Thursday 16th – Sunday 18th April, 2015:a) Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) Conference held in Yunnan University Campus, Kunming, China.
Theme: “Globalization and Diversification of Quality Assurance of Higher Education”.
Mission: “Strengthening the capacity building of quality assurance agencies, to promote cooperation, and improve the quality of higher education in Asia Pacific region”.
As a platform for education evaluation institutions and higher education evaluation agency in Asia – Pacific region, APQN takes advantage of regional network platform, actively disseminating information and carrying out training, research, and advisory services.
In this year’s APQN conference, the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) presented a research paper through the attendance of the Quality Assurance Policy and Planning Analyst based on the topic: Globalization and Diversification of Quality Assurance of Higher Education; Internal Quality Assurance: An Integrated Approach with the Malcolm Baldrige Framework.
The APQN platform was used to promote the education resource sharing, regional talent exchange, education quality standardization and higher education quality. With the globalization of higher education, cooperation between countries and regions has become very important, especially the collaboration mechanism.
Hosting 2016 Annual Conference and AGM
country presentation was also made to the members and non-members of APQN to bid for hosting 2016 Annual Conference and AGM in Fiji.
The APQN President, Dr. Jagannath Patil announced with delight that FHEC agreeing to host INQAAHE and APQN conference 2016 as a back to back event. He was thankful to Fiji on its great networking for good Quality Assurance community.
Fiji (FHEC) will also be the first country to adopt and undergo review with one of the major projects by APQN which is the Asia Pacific Network Register (APQR). APQR is a register of External Quality Assurance Agencies (EQAAs) that demonstrates certain threshold of maturity in well-developed quality systems.
Monday 20 April : Courtesy Visit to Yunnan Higher Education Evaluation Centre (YHEEC), Kunming, China.
he YUNNAN HIGHER EDUCATION EVALUATION CENTER (YHEEC) is known for its multi-functional integration as it has adopted an interchange project management model and achieved a multi-functional purpose. Currently it provides evaluation services to higher education institutions and education consulting.
In terms of Quality Assurance (QA), YHEEC refer for Higher Education evaluation based on:
- Internal QA – focused on teaching quality.
- External QA – ensure basic quality of education, infrastructure, resources – similar to registration process in FHEC.
- Social / Government QA Label – Third party QA system – evaluates and ranks universities.
YHEEC based itself as a neutral and independent third party agency; neither belongs to the higher education or government.
Types of Survey and Work carried out by YHEEC as a Quality Assurance Agency are:
- QA for all universities and colleges – 2 level (undergraduate – 24 and TVET Junior colleges – 37).
- 10 HEI per year gets evaluated with strategies that change with Uni development.
- 2004 – 2008, focused on basic infrastructure.
- 2008 – 2012 – focused on teaching and learning.
- 2012 – promote diversity in Universities.
- Evaluation projects.
- Development of private Universities (21 just in Yunnan Province).
- Reports on the research & evaluation of student quality of college.
- QA reports for Universities and Junior colleges.
The organization formed a unique operation model from the aspects of the principle of neutral, professional academic research and justice insurance system. However, the agency has welcomed FHEC for staff exchange programs under one of the APQN projects.
Wednesday 22 April : Courtesy Visit to Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ).
HKCAAVQ is a founding member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN). Also, they are an Affiliate of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
Quality Assurance processes runs on four stages, which underpins the Qualification Framework. This includes the following:
- Initial Evaluation (IE);
- Learning Program Accreditation (LPA);
- Program Area Accreditation (PAA) and;
- Periodic Review (PR).
HKCAAVQ rises to the challenges posed by dynamic and complex market in post-secondary education, it continues to work closely with their stakeholders to build an accountable and transparent quality assurance system to support the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework.
HKCAAVQ has an independent council that looks after QA [IQA] with set guidelines.
As for the staff exchange program, the following recommendations follow:
- A workshop on Research Training and Consultancy [developing accreditation model.
- Be an observer with the committee leading to program accreditation & assessment, institutional accreditation on site visit.
- IQA in vocational and universities and QAA, Qualification training/assurance council.
- University grants committee (UGC) – funding model & quality audit unit systems and processes.
- Compliance process.
HKCAAVQ looks after both universities and vocational with majority of them being vocational. There are about 8 public University, 10 private institutes and 200 vocational schools. The vocational schools are supported by Vocational Training Council [government] as this covers vast majority of vocational training in Hong Kong. There are about 200 foreign universities partnering with local universities.