ASEAN region. The meeting discussed the new guide to AUN-QA Programme Assessments, the incorporation of doctoral programmes into AUN-QA Programme Assessments, AUN-QA Remote Assessments, and various case studies involving issues encountered during assessments.
This marks the first venture by the AUN-QA Secretariat to hold an online conference of a large magnitude which includes plenary and breakout sessions. And although it was held online, the discussions that took place were no less lively, fierce, and interactive. In some cases, it was even more fierce as the virtual nature of the meeting allowed for participants who would have been unable to speak up otherwise to be able to participate through text-based chat which was constantly monitored by the AUN-QA Secretariat.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Wyona C.Patalinghug, the Acting Deputy Chairperson of AUN-QA Council, spoke about how earlier this year marked the very first time a force majeure interrupted an AUN-QA Assessment. An assessment in Indonesia was postponed due to a volcanic eruption. Not long after, all activities were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She then quoted one of Charles Dickens’ most famous lines “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..” to remind everyone present that although we may perceive the COVID-19 environment as one of despair, hope also exists in our search for the new normal.
Workshop Breakout Session: Case Discussion
The morning’s first session was a breakout session where the participants were divided into four separate groups of around twenty to discuss four cases representing major issues that have occurred during AUN-QA’s Programme Assessments.
All groups had very lively debates filled with humor and intensity. Each group interpreted the cases and provided distinct solutions which were then shared in a plenary session.
The session proved very fruitful and the AUN-QA Secretariat was provided with an abundance of ideas and solutions that will enhance the quality of its operations going forward.
Introduction: Guide to AUN-QA Assessment at Programme Level Version 4.0
In the AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting 2020 (Online), Associate Professor Dr. Tan Kay Chuan, a member of the AUN-QA Technical Team, introduced the “Guide to AUN-QA Assessments at Programme Level Version 4.0” to the AUN-QA assessors. The new version of the guidebook was written by Dr. Tan Kay Chuan and the AUN-QA Revision Team under the principle of continuous improvement, which is one of the keys to sustainability in quality higher education and AUN-QA internal work. Improvements from Version 3.0 include changes in criteria of the AUN-QA Assessment, the rating scale used for the assessment and other related details. The guidebook will be reviewed for endorsement by the AUN Board of Trustees and acknowledged by AUN-QA Chief Quality Officers before being fully implemented in AUN-QA Assessments. AUN-QA, as a de-facto Higher Education Institutions accreditation agency in the ASEAN region, has quickly adapted to meet universities’ needs during this period of change. With a more comprehensive and contemporary criteria, the AUN-QA can continue to uplift and enhance the standards and quality of Higher Education Institutions in the ASEAN region.
Incorporating PhD/Doctorate Programme Assessments in the Guide to AUN-QA Assessment at Programme Level, Version 4.0
The AUN-QA Assessment at Programme Level for Ph.D. Programmes was another pressing matter for AUN-QA Assessors. During the AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting 2020, Prof. Ir. Dr. Shahrir Abdullah, Deputy Chairperson of AUN-QA Council, updated the assessors on the AUN-QA directions to assess Ph.D. programmes throughout the region. As doctoral degree programmes require more delicate interpretations of the AUN-QA Criteria, the assessors were informed of the suggested approach to review Self-Assessment Reports and other relevant documents and to utilize the AUN-QA criteria for both research and professional doctoral degrees in future AUN-QA Assessments. AUN-QA, as a leading regional organization in Quality Assurance of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), will continue to improve efficiencies in its operation for the betterment of HEIs and Human Resources in the ASEAN region.
We Choose to Do Remote Assessments
A session to discuss the implementation of Remote Assessments was held in the afternoon of the AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting. The session was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Satria Bijaksana of the AUN-QA remote assessment task force and AUN-QA Council.
The Remote AUN-QA Assessment will serve not only as a contingency plan to cope with the current global pandemic situation but may also be integrated as a long term practice.
The active and fierce discussion among AUN-QA Assessors allowed a deep exploration of the opportunities and risks of remote assessments. The massive amount of concerns and comments from this fruitful discussion will be taken into further consideration in order to ensure the quality of the Remote AUN-QA Assessment.
Further information and updates regarding the progress of the Remote AUN-QA Assessment will be sent through AUN-QA communication channels.