Islamabad: Continuing its continuous efforts to implant a culture of quality in degree-awarding institutions (DAIs), the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) of the Higher Education Commission has launched a series of quality assurance meetings. progress review as well as trainings for heads and officers of all DAI Quality Improvement Cells (QECs) across the country. In this regard, a three-day session for the first batch of QEC Chiefs and Officers from 21 HEIs from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Azad Kashmir was held at Air University Islamabad.
The Executive Director of HEC, Dr. Shaista Sohail, together with the Vice-Chancellor of the Air University, Mr. Javaid Ahmed, graced the opening ceremony of the session. The HEC Executive Director recognized the role of QAA and QEC in raising awareness among DAIs to strengthen the culture of quality in the academic sphere. She stressed the need to strengthen the internal quality assurance mechanism to ensure the provision of quality education.
The first day was followed by an interactive session on “how to strengthen internal quality assurance” and a discussion on how QEC performance could be improved. The second day’s session focused on “Verification of Research Publications and HJRS” by representatives of HEC’s Research and Innovation Division. This was followed by a session on the policy against plagiarism and the modalities involved in obtaining CNPs for MS/MPhil and PhD programs. The third and final day saw QEC training on how to assess institutional performance, review of MS/MPhil and equivalent programs and review of doctoral programs and annual QEC progress report.
It is relevant to note that QECs have been established in 221 DAIs in the country to strengthen the internal quality assurance mechanism. QAA annually assesses these QECs for their performance against defined parameters. And, in order to build their capacity and monitor their progress, QAA conducts annual progress review meetings and trainings for all QECs. Whereas, for external quality assurance (EQA), different mechanisms have been devised at the institutional level as well as at the program level.