INTRODUCTION

INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE UNIT (IQAU)

  • Quality Assurance is the Responsibility of Everyone

    Providers of higher education have a primary responsibility for the quality of their provision and its assurance, and as such, quality assurance must be a continuous and on‐going process. Though the top management may set policy and priorities, quality assurance is the responsibility of everyone in an educational institution.
  • Basic Components of Quality Assurance Systems

    Quality assurance systems in higher education established in many countries comprise of two basic components: an internal component and an external component. Internal quality assurance refers to internal processes that an institution has developed in order to monitor and improve the quality of their students’ learning experience and ensure achievement of established goals, objectives and standards.
  • Quality assurance needs to be a continuous process

    Quality assurance (planned and systematic review process of an institution or educational program to ensure that acceptable standards of education, scholarship, and infrastructure are being maintained and enhanced) needs to be a continuous, on‐going process. Everyone working in an institution must take responsibility for building it into their day‐to‐day, routine activities. This can be brought about only through internal QA. Hence, internal QA is considered as the cornerstone of QA in higher education.

MEMBERS

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Suggested composition of the Internal Quality Assurance UnitSuggested composition of the Internal Quality Assurance Unit

In 2005, it was suggested that Internal Quality Assurance Units (IQAU) in Sri Lankan Universities be appointed by the Senate with the following minimum composition:

  • Chaired by a Senior Academic appointed by the Senate;
  • Deans of all Faculties and / or a nominee from each Faculty, recommended by the
  • Faculty Board;
  • Registrar or his nominee;
  • Bursar or his nominee;
  • Librarian or his nominee;
  • Director, Staff Development Centre.
  • Convener/Secretary to be elected by the Unit from among its members.
  • The Chairperson should report directly to the Vice‐Chancellor.

It was further suggested that the Vice‐Chancellor be invited to attend meetings that discuss issues of particular importance.

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IQAU Composition

Members of the Internal Quality Assurance Unit (IQAU) in the Horizon Campus.

  • Chairman - Prof. T. Thanaraj - Dean/Education
  • Secretary - Ms. Samanthi Wickramasinghe (Executive in Quality Assurance)
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Other Members:

  • Dr. Ruwan Perera - Acting Vice-Chancellor and Dean/International Programmes
  • Dr. Lekha Wanasekera - Dean/Science
  • Mr. Terence Kahapola Arachchi - Dean/Faculty of Management
  • Mr. Ishan Sabar - Dean/Faculty of IT
  • Mr. Udara Dewamuni - Academic Counselor
  • Mr. M. Wimalasiri - Registrar
  • Ms. Ganga Dalpitiya - Assistant Librarian
  • Mr. Charith Suranga - Accountant

Functions & responsibilities of IQAU

It is suggested that the responsibilities of the IQAU should include among others the following activities:

IQAU

IQAU Activities

  • Co‐ordination of all QA related activities within the institution;
  • Liaising with UGC/QAA Council and other external QA agencies;
  • Implementation of QA Reviews/Audits and follow‐up action;
  • Preparation of institutional self‐evaluation reports;
  • Provision of advice on QA to all Faculties and Departments;
  • Monitoring and guidance in Faculty level QA activities;
  • Organization, where necessary, of awareness programmes on QA for the staff members;
  • Implementation of Quality and QA aspects in the institution’s corporate plan;
  • Facilitation of identification and sharing of good practices among academic Departments;
  • Preparation of QA‐related guidelines and manuals for use within the institution (e.g. academic regulations, equipment manuals, laboratory manuals etc.);
  • Ensure the necessary Academic Regulations/By‐Laws are in place, and if not, make recommendations for remedial action;
  • Conducting of Staff Development Programs to Staff.

It is expected that IQAU will report to the Academic Senate on a monthly basis.

INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS

Associate Membership of International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies for Higher Education (INQAAHE)

It is a pleasure to inform you that our membership application has been approved by the INQAAHE Board.

The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is a world-wide association of over 200 organizations active in the theory and practice of quality assurance in higher education. The great majority of its members are quality assurance agencies that operate in many different ways, although the Network also welcomes (as associate members) other organisations that have an interest in QA in HE.

INQAAHE offers members many services, including a Journal, a Bulletin, a Query service, a Good Practice database, and a Professional Qualification in QA. There are also Conferences and Fora at least annually.

Purposes of the Netwoork are presented in the Constitution:

All members will be listed in the online register of members on the INQAAHE website (INQAAHE).

  • To create, collect and disseminate information on current and developing theory and practice in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of quality in higher education;
  • To undertake or commission research in areas relevant to quality in higher education;
  • To express the collective views of its members on matters relevant to quality in higher education through contacts with international bodies and by other means;
  • To promote the theory and practice of the improvement of quality in higher education;
  • To provide advice and expertise to assist existing and emerging quality assurance agencies;
  • To facilitate links between quality assurance agencies and support networks of quality assurance agencies;
  • To assist members to determine the standards of institutions operating across national borders and facilitate better-informed international recognition of qualifications;
  • To assist in the development and use of credit transfer and credit accumulation schemes to enhance the mobility of students between institutions (within and across national borders);
  • To enable members to be alert to improper quality assurance practices and organizations;
  • To organize, on request, reviews of the operation of members.

APQN’s Best/Model Internal Quality Assurance Award 2015

The Horizon Campus brings the APQN Best/Model Internal Quality Assurance Award for the Asia Pacific Region.

The Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) Conference and the AGM was held in Kunming, China from 7-9 April 2015. The APQN quality award ceremony was held to encourage members who have been doing much more outstanding work individually, institutionally, nationally as well as internationally. This Award is intended to identify and distinguish extraordinary or prominent contributions to quality assurance and good practices that have potential of replications in the Asia-Pacific area.

The institutional members who have committed to quality assurance mechanisms and quality culture building are encouraged to apply for the APQN’s Best/Model Internal QA Award so as to make much wider circulation about their best or model IQA practices and experiences.

It is a great pleasure to inform that the Horizon Campus was able to receive this prestigious award from the Asia Pacific Quality Network which is the largest QA Network in the World having 156 members. A panel of three eminent international experts appointed by APQN Board reviewed all the nominations and made a final decision on Quality Awards. . An attracAwrad ftive memento was awarded to the Horizon CAward2ampus.

Institutional Membership of Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN)

It is a pleasure to inform you that our membership application has been approved by the APQN Board.

Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) is one of the two leading Quality Assurance network in the world. It is founded in 2003 in Hong Kong with 57 members and 6 observers from 27 countries. Dr. Jagannath Patil is the current President of Asia Pacific Quality Network [APQN], the largest regional network of QA bodies. In 10 years APQN has grown to 140 members from 50 countries of Asia and Pacific.

Objectives

  • Promote good practice in the maintenance and improvement of quality in higher education in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Provide advice and expertise to assist in the development of new quality assurance agencies in the region.
  • Develop links between quality assurance agencies and acceptance of each other’s ‘decisions and judgments.
  • Assist members determine standards of institutions operating across national borders.
  • Facilitate recognition of qualifications throughout the region.
  • Enhance mobility of students between institutions and member nations.

Impact

Most impact has occurred:

  • in improving QA mechanisms across national systems in various countries,
  • in the exchange of ideas and of expertise,
  • in enhanced institutional capabilities, and
  • in promoting communication and cooperation between agencies and institutions.

APQN has four (4) grades of membership: Full Member, Intermediate Member, Associate Member and Institutional Member.

Institutional Members are institutions of higher education in the region that are in good standing with the relevant quality assurance agency. Associate and Institutional Members may participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and other meetings of the General Council.

All members may:

  • benefit from APQN’s activities;
  • collaborate in the attainment of APQN’s purposes; and
  • exercise their rights according to this Constitution.
  • ll members will be listed in the online register of members on the APQN website.

QA PUBLICATIONS

Innovative and Interactive Teaching Methods for improving Learning Quality of Higher Education
Samanthi Wickramasinghe, G. N. Upeksha (Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Education and Distance Learning - 1st July 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

The Internet Generation and its Implication on Higher Education Quality Management
Samanthi Wickramasinghe, Colin N. Peiris, Sriyani Peiris
(Presented at the  APQN AGM and Conference, 26-27 May, 2016 - Natadola, Nadi, Fiji)

Assuring Standards and Quality of Higher Education
Prof. Colin N. Peiris,  Samanthi Wickramasinghe, Sriyani Peiris
(Presented at the  APQN AGM and Conference, 26-27 May, 2016 - Natadola, Nadi, Fiji)

Innovative approaches to external QA in a tertiary education: not a single approach towards excellence - Web based Monitoring and Evaluation System for External Quality Assessments in Universities
Colin N. Peiris,  Samanthi Wickramasinghe
(Presented at the INQAAHE Conference, 9-11 April, 2013 - Chinese Taipei)

Internal Quality Assurance: Sri Lankan Experience
Colin N. Peiris,  Samanthi Wickramasinghe
(Presented at the APQN AGM and Conference, 7-8 April, 2013 - Chinese Taipei)

Credit Transfer in Higher Education:  Quest for a System for South Asia
Udith Jayasinghe, Colin N. Peiris, D. K. Somaratne
(Presented at the National Workshop on Re-creating and positioning of Sri Lankan Universities to Meet Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in a Globalised
Environment. 18-19 Jun 2012 - Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Impact of Virtual Learning for Improving Quality of Learning in Higher Education
Samanthi Wickramasinghe (Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Education and Distance Learning - 1st July 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Programme Accreditation of Public Universities and Private Institutions in Sri Lanka: Impact of Different Procedures 
Colin N. Peiris,  Samanthi Wickramasinghe, Sriyani E. Peiris
(Presented at the APQN AGM and Conference, 17-18 April, 2015 - Kunming, China)

Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework (SLQF) and Significance in Higher Education
Samanthi Wickramasinghe, Colin N. Peiris, Sriyani E. Peiris
(Presented at the APQN AGM and Conference, 17-18 April, 2015 - Kunming, China)

Teacher assessment and student learning outcomes assessment - Development of an assessment 
Sriyani E. Peiris, Samanthi Wickramasinghe
(Presented at the APQN AGM and Conference, 17-18 April, 2015 - Kunming, China)

NEWS AND EVENTS

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