On January 18, 2003, the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) was founded in the Pearl of the Orient - Hongkong, China. This non-profit, non-governmental organization has been vigorously devoted in improving higher education quality in the Asia-Pacific Region ever since. Throughout the past thirteen years, under the leadership of APQN pioneers and four previous Presidents - Mr. Peter PT Cheung, Ms. Concepcion Pijano, Dr. Antony Stalla, and Dr. Jagannath Patil, APQN has been committed to quality higher education and supportive of quality assurance agencies (QAAs) in the region. Over 30 big projects were completed and the achievements were remarkable. All these made APQN a legacy for us to inherit. Today, APQN has 166 members from 38 countries and territories, and is the largest and most influential non-profit international organization in the field of higher education quality assurance in Asia-Pacific Region.
On behalf of those who had the honor to be elected as the board members of the fifth APQN Board council, I deeply appreciate your trust. For us, the fifth board members, this is a fresh start, a new challenge and a new opportunity. The former President has passed a relay baton to us. Like a race in the Olympic Games, how can we keep the spirit of "faster, higher and stronger"? How should we proceed to maintain the advantages passed to us as well as making new progress? It is both a great challenge and question await for us.
Despite all the marvelous achievements of APQN, we are still facing many difficulties, one of them being lack of external financial support. Nevertheless, the members of the fifth Board Council have faith in APQN's future. This is the strength of our inner perseverance and meticulous work attitude. I believe that no matter how many difficulties and obstacles are in front of us, as long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working and to keep fighting, something better and a bright future awaits us. What makes APQN exceptional is this faith, which not only gives us the rights to fight for it, but also puts responsibility on our shoulders - to inherit APQN's legacy and make APQN "a self-sustaining Network, a first point of reference for advice or support, efficient in its operations and open in its information sharing".
Great thanks to the fourth President, Dr. Jagannath Patil who has been devoted himself to APQN for 12 years with his 3" Cs": commitment, capacity and creativity, as well as his Board Council who made APQN one of the most respected and valued quality assurance organization not only in the region but also in the world. We will continue the key initiatives of previous Board Council, such as series of publications based on selected papers in Annual conferences, APQN quality awards, Project on APQN Quality label, Asia Pacific Quality Register (APQR), APQN exchange programme and so on.
The fifth Board Council will take on the new mission with new attitude and new perspectives. We will repay the trust and expectation of all APQN members with the greatest effort, first-class service, and best performance. The four principles of the fifth Board Council are: (1) target-orientated principle; (2) project-orientated principle; (3) SMART principle (Specific, Meaningful, Agreed-upon, Results-oriented and Tractable); and (4) Principle of sustainable development. Our five key words are "procedure-base, capability-building, self-reliance, information-sharing and sustainable development". All these are illustrated in "APQN Strategic Plan (2016/2019)". APQN will complete six goals and actions with ten targets in the next three years. 2016-2017 will be the year of procedure building, 2017-2018 is the year of capability building and 2018-2019 is the year of action and achievements. I promise that the new Board Council will do our best to pursue the vision, mission and goals of APQN.
Comparatively speaking, the capital of APQN is much less than the majority of non-profit organizations, but we are very wealthy. We have APQN's achievements and legacy of the past thirteen years, the resounding brand, and members' trust and love. The big family of APQN is full of friendship and love; the members respect each other, appreciate each other and help each other like brothers and sisters. What really attracts the members to this international big family lies more in the pursuit of quality of higher education. What really makes APQN special is the belief of bringing together all the QAAs, all higher education institutions (HEIs) and all those who struggle for quality in this diverse region. It is the mission of APQN to enhance the quality of higher education in this region through strengthening the work of quality assurance agencies and extending the cooperation between them.
Dear colleagues, in the upcoming 1095 days of the next three years, we, the 166 members from 38 countries and territories, will unite as one with enthusiasm, hand in hand, to achieve APQN's goal of high-quality education and excellent quality assurance in the Asia Pacific region.
As the fifth President of APQN, I would ask all the members of the Board Council and the General Council, especially me myself, not to ask "what APQN can do for me", but ask "what I can do for APQN".
Prof Dr. Jianxin Zhang
The Fifth President of APQN