Dr. Rumpa Roy, Director Quality Assurance and Development Center, Gulf University attended International Quality Assurance Program (IQAP) in UK from 12th to 16th November, 2018. The program was organized by Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, UK. The program was extremely beneficial to enhance the knowledge and skill to apply in internal quality assurance system of the university. It provided a platform to comment more effectively on the major contemporary issues facing quality improvement in education globally. Further it created opportunity to share experiences, exchange ideas and opinion from the peers around the world. Ian Welch QAA and Dr Janet Bohrer, Director of Teaching Quality and Enhancement, LSBU delivered the 5 day program and facilitated the leraning experience in most effective way.

Day 1 focused on “Embedding quality in higher education”. This was demonstrated through presentation on Principles of quality and quality assurance in higher education and Comparisons of UK higher education with international contexts. Workshop and group exercises were conducted to reflect the understanding of different international context.

The theme of Day 2 was “Working with quality in higher education”. Presentation was given on Quality assurance reference points, including the European Standards and Guidelines and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. It was so informative and interactive session to develop detailed understanding on Teaching Excellence Framework and Office of Students as new regulatory framework. Participants contributed wholeheartedly in demonstrating the understanding expectations of quality in international contexts. Gallery walk was the most fascinating tool to engage the participants in group exercises.

Day 3 focused on “Evaluating quality in higher education” with detailed process of peer review processes in internal and external quality assurance; Action planning etc.  It gave opportunity to interact with participants to find out how they feel their own experience of quality assurance to fit with the European framework and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality. Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive, QAA was invited in the lunch session to deliver a presentation on QAA activities and future trends. It provided opportunity to network with him as well.

Day 4 was unique in the sense all the participants were taken to two universities in London to know about the actual quality practices in higher education. Morning session was in London Metropolitan University and post lunch session was in BBP University. It was wonderful experience to hear from the people in those universities and challenges faced and their achievements in promoting quality culture.

Day 5 emphasized on the reflections and presentations from the program developmental task like, takeaway of the visits, notable good practices observed in those universities. Participants were divided into 6 groups and based on the topic given to each group there was debate session which proved to be very useful in understanding cyclical and risk based review; quantitative and qualitative evidence in assessing higher education institution, primary or the secondary evidence as the most reliable evidence

The workshop ended with general discussion on quality assurance issues and certificate ceremony.  The program explored the opportunity to network with peers working in international organizations.