Welcome To APQN - Asia Pacific Quality Network

About Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN)

Founded in 2003, the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) is a non-governmental and non-profit network who has been striving for “Enhancing the Quality of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region” and "Dissolving Boundaries for a Quality Region".

After 19-year development, APQN has 253 members from 45 countries and territories, becoming the largest and the most influential international organization on higher education in this Region. APQN has played a crucial and unique role in improving the QA mechanism, exchanging theory and practice experiences, promoting substantive co-operations, establishing Consultant Bank, reviewing Asia-Pacific Quality Register (APQR) and Asia-Pacific Quality Label(APQL) in this Region.

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APQN 2023 AAC and AGM successfully held in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Over the years we have known knowledge as the source of power, but with time the sharing of knowledge is considered more of a foundation of power.

We witnessed an amazing platform of knowledge sharing at APQN Annual Academic Conference (AAC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM), 2023. Around 200 participants from 40 institutes, agencies and higher education institutes (HEIs) around the globe participated in this prestigious event. The event was cordially hosted by American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) from November 02-04, 2023, at Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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A brief Summary of APQN 2023 AAC and AGM is as follows:

Focal Theme

Innovation and Sustainable Development in Higher Education

Sub-Theme

i. Quality of Transformative learning (TL) and Transformative teaching (TT),

ii. Blended Education from the perspective of 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic,

iii. Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement,

iv. University-Industry Linkage in the background of internationalization &

v. The 20th anniversary of APQN.

Number of Participant Countries: 15

Number of Participant Institutes, Agencies and Higher Education Institutes: 40

Keynote Speakers from

Bangladesh Accreditation Council, Bangladesh

European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), Belgium

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), United States

International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), Kazakhstan

Number of Academic Research Paper Submitted: 39

Number of Paper presented in different sessions of APQN 2023 AAC: 27

Plenary Sessions: 3

Parallel Sessions: 4

 

The Organizing Committee of APQN 2023 AAC received a total of 39 academic research papers. These papers are submitted by over 95 authors from 8 countries and regions, among which the papers from Bangladesh cover 59% of the total, closely followed by China with 23%(see figures below).

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The highest number of paper submissions was for the sub-theme “Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement”. The other two sub-themes “Quality of Transformative Learning (TL) and Transformative Teaching (TT)” and “Blended Education from the perspective of 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic” closely followed with each having 11 papers submitted each, in these sub-themes. (see figures below).

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1. Opening Ceremony

In the Opening Ceremony Dr. Galina Motova (APQN Vice President), Mr. Ishtiaque Abedin (Chairman, Board of Trustees, AIUB), Prof. Dr. Haseena Khan (Member of University Grants Commission, UGC, Bangladesh), and Prof. Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed (Chairman of Bangladesh Accreditation Council) shared their valuable insight for the audience. The opening ceremony was hosted by Dr. Farheen Hassan (Director, Institutional Quality Assurance Cell and Associate Dean of Faculty of Business Administration, AIUB). The Opening Ceremony took place at the Auditorium of AIUB.

galinaProf. Galina Motova elaborated on the fourth industrial revolution and the potential challenge it has imparted on to higher education, academicians, and also on the opportunities it offers in terms of knowledge transfer. She emphasized that the higher educational institutes all over the world should adopt the new form of education to be relevant for the labor market, and for ensuring quality everywhere, quality of education is important in every aspect. “The quality of education, the future development of every country and the whole world’s quality of education, each are responsible for what the world will be like.”, with the statement Prof. Galina urged everyone to be on the righteous path of quality assurance.

 

Mr. Ishtiaque Abedin (Chairman of Board of Trustees, AIUB) in his welcome speech thanked APQN for choosing AIUB for their esteemed conference.isteque He showcased AIUB’s commitment and journey for Quality Education from back in 1990s. To outline the efforts of educational institutes around the Asia-Pacific region he mentioned “This is an undeniable reflection of the growing pace of globalization and the subsequent pressures imposed by it, aspiring to become globally competitive and to position favorably in the global university league tables, governments in Asia have either engaged in a serious quest to become a regional education hub, or they have concentrated on developing transnational higher education to create more opportunities in order to meet their citizens.” With some examples of new generative AI applications, he imposed that they're forcing education, policy makers and institutions to revisit why, what, and how we learn.

haseena

Prof. Dr. Haseena Khan (Member of University Grants Commission), portrayed the educational journey of Bangladesh and congratulated AIUB on working on quality assurance for higher education from 2008. She concluded her speech with “We are working on it and the government, as I said, is trying to change the education landscape, the landscape through quality assurance.

 

 

Prof. Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed (Chairman of Bangladesh Accreditation Council) opened his speech with the hope that APQN 2023 AAC is going to beahamed very useful and will help towards the journey to quality enhancement of higher education in Bangladesh as well as in other countries. He mentioned that all public and private universities in Bangladesh have founded a cell called Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and they are very much in operation now. As an accreditation agency, they have received requests for accreditation for 12 universities of their 104 academic programs. In conclusion, Dr. Ahmed hoped “Bangladesh is at the crossroad, which means that in coming years and very near future we shall have quality of Bangladesh higher education substantially improved.”

20th anni2. 20th Anniversary of APQN

APQN commemorated a significant milestone in the history of APQN at 2023 AAC, their 20th anniversary, with two decades of tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to quality assurance. Dr. Timur Kanapyanov (APQN Board Director) hosted the event. Dr. Jagannath Patil (APQR Chairperson, former APQN President), shared his congratulatory message for APQN, as he mentioned APQN as a “family, which comprises more than half of the population of the world, Asia and the Pacific.” He appreciated the numerous projects and platforms APQN has provided to its member agencies to share their experiences and learn from each other.

 

ziang

Prof.Dr. Jianixin Zhang (Immediate past President of APQN) presented the research entitled “The Pursuit of Quality Assurance of Higher Education without Boundary: A Case Study of APQN’s Striving for its Ultimate Goal for 20 Years”. She introduced the 20-year history with deep affection and also demonstrated that APQN has achieved a lot on the long march of “Quality Region without Boundary”, such as 19 AACs, publishing over 50 QA periodicals, anthologies and other evidences.

     With video messages from all the past presidents and a cake cutting, the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of APQN was successfully held with a promise to carry on with the quality assurance journey.

3.Keynote Sessions

APQN 2023 AAC was ornamented with 4 distinguished keynote speakers from across the world.

ahamed

Prof.Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed in his keynote speech “Future of the university”, talked about University of the Future which focus on interdisciplinary education and research. Quoting several authors and futurists, he delineated that universities would cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to address complex global challenges, such as climate change and social inequality. Thus Dr. Ahmed urged “Embracing innovation and focusing on the skills and knowledge that will be most valuable in coming days, universities can ensure their relevance and help to prepare students for success in an ever-changing world.”

 

In the keynote speech “Navigating Boundaries: Digitalization, Democratic Values, and the Future of European Higher Education Quality Assurance”,stephene Mr. Stéphane Lauwick (President of European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education), provided an introductory overview of the EHEA, and the positioning of EQAR as one of the standard-bearers of the values of the EHEA. He also articulated a framework for Quality Assurance (QA) in the EHEA, which is co-developed and agreed upon over the last 25 years. In this context, the mission of EQAR and DEQAR is explained, and digitalization was considered as relevant to internal QA, such that to the institutions themselves, less so to agencies or accreditation bodies. The true operators of transformative learning and teaching are the new European Universities, as mentioned by Mr. Lauwick, and therefore the new University alliances are drawing attention to the limitations inherent to practicing QA nationally in an open world. He concluded that “we are equipped with the relevant tools and supported by seemingly adequate funding from the European Commission and governments, we are opening a new era in European QA, one which will lead us to “dissolving boundaries” wider for the good of the people of Europe”.

jan faris Mr. Jan Friis (Senior Vice President for Government Affairs of CHEA, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, United States of America), in his keynote speech “Innovation and Sustainable Development in Higher Education”, spoke about the innovation and sustainable development in higher education, in post pandemic world. He portrayed the structure and activities of CHEA, to address the issues of education that has gone through the evolvement of technology. He emphasized the importance of competency-based education, credit for prior learning, synchronous and asynchronous on-line education, stackable micro-credentials, reverse transfer, quality in the AI environment and other educational modalities.

 

Through his keynote speech “The importance of University – Industry Linkage for Quality Assurance during post-pandemic era”, Dr. Olgun CICEKolang (Senior Advisor to Rector, Global Engagements and Partnerships at MANAS University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) outlaid the importance of partnerships and collaboration among HEIs and QAAs for “Internationalization” strategies during the post-pandemic era. “Internationalization is not a goal in itself, but a means of enhancing quality and excellence of higher education and research”, was mentioned by him when he was speaking about the need of rapid adaptability now. Dr. Cicek suggested a reciprocal arrangement of "industry input" into the design of the curriculum, while simultaneously offering internships or co-op opportunities, which will yield graduates who are well-prepared for employment and possess the necessary skills to make meaningful contributions to the workforce.

The amalgamation of the European context, the USA context, and the Asia Pacific context of Quality Assurance at the keynote sessions presented an amazing opportunity for the audience to gather knowledge on global QA scenario.

 

4.Plenary and Parallel Sessions

sessions

APQN 2023 AAC hosted 3 plenary sessions and 4 parallel sessions. The plenary sessions were chaired by Ms. Pingping Liu (APQN Secretary, Deputy Director of Shanghai Education Evaluation Institute, China), Dr. Abdul Hannan Waheed (CEO of Maldives Qualifications Authority, Maldives) and Dr. Timur Kanapyanov (APQN Board Director of IAAR Deputy General Director, Kazakhstan).

In the plenary sessions Akinori Matsuzaka (University Accreditation Association, Japan), Prof. Dr. Jianxin Zhang (Yunnan University, China), Md Imranul Haque (American International University, Bangladesh), Sultan Mahmud Bhuiyan (University Grants Commission of (UGC) Bangladesh), Nazia Farhana (American International University, Bangladesh), Maria Islam (Daffodil International University, Bangladesh), Prof. Galina Motova and Dr. Oksana Tanikova (National Centre for Public Accreditation, Russia) and Nehreen Majed (University of Asia Pacific (UAP), Bangladesh) brought in 8 thought provoking topics in three sub-themes: (1) Quality of Transformative learning (TL) and Transformative teaching (TT); (2)Blended Education from the Perspective of 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic and (3) Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement. The plenary sessions took place at the Multipurpose Hall of AIUB.

APQN 2023 AAC experienced 4 parallel sessions with 13 presentations in thefollowing topics; (1) Quality of Transformative learning (TL) and Transformative teaching (TT); (2) Blended Education from the Perspective of 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic; (3) Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement and University-Industry Linkage in the Background of Internationalization. The sessions were chaired by Dr. Abdul Hannan Waheed (CEO of Maldives Qualifications Authority, Maldives), Prof.Dr. Farheen Hassan (Associate Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, Director of AIUB-IQAC) in AIUB ), Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Adhikary (Professor of Khulna University,Bangladesh) and Prof. Dr. Olgun Cicek (INQAAHE Board Director, CHEA/CIQG member, USA, Vice President of IQA).

The research presentations were presented for 15 minutes maximum and there were 10 minutes for discussion. The sessions left the audience with new, innovative knowledge and opportunities to look forward to. The parallel sessions took place at Level 9 of AIUB.

5.Gala Dinner

galaAIUB hosted a Gala Dinner for the participants of 2023 AAC at the Westin Dhaka. A cultural program upholding the cultures of Bangladesh were organized by AIUB Performing Arts Club. The APQN Award Show added a hint of celebration to the grandeur of the event. The dinner was a quick refreshment after a whole day of intense knowledge sharing. (More information can be found in the article entitled “APQN Quality Awards 2023”).

 

 

6.Closing Ceremony.

After two-day exploration of insights into educational quality and the challenges of the future, the Closing Ceremony of 2023 AAC was held on November 04 at AIUB Auditorium. Ms. Liu Pingping (APQN Secretary), inaugurated the session with heartfelt thanks to the host, AIUB, and participants. She excitedly declared the next host of APQN Academic Conference is Russian Register, Russia. The representative of Russian Register, Mr. Pavel Stepanov presented the details of 2024 AAC.

The highlights of the Closing Ceremony were two Memorandum of Understandings (MoU).

1) MoU between the National Centre For Public Accreditation (NCPA), Russia and Education Quality Evaluation Agency (EQAA), Ministry of Education, P.R. China: The MoU between the two QAAs opened a new chapter in bilateral cooperation and will greatly contribute to the construction closing1and the development of HE quality assurance system in the two countries and even in the Asian Pacific region. The NCPA Director,  Dr. Galina Motova and Dr. Oksana Tanikova, represented NCPA in the MoU, whereas EQAA Deputy Director, Mr Li Zhi and Ms. XU Jingran, represented EQAA in the MoU.

 

 

 

2) MoU between Bangladesh Accreditation Council (BAC) and Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN): The MoU initiates collaborative activities closing2like exchanging staff, exchanging expertise and also a possibility of joint accreditation by the BAC and APQN. This agreement opens avenue for potential Bangladeshi universities to be acknowledged by APQN Quality Label and be internationally competitive. Dr. Galina Motova, Vice President, APQN and Prof.Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Chairman, Bangladesh Accreditation Council, represented their respective institutions in this MoU.

 

 

In her closing remarks, Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, (Member of Board of Trustees at AIUB), congratulated the dedication of individuals, dedication of theclosing3 organizations committed to driving innovation and sustainable development in higher education. She articulated the commitment of AIUB in ensuring quality in everything they do. Dr. Lamagna said, success is measured after the conference and so “Let us return to our countries with renewed energy, a broader perspective and a deeper commitment to the values of higher education”.

 

closing4In his closing speech, Prof. Dr. Md. Abu Taher, (Member of UGC) depicted the journey of UGC with more than 160 private universities and 4.4 million students in higher education in Bangladesh. To ensure the quality of higher educations, he mentioned, UGC has taken undertaken a lot of time different initiatives like outcome-based curriculum, revised curriculum under outcome-based education, institutional coalition, introduction of PhD and post-doctoral fellowship, funding research project and others.

 

On an online message, Dr. Dipu Moni, M.P., Honorable Minister, Ministry of Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, insistedclosing5 on the importance of higher education in fostering innovation and driving sustainable development cannot be overstated in this overly interconnected world. She hoped that the discussions, experiences, collaborations, insights, and solutions that transpired during the APQN 2023 AAC will be instrumental in advancing the cause of innovation and sustainable development in higher education.

The closing ceremony ended with a traditional “Pitha Utsob” ( a traditional event of the Bangladeshi culture in winter) at the scenic student lounge of AIUB, with renewed commitment to carry forward the assurance of quality in higher education.

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(Written by Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, Dr. Farheen Hassan, Nazia Farhana and AIUB-IQAC)

APQN 2023 Quality Awards

On the evening of November 3rd, 2023, at the Westin Dhaka, APQN 2023 Quality Award show was held as part of APQN Academic Conference and Annual General Meeting.

The evening was felt bright and joyous with colorful and vibrant performances from the host AIUB’s Performing Arts Club. The performers were all students of AIUB. They showcased and upheld the Bangladeshi culture through 5 songs covering folk, modern and Bangladesh’s very close to heart Rabindra Sangeet songs.

After these melodious retreat, Dr. Jagannath Patil, APQR Chairperson and former APQN President, took the stage to host the APQN Award Ceremony. He thanked the audience for being there and provided a short briefing on the APQN Award values. Every year APQN Award is awarded to entities showcasing dedication and commitment towards Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

This year APQN Award of International Cooperation in QA was awarded to Russian Register. Mr. Pavel Stepanov from Russian Register received the award. APQN’s Best/Model Internal QA Award 2023 went to three participants: (1) Hong Kong Police College, Hong Kong; (2) Our Lady of Fatima University, Philippines; and (3) JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research, India. AIUB, the host, received APQN’s Successful Host Award for successfully hosting 2023 AAC.

The chairman of AIUB, Mr. Ishtiaque Abedin, and Board of Trustee members, Dr. Hasanul A. Hasan, Ms. Nadia Anwar and Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna received the Award for AIUB. The Board of Trustee members handed over a plaque of Appreciation to APQN for coming to Bangladesh and choosing AIUB for their host. The APQN Vice President Dr. Galina Motova, and other board members Prof. Dr. Jianxin Zhang, Dr. Jagannath Patil, Dr. Timur Kanapyanov, Ms. Pingping Liu received the plaque on behalf of APQN.

Dr. Jagannath Patil (the host of the event) called several APQN members, who has travelled to Dhaka from different corners of the word to attend 2023 AAC, on stage to award the awardees of APQN Awards, to show respect for their presence.

The event rolled by with lovely dance performances by once again AIUB Performing Arts Club. They performed 3 dances showcasing different forms of cultural branches of Bangladesh. The day ended with delicious foods, cheerful and relaxed networking and discussions.

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(Written by Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, Dr. Farheen Hassan, Nazia Farhana and AIUB-IQAC)

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