APQN (Asia Pacific Quality Network) with support from the World Bank and UNESCO issued a call to all its member institutions and organizations to participate in the 2018 Staff Capacity Building. AIUB responded to the call and submitted a strong justification for its participation. The university was then selected together with other organizations and institutions . The programme is purely reciprocal basis in which both financial and in-kind contribution is expected from the mentor and mentees or the sender and the hosts. The core purposes of the programme are to: 1) assist the professional development of the visiting staff members; 2) enhance the capacity building of both the guest and the host organizations; 3) strengthen the communication and cooperation of both sides. The programme is expected to contribute to the capacity development of the emerging quality assurance systems with varying needs.
The university has been selected to partner with three other organizations: The Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) positively responded to accept the AIUB participants composed of Prof. Dr. Charles C. Villanueva, Dean Faculty of Business Administration and Director, AIUB Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), and Mr. Md. Imranul Haque, IQAC Manager and Program Evaluator. For five days (6-10 May 2018), the AIUB-IQAC participants along with the other participants from two countries: Dr. Nghia Hoi Nguyen and Dr. Chinh Quoc Nguyen Director and Deputy Director respectively of the Center of Education, Vietnam National University; Mr. Parneet Singh, Manager Quality Standard, Quality Standard Office, Fiji National University underwent the programs which are generally informative and provided valuable learning experiences. It was a comprehensive programme spearheaded by Dr. Lin Shaw Ren, Dean of Office of Quality Assurance, HEEACT and Prof. Angela Hou, Executive Director, HEEACT. The HEEACT with the officers were on hand to brief the participants on the HEEACT’s evaluation process, procedure and mechanism. The participants were also given the opportunity to share and present its respective quality assurance and accreditation process. Every presentation is followed by an intellectual exchange to clarify some issues and underscore the differences between the systems and procedures. The participants were exposed to the ongoing institutional accreditation of Shih Chieh University. The participants were further given an opportunity to highlight its respective institution in the class of Prof. Angela and at the same time a physical visit to Fu Jen Catholic University. A briefing was conducted by Dr. Liang-Jeng Leu, Secretary General and Executive Director, Accreditation Council of the Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET) on the process of accrediting an engineering program with emphasis on the its membership with Washington Accord for degree program, Sidney Accord for Technology and Dublin Accord for Technician. The last institution visited was the National Taiwan University, the top university in Taiwan. The last briefings were held in HEEACT on the Taiwan Medical Accreditation Council, a special body that accredits medical institutions in Taiwan and the Teacher Education for Teacher Education Institution. It was an impressive programme arranged and hosted by HEEACT. The participants’ good words and admiration were indication that it was well designed, arranged and carried out with utmost care and efficiency. The AIUB participants has these impressions and expression of thanks on behalf of the other participants.
IMPRESSIONS ON THE 2018 HEEACT-APQN CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM
True to its objectives of the program to enhance the capacity building of both the guests and the host organization, and strengthen the communication and cooperation of both sides, the 5- day program provided a platform to the 3 country participants to share its experiences and ideas on the on-going efforts of both organizations in promoting QA in their respective countries. Specifically, the following activities undertaken were indications and manifestations of the success of the program.
-the sincere assistance provided by HEEACT in overcoming some barriers in the processing of documents as requirements to be able to enter Taiwan.
- the training materials were relevant and appropriate to the topics discussed every day.
- the logistics support were very facilitating that the life of the participants were made comfortable and responsive.
- the scheduling of activities were realistic and systematic.
- the briefing of the staff on each topic of the HEEACT’s operational activities were very informative and clearly delivered headed by its Dean, Dr. Lin Shaw Ren. Likewise, the moderation conducted by Dr. Angelica Yung-Chi Hou, the Executive Director of HEEACT was indeed very enlightening and facilitating in understanding the process of the different special program accreditation and the related issues and observations raised by the guest participants.
- the opportunity to witness the working process in conducting an institutional evaluation was indeed very helpful to further appreciate the essential stages of the process of accreditation.
- the institutional visit to Shih Chien University afforded the participants with hands on experience on accreditation in action since the university is undergoing accreditation.
-_ the visit to Fu-jen Catholic University was an opportunity for the participants to interact with the students of Dr. Angelica in presenting briefs about their respective universities. This was followed with relevant questions raised by the students as an indication of their interest and curiosity about the higher education system in Fiji, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
-the visit to the premier university of Taiwan, the National Taiwan University gave the participants a different perspectives on how a university adheres to QA like hiring of teachers, providing adequate facilities, offering programs, availing of government support, linkage with local and foreign institutions are few of the many factors mentioned to sustain its status as a leading university in Taiwan.
- the visit to IEET,as a special accrediting body for Engineering Programs very informative for it has truly widen the horizon of the participants on the different levels of accreditation. It gave a distinct discussion on how the IEET accredit with reference to Washington Accord for degree programs, Sidney Accord for Engineering Technology and Dublin Accord for Technicians.
- the interactions of the participants with the different resource persons during the 5-day program were indeed valuable that it generated ideas and experiences which benefited both sides. It has also explored the possibility to establish collaborations to further expand and enrich the process of accreditation in a more sustainable development.
EXPRESSION OF THANKS DELIVERED DURING THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE CONSULTATIVE MEETING SPONSORED BY APQN-HEEACT 2018 CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM
Our meeting is ending but the learning we acquired from this program will linger on. The camaraderie and fellowship will continue to mark cherished memories. Allow me therefore, on behalf of the participants from 3 countries: Vietnam, Fiji and Bangladesh to convey our sincerest thanks and appreciation to HEEACT (Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taipeh) who made this valuable education experience happened. On top of it is the APQN (Asia Pacific Quality Network) with this laudable project, the 2018 APQN Capacity Building. It has truly made us participants more aware and widened our horizon on QA subject. The interaction during every presentation by HEEACT made the meeting more meaningful and fruitful. The visits to the two universities and 2 QA organizations further enriched our store of knowledge on QA and appreciated the inputs during the presentations. To the officers and staff of Shih Chien University and National Taiwan University were indeed informative and comprehensive discussion the QA activities. The observation made during the actual evaluation of Shih Chien University was anaother hands on experience in carrying out the process of accreditation. We participants are all extending our hands for possible collaboration with HEEACT, the partner institutions in promoting and continue sharing of information in promoting a sustainable QA cum accreditation not only on a national scale but also in an international arena.
Special compliments goes to HEEACT for the warm hospitality, professionalism and friendly working ambience. Special thanks and appreciation to Ms. Mandy Yin-Chia Shao, Project Assistant and the rest of the young and dynamic HEEACT staff for their patience and sincere assistance in making our visit to Taipeh comfortable. We look forward to another meeting such as this in the immediate future. Truly we re grateful. We will bring back to our organizations/institutions all the learnings/lessons acquired from this program. Again, from the bottom of our hearts thank you and good day everyone.