"Quality Assurance" Enhances the Quality Standards of Higher Education
The “Quality Assurance and Institutional Research Center, QAIRC” organized a couple of meetings with the “Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) – United Kingdom” at Al Ain Campus. The QAA was represented by “Dr. Alison Felce (QAA, Head of Accreditation and International Services)” and “Ms. Stephanie Sandford, (QAA, Director of International and Professional Services)”.
At the beginning, Dr. Nazih Khaddaj Mallat (Director, QAIRC) welcomed the QAA Staff and thanked them for their presence. The first meeting was attended by Prof. Ghaleb El-Refae (AAU, President), HR Manager, Finance Manager, IT Director, Deans, Deputy Deans, and Programs’ Directors. During this meeting, Ms. Sandford and Dr. Felce did present the QAA agency by explaining how the QAA has changed to meet the sector’s needs, particularly the Higher Education is changing across the UK. They emphasized on the new structure of the QAA which was implemented in August 2019 on four new areas of operation; Quality Assessment, Membership, International & Professional, Nations & Europe.
The second meeting was between the QAA Staff and the QA Director, where they discuss the procedures and the process to apply for the “International Quality Review, IQR”. The IQR has been specially developed to provide institutions outside the UK with an independent peer review leading to accreditation by the QAA. IQR offers the institution, the opportunity to demonstrate the quality assurance systems conform to the international standards. It also provides opportunities to demonstrate effective quality assurance comparable to the international best practice, strengthen the institution global positioning, and to develop partnerships with the UK institutions. IQR uses the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher
Education Area (ESG). They also discussed the “International Quality Assurance Program, IQAP”, which is a five-day training course that provides excellent opportunities to learn about the UK quality assurance system and to build relationships with the quality assurance professionals from around the world.
Dr. Khaddaj Mallat, stated that these meetings helped the AAU academic and administrative members to know what’s needed to improve the quality assurance system at the institutional level and to strive for excellence in its academic programs, research, training, and learning.