2011

Third annual Conference

Towards Harnessing Quality in Education and Research: Challenges and Opportunities

About the conference

Recent technological advances have created a new paradigm of higher education, worldwide. New concepts and enhancement theories of education are introduced to meet expanding technological, sociological and political requirements. These theories created a  basis for quality, diverse learning, digital education, technological innovation, and knowledge creation.


Education is characterized as a key element and a significant resource for economic development, technological innovation, and knowledge creation. Educational institutions, particularly in the Arab region, have witnessed major developments such as the rise in the number of universities and students, the private sector’s investment in higher education, in addition to the emergence of new types of education such as Open Education and Distance Learning.


This expansion in higher education should be supported by a determined effort to raise the standard of education in Arab universities. The quality of higher education is at the core of the mission and is one of the primary objectives of the Association of Arab Universities.

Standards in Education usually characterize the quality of teaching, resources, impact on economic development, and the quality of life of students. Differences in education qualifications and delivery became apparent, and seem to have been originated by the pedagogical delivery processes and topology of the educational systems. Social fabric and educational barriers are identified among the main concerns in leading quality efforts in academic institutions.


The trend has changed, and institutions began to realize the importance of the development and implementation of accreditation procedures and quality assurance methods to prepare active citizens with high levels of knowledge, competencies and skills in order to maintain cohesion in the social fabrics. In the meantime, the impact of global market forces has challenged academic institutions to keep up with relevant academic values, internationalization of education, and recognition of cross-border qualifications. As a result, an increased awareness of the importance of quality assurance and accreditation has become apparent.

 
This belief has led to the development of mechanisms for controlling and ensuring the quality and outcome of learning. These mechanisms are based on processes of internal and external evaluation, which are voluntarily carried out by institutions and by independent qualified professional entities.


For this purpose, the Arab Organization for Quality Assurance in Education (AROQA) was born in 2007 as a private non-profit organization. AROQA came to embody the vision of the Association of Arab Universities and in line with the approach observed in several developed countries. It has an amazing potential, most dramatically in its impact on enabling an institution to “boot up” and join the globalizing developed world in maintaining high quality standards in education.


This conference makes it an opportune time to bring together representatives of accreditation agencies, educational institutions, and quality research community; to jointly discuss ways to ameliorate today’s growing  global challenges in quality education in a new paradigm of learning quest and knowledge development. Our goal is to invite some of the world’s foremost innovators from the fields of education, quality assurance and accreditation in an effort to take a major step towards the development of accreditation standards and multi-level sustainable models for quality education.


This conference invites all stakeholders of education to discuss how to raise awareness of quality of education and research in the Arab world, and discuss challenges to and opportunities for joining the global move towards quality improvement in education.

 

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