About Quality Assurance Program
Quality assurance in higher education refers to the management procedures adopted by an institution whereby it can guarantee with confidence and surety, that the standards and quality of its educational provision are being maintained and enhanced. The purpose is twofold i.e., to bring accountability and improvement in the system through an internal & external academic auditing process. Quality enhancement on the other hand denotes the continuous process of bringing positive changes in teaching and learning in order to provide for improvement in the quality of institutional provisions.
Pakistan in 2002 decided to revamp its higher education governance and UGC was renamed and restructured as Higher Education Commission. In 2003 the newly founded HEC Islamabad constituted a National Quality Assurance Committee (NQAC), comprising top level academicians of the country, to develop a Manual of Quality Assurance for implementation in higher education institutions as well as advise HEC on matters related to quality of higher education. Subsequently, on the recommendation of NQAC the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was established in 2004 to introduce and encourage development of quality culture in institutions of higher education. This was followed by establishment of Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) in all public and private sector universities of Pakistan in a phased manner. The QAA functions at the strategic level, while the QECs function at operational level within the universities and serve as focal points for the QAA for communication. However, public and private sector colleges/institutes, where thousands of undergraduate students get enrolled each year for their first university degree, remained left out from the quality oversight initiative.
At the provincial level, Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has since long been making efforts for horizontal and vertical expansion of educational facilities in the province with all available resources but not much attention has been paid to the quality of education and governance systems. In view of persistent public perception about low quality of higher education provided in public sector institutions, the Higher Education Department decided to establish an independent Quality Assurance Cell in HED to launch Quality Assurance activities in public sector colleges of the province as well as to coordinate with public sector universities of KP for having better quality of education in HEIs along with its affiliated colleges. The prime objective of establishing QA Unit is to ensure the provision of high-quality teaching and learning environment in universities & colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and suggest improvement in their governance system so as to produce knowledgeable, skilled, disciplined and employable graduates for the society.
- Strengthening the existing setup of Quality Enhancement Cells (QEC) in universities and government colleges of KP, including the newly merged districts and non-BS colleges. The aim is to link universities with their respective affiliated colleges through interactive bilateral coordination between the two types of institutions for real time coordination and resolving day to day issues on academic matters.
- Make efforts for development, improvement and enforcement of effective mechanism for Quality Assurance Framework in Higher Education Department and ensuring its periodic reporting as regular activity for quality Assurance in overall Higher Education system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- Providing leadership to the Unit and positioning it as an institution of technical and functional assistance for the Higher Education Department.
- The QAP shall undertake training program for the QEC teams of a cluster of colleges affiliated to a single university in collaboration with the said university. The Training Program for college-based QEC teams will be aimed at sensitizing them about the need, scope, and procedures for quality enhancement, assessment of teachers and courses by college students, preparation and submission of Self-Assessment Reports along with teachers and students’ evaluation. Besides, these programs will also be aimed at developing thorough understanding among college teachers about the semester system, blooms taxonomy, use of I.T. services for learning and research.
- Capacity Building/Training of Faculty members from Universities & Colleges regarding Semester guidelines and other Higher education quality assurance procedures implementation like Research, Anti-Plagiarism etc.
- Review Visit to Universities & Colleges across province for quality assurance procedure & performance evaluation as per approved parameters. Review of all institutions after implementing Self-Assessment activities & its impact on overall performance of all institutions. Support to HED in reviewing all KP public sector universities in governance and financial management. QAC will submit its reports and analysis from time to time to HED.
- Implementation of all Quality Assurance procedures as per approved Standard Operating Procedures for College bases QECs.
- Developing online software for feedback/evaluation from faculty and students to be used in all KP Colleges.
- Vice Chancellors of affiliating universities shall be approached to seek their cooperation for establishing active linkage between the QECs of relevant universities and QECs of their affiliated colleges. Organize subject-related refresher courses for the teachers of their affiliated colleges, training programs related to the use of I.T. services, and extension of research facilities.
- In order to remove the existing variation in students’ evaluation/examination and grading systems adopted by different affiliating universities, a uniform policy will be formulated and with the help of Chancellor’s office implemented across KP.
- Conduct External Quality Review (EQR) visits to JMCs/Colleges and universities for implementation of QA procedures. QAC will submit its reports and analysis from time to time to HED.
- It shall collect all related information and statistics from colleges/universities for comparison, analyses and suggesting corrective measures to the Government of KP.
- Identification of needs for reforms in various Higher Education Sector of the province and how better quality of education can be provided to the students of the province.
- Developing networks and maintaining linkages for pooling resources to address emerging needs in Higher Education Sector.
- Need base research Activities, Consultancy & various publications from time to time.
- Any other function/functions allotted by Higher Management/Competent Authority.