Oman Quality Network in Higher Education (OQNHE) had its 3rd Conference on Quality Management and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education under the patronage of His Excellency, Dr. Said Hamed Said Al Rabie, Honorable Secretary-General of the Education Council, Sultanate of Oman. The two-day quality in higher education centered knowledge extravaganza was held on the 24th and 25th of March 2015 at the picturesque Crowne Plaza Hotel in Muscat. The event witnessed a galaxy of experts and stakeholders, directly and indirectly related with the Higher Education sector. The keynote speakers, chairs and paper presenters represented illustrious institutions from the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain and Malaysia. The August presence of other Excellencies including, Her Excellency, Honorable Dr. Muna Salim Al-Jardaniah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Manpower for Technological Education and Vocational training added to the success of the event.
The program schedule can be seen by clicking on the link below-
Yours truly presented a paper titled,”Teaching and Learning Quality Enhancement through Social Media”, in collaboration with Dr. Azzah Al Maskeri, Acting Dean and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman, Mr. Majid Al Rashdi, Deputy Head of Quality Assurance, Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman and Dr. Srinivasan Ramamoorthy, Head of Quality Assurance, Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman. The paper presented the findings revealed through data analysis gathered from learner’s performance, both in the classroom and through social media. Furthermore, the challenges and opportunities for different stakeholders associated with the quality enhancement through social media based teaching and learning formed the additional insights elucidated by the study. There was keen interest in the topic as was evident from nine question posed in the allotted five minutes, excluding the queries posed by the audience during the lunch break. The questions hovered around the feasibility of the study from a pan regional and pan institutional perspective, security issues, means and ways to motivate the learner, challenges for the facilitator in terms of technical know-how, the time spent outside the office hours, the types of videos being uploaded in YouTube, integration with Learning Management System and other in-house resources to name a few. The presentation can be seen in the links below-
The conference presentation video can be seen from the link below-
The complete paper can be seen below-
The program started with the reading of Holy Quran. It was followed by the welcome address delivered by Dr. Said Masoud Ali Kashoob, Chairperson, OQNHE Executive Committee and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Al-Musanna College of Technology. Soon after, the first keynote address was delivered by Her Excellency, Dr. Jawaher Al Mudhahki who dwelt on the topic, “Quality Assurance in GCC higher education sectors: realities, obstacles and priorities”, chaired by Dr. Yaseen Al Lawati. Dr. Jawaher spoke at length on the importance of quality in higher education, by citing the ever increasing world population from the present 7 billion to 9-11 billion by 2050. The she cited would have an impact on the students enrolled in higher education which increased from 92.5 million (2000), to 158 million(2012) and then to 300 million(2025). She harped on important aspects like mismatch of quality and quantity in higher education, the mid segment populace of every country being the major target audience for higher education, the gap between rich and poor being reduced due to higher education, emergence of Emerging Seven (E-7) countries by riding piggy on education for the population, along with globalization of economies, technology, online communities, students seeking international education to name a few. Zooming into the GCC region after speaking at length on the international environment, she emphasized on various aspects of the region, viz, developing countries, young population , diversifying economies along with many others. She also pointed out the changing landscape of higher education institutes from 2007 to 2014-2015 as Bahrain (15 to 13), Kuwait (6 to 18), Oman (5 to 27), Qatar (7 to 8), KSA (25 to 72) and UAE (15 to 107) took the tally from 73 in 2007 to 195 in 2014-2015. This showed the relevance and importance of Quality in Higher Education as there were challenges in the form of huge enrollment, low admission standards, inadequate infrastructure, poor qualified faculty, low quality of scientific research, insufficient student support, narrow disciplinary programs, profitability more than quality for the private service providers. The road-map suggested by her included the establishment of national quality assurance regulatory bodies, develop regional quality regulatory association, increased quality private education providers, quality distance education for the working populace, quality of programs matching the changing needs of the environment, globally recognized higher education, transparency and accountability. She also spoke at length of Bahrain system of quality monitoring mechanism with QA reviews, Qualification Framework and National Examination.
The invited talk by Dr. Adam John Biscoe, General Foundation Programs Consultant of Oman Accreditation Authroity dwelt on the detailed findings pertaining to the success and challenges of General Foundation Program in Oman. He also shared the OAAA strategies for the future, along with the need to align with the changed environment.
Prof. Lee from the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications threw light on various aspects directly and indirectly related vis-a-vis that of Hong Kong and rest of the world. He explained how he metamorphosed from an academic of 24 years into a hardcore quality professional and his diversified roles in HKCAAVQ, the statutory body in Hong Kong for quality accreditation. The reasons cited by him for HEI spreading tentacles across the Asia Pacific, notably in Hong Kong are, rapid expansion, student mobility, emerging world class universities setting up shops, easing of private sectors to stimulate expansion, transnational education provision. However, there are some concerns over expansion, privatization and commercialization of higher education as is evident from 1200 collaborative overseas HE programs in Hong-Kong. Concept of education hub in strategic locations, both by public and private universities have only added to this expansion spree. He also spoke about the challenges for HE in the 21st century and they are- Outcome based HE, Life long learning, universality and accessibility, global and international interfaces, privatization and corporation, IT and technology driven to name a few. However, the moot question happens to be the challenges associated with the achievement of stakeholder satisfaction.through quality and protection of student rights, value for money and public accountability, transparency, recognition for articulation including credit accumulation and transfer for employment, accessibility, freedom of choice, fairness and free movement of students from one system to another. He also spoke in detail about the accreditation process in Hong-Kong.
A working lunch and high tea provided opportunities to network with teaching and learning professionals of different parts of the world various officials of OAAA, academic administrators of HEI across the GCC region. The papers threw light on various aspects of quality management and its enhancement in Higher Education both from local, regional and international perspective.
The details of the event as is presented in OQNHE wesbite (http://www.oqnhe.om/) is as follows-
About the Conference
The OQNHE 3rd Conference is a two-day conference in quality management and quality enhancement in higher education. It aims at creating awareness, sharing good practices and providing a platform to bring policy makers, higher education institutions (HEIs) and interested stakeholders to share experiences and ideas. Her Excellency Dr Rawya Saud Al Busaidia, the Minister of Higher Education is the patron of this conference. The OQNHE Executive Committee thanks Her Excellency the Minister of Higher Education for supporting this conference. Participants may be policy makers in higher education, higher education professionals, representatives from government, industry and HEIs with responsibility for quality assurance and quality enhancement. There will be two keynote addresses one international and the other one from the region. A good number of papers will be presented throughout the two-day sessions covering conference themes. The conference registration fee will be 100 OMR for all delegates.
This conference is specifically designed to cater to the needs of the specific target audience and aimed at experts in academia, government organizations, industry, technology providers and educational consultants in Oman and the region whose specialist knowledge is in quality management and quality enhancement.
Professor Lee Keng-mun
Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of
Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ)
Dr. Jawaher Al-Mudhahki
The National Authority for Qualifications and
Quality Assurance of Education and Training (QQA)
Kingdom of Bahrain
- Date: 24th-25th February 2015
- Time: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
- Venue: Crowne Plaza, Muscat
- RO.100/- Per Person
- Limited Seats Available
- For more information regarding this event, please call-
- Ms. Beatriz Pereira – +968 99822501
- Ms. Kalpana D`Silva – +968 99266537
Sincere Thanks and Gratitude to OQNHE, College administration-ICT, Business Studies Department Administration-ICT, Quality Department-ICT.
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