Months of Surveys and Online Seminars
Erasmus+ IQAinAR project partners met again in an online Project Progress Meeting on 21 September for a review of the completed activities and to plan for upcoming ones. It has been a busy 9 months for the project members, who are all committed to the success of this valuable partnership.
Project IQAinAR, which stands for ‘Enhancement of Internal Quality Assurance of Education in Teaching, Learning and Assessment in HEIs of Azerbaijan and Russia’, was officially launched on 16 February this year. The project aims to support the enhancement and development of the internal quality assurance (IQA) of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) of the partner countries with EU quality standards as the benchmark, as well as strengthening the HEIs' local, regional and national policies and strategies implementation. With WUAS as the lead project coordinator, and headed by Wittenborg's EU Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher Aydan Ismayilova and CEO Maggie Feng, the project members comprised representatives from 5 partner countries including Spain, Russia, Azerbaijan, Germany and the Netherlands.
Throughout the 9-month stint, online national seminars were hosted by the Azerbaijan and Russian project partners to discuss various issues pertaining to the IQAinAR projects. The seminars were attended by students, alumni, teachers and employers in the two countries in order to get feedback with regards to the quality of education and quality assurance of the universities in both countries. Proceeding the seminars, the consortium developed the IQA indicators and conducted a survey involving all partners. Standard questionnaires were administered to students, alumni, teachers and employers in all the universities/institutions. Results were collected for statistical analysis and a report was compiled by the WUAS Research team.
Results of Survey
The results of the survey were presented by WUAS Assurance of Learning Manager Kriszta Kaspers. The findings showed that a majority of students, alumni and teachers have a positive perception of the quality of education and quality assurance of their HEIs. Furthermore, based on the employers’ perception, ‘good quality’ in higher education does not necessarily mean nice buildings and infrastructure, but rather good facilities, knowledgeable and up-to-date staff, good teaching methodologies, externally accredited programmes and quality feedback to students are more pertinent and essential.
Following that, the Spanish counterpart (UCAM), presented their plan for Work Package 2. Based on the results in Work Package 1, each HEI will, in the next few months, set up its own vision and policy, plan the teaching and assessment indicators & the methods they want to adopt, and implement the plan. The project roadmap was revisited and affirmed to ensure that the project runs its course as per the targeted timeline. The partners will meet again to follow up on Work Package 2 in November.
Project Coordinator Aydan Ismayilova commented, "We are happy that the project is progressing as per the plan. The finalisation of the 1st Work Package is a major milestone that we have delivered together with all partners. This work package focused mainly on the exploration of the existing landscape with regard to internal quality assurance in all participating partner countries. Based on the initial studies the roadmap and policy were developed. We are looking forward to the start of the Work Package 2, which will focus on developing the necessary methodologies in the enhancement of internal quality."
by Hanna Abdelwahab