The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) 11th Biennial Forum was held from May 2-4, 2018 at the Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius. ‘Quality is in the Eye of the Beholder: Relevance, Credibility, and International Visibility’ was the theme of the forum. The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at LUMS successfully secured the funding to attend the Forum. INQAAHE Forum 2018 was attended by the Dean and Manager of QEC as the representatives of LUMS. Almost 160 delegates, representing quality assurance agencies and institutions from across the globe were present at the forum.
The forum featured four pre-forum workshops, two keynotes and live discussions. Professor Sid Nair, Executive Director, Tertiary Education Commission, welcomed all the delegates to Mauritius on day 1 of the Forum. President INQAAHE, Susanna Karakhanyan addressed the audience and said that quality is acceptance/recognition of higher education outcomes and outputs by its key stakeholders and society at large. The global trends of higher education such as disruptions, diversity of provisions, and the challenges to quality were discussed. Moreover, the speakers led extensive discussions on the changing landscape of Higher Education in developing countries, recognition of higher education qualification, academic assessment and trust in the online provision, QAAs online training progress on enhancing academic integrity through helping organisations combat the growing issue of contract cheating and essay mills. The diversified line of speakers can be viewed at http://www.inqaahe2018mauritius.mu/speaker
The forum was a good platform to obtain useful information about dramatic changes in the tertiary education sector in developing countries, new private sector initiatives, corruption in HEI, data management and review procedures as well as the lack of proper controls, accurate data and quality faculty. The presenters not only covered the topics to address the internal QA but also emphasised on improving EQA through developing frameworks and proper incentives.
At Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), quality is considered imperative and fundamental and all policies, process and systems are designed to ensure a quality product. LUMS has started obtaining international accreditations for the schools and programmes. The written policies and the process described in the pre-forum workshops at INQAAHE Forum 2018 will be valuable in this pursuit.
Above and beyond, the forum also gave a substantial platform to network with the community of Quality Assurance Agencies from all around the globe and see the concept of quality culture from a broader view.