The APQN Academic Conference (AAC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an annual Asia-Pacific event that brings together Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Quality Assurance Agencies (QAAs), government regulators and organizations working in the field of quality assurance together to discuss and advance quality assurance in higher education.
This conference will focus on the discussions of the issues related to Innovation and sustainable development in Higher Education. More specifically the conference will concentrate on transformative teaching-learning, blended education, digital quality assurance and university-industry linkage.
The 2023 APQN Academic Conference (AAC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be hosted by American International University-Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 02 to 04 November 2023.
Overall Theme: Innovation and Sustainable Development in Higher Education
1. Quality of Transformative Learning (TL) and Transformative Teaching (TT):
As the whole world is going through many different obstacles and challenges such as – climate change, pandemics, and difficult health situations, corruption, ethical issues, and integrity crisis, higher education requires to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, values, and abilities to address these evolving issues and develop the learners as responsible global citizens. Transformative education (according to UNESCO) involves an education process geared to inspire and empower happy and healthy students to make the right decisions and actions at the individual, community, and global levels.Education can be restructured as “transformative” if students are responsible, respected, valued, and are included in the learning process as active and contributing members. This conference is considering “transformative education” as one of the themes to highlight and identify the critical factors of this new requirement of Transformative education.
Higher education institutions (HEI) are the core heart of the system where the norms of equality are practiced and modeled. HEI is the place to deaccelerate the progress towards the gender and underrepresented ethnic minority groups discrimination and therefore improving equality and empowerment worldwide. However, there are evidences like- unequal access to many HEIs, fewer resources, receiving unequal financial aid, structural racism are the illustrations of cause, retention and persistence of unequitable access to higher education (HE). Therefore, it is the high time to address inequalities in HE which requires concentrated efforts from Government, HEIs and some foreign bodies. Adequate attention, action and feasible norm centered policies are required to lessen the discriminatory norms like- unequal educational access, recruitment, promotion.
2. Blended Education from the perspective of 4 th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic:
The hard lock-down due to the global effect of pandemic gave educational institutions, students, and parents gives a shock. Institutions have come to understand the value of their online capabilities, organizational management, resourcefulness, and adaptability. This new circumstance has provoked us to re-think how we could use the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to accommodate blended learning in higher education.
3. Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement:
The Digital QA in HEIs is now considered an innovative and reliable approach which can be used for modernizing the governance, management, total functions of HEIs and further enhanced to better serve the stakeholders. Through Digital QA the different academic programs will be assessed with a high degree of accuracy which will identify the areas for strengthening and improvement.
Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) needs to be designed to be fit for purpose according to the provider’s courses and service users. The Digital IQA system brings out the needs of the students and industry by effectively analyzing from the system, develop and apply indicators that can be used for program, faculty and student’s performance. Subsequently, the stakeholders will have a smooth understanding and better appreciation of the university’s delivery system. The accurate feedback mechanism will make management actions more sound and beneficial to all.
On the other hand, External Quality Assurance (EQA) is known as the process for both development and accountability and implemented with effectiveness, comprehensiveness and sustainability. The Digital EQA mechanism can be used for enhancing accreditation status and image of the university as it shares expertise to the other HEIs in the country. It also helps strengthening the relations and wider socio-economic environment between HEIs, better appreciation of the status of the academic programs and services of the university.
4. University-Industry Linkage in the background of internationalization:
No nation can progress without the contribution from its higher education sector in national innovation systems by providing knowledge and employability which are needed to sustain socio-economic development. The power of implementation of policies in connection with university-industry collaboration have high impact in producing graduates with knowledge and employability skills. Therefore, cooperation between universities and industries must be emphasized in order to align the employer demand and job applicant’s knowledge and skills.
5. The 20th anniversary of APQN