Academic Assessment & Quality Assurance Directorate

 
  1. INTRODUCTION

The office of Quality Assurance (QA) in Haramaya University takes the leadership and initiative in the institutional quality assurance of the university. It helps the institution to make a judgment of its performance for future enhancement of services.

Quality assurance is not about processes or procedures, it is rather a mission that needs everyone attention and support (students, academic and administrative staff) to understand and practice activities in keeping with quality standardizes in the university. Quality work requires assessing fitness of purpose, effective management, employability of graduates, standardization of procedures and innovative teaching, learning and community engagements to keep our university competitive and be sustainable in this globalize education, to fulfill the mission and vision of a university and to contribute for the development of the country.

Development of specific protocols and procedures that governs all core and support processes is important in quality assurance activities which allow the university to analyze its strength and weakness thereby taking actions. These areas will cover the inputs, processes, and the output of all the system.

  1. VISION

Vision of the office is to create and sustain a distinctive nationally and internationally recognized university at the forefront in learning-teaching, real-world research and community engagement through continuous improvement and commitments to quality management processes.

  1. MISSION

In response to national and international demand in education, the office aspire to see Haramaya University be excellent in all aspects of its operations and offer the best services to all customers and produce competent individuals/graduates in wide spectrum of academic disciplines

  1. OBJECTIVES
  • Developing and implementing formal quality assurance systems, policies and procedures to help any activities in the University to be consistent and responsive to the vision, mission, goal, and objectives of the university.
  • Integrating quality assurance system comprehensively, clearly and concretely in every step, every level of operation in order to instill quality culture in the university.
  • assessing the quality of core process activities (teaching-learning, research community engagement and student services) and support process activities (Information communication Technology, Human Resource Management, Estate and facility management) of the University;
  • Improving University’s overall management practices to be exemplary in good governance;
  • To communicate/liaise with the relevant statutory, accreditation and professional boards and bodies.

5. VALUES

Teamwork

  • Get the job done correctly
  • Constructive communication about the jobs and tasks that are dependent on each other
  • Act and react appropriately based on communication and what has been communicated

Integrity

  • Keeping promises and commitments
  • Showing respect
  • Demonstrating openness and transparency

Communication

  • Encouraging listener responses such as questions/feedback
  • Active listening behaviors
  • Volunteering of feedback in a way that enhances the other person’s dignity

Positive Attitudes

  • Genuine smile
  • Positive feedback
  • Celebrate successes
  • Whenever possible discuss the positive rather than the negative

Quality

  • General concern about quality which encompasses the identification of and communication of errors
  • Participation in the resolution of data related problems
  • Communication of “follow up” or resolution of errors to all concerned parties
  • Auditing and testing data
  • Establishment of standards and educating people about those standards
  • Establishment of standard work flows that are followed by people and processes

Credibility

  • Meet deadlines
  • Verifying data through professional testing
  • Discovery and reporting of problems
  1. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
  • A clear cycle of planning, development, documentation, reporting, action and review of policy and procedures will be evident.
  • Everyone will understand, use and feel ownership of quality assurance within the university.
  • Quality assurance activities will foster critical self-reflection to ensure self-regulated, assessment, monitoring and enhancement.
  • The diversity in the mission, programmes and approaches within the university will be recognized in implementing a university-wide strategy for exercising its responsibility for quality and standards.
  • All quality assurance activities will provide maximum opportunities to demonstrate competence, to identify best practice and to promote excellence, innovation and development.
  • Quality assurance policies and activities will be centrally driven by the quality assurance
  • Office to ensure commitment to an institution-wide process of quality enhancement.
  • The responsibility for quality assurance implementation will be located within the relevant portfolios and structures within the university.
  • The activities of the quality assurance office will be prioritized in response to the rapidly changing internal and external environment.
  1. MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE
  • Formulating, approving and enacting of quality assurance policies and guidelines.
  • Setting Quality assurance measures in all core process activities and support process activities of the University;
  • Facilitating national qualifying exams to be given to final year students in different disciplines.
  • Establishing and implementing audit system in all processes and management of the university
  • Creating and implementing a system of comprehensive and continuous national and international benchmarking of quality for continues improvements of the university.
  • securing consistency and comparability in using baseline standards set by the university and the country
  • Implementing and maintaining institutional performance assurance programs consistent with good management practices and University’s requirements.
  • Ensuring the promotion of a culture of quality and continuous monitoring and improvement of all quality assessment activities within the institution.
  • promoting and developing the quality of provision of all services and academic activities
  • ensuring dissemination of information relevant on quality assurance to all sectors and levels within the university
  • Ensuring representation of quality assurance matters including representation on all relevant internal and external structures.
  1. QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSESSEMENT PROCESSES AND MAJOR QAULITY INDICATORS

8.1. QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSESSEMENT PROCESSES

The quality assessment process is composed of the following elements:

  1. Performance measures. Establish and maintain measures to monitor all level of performances against university’s and national standards. Measures will be linked to the universities mission, vision, and standards.
  2. Assessments and Reviews. Develop comprehensive assessment programs for different operations; including self-assessments, peer reviews, and external reviews.

The effectiveness review process will consist of the following elements:

  • Institutional self-evaluation, including preparation of an analytical and reflective self-evaluation report and incorporating a consultation process within the university
  • Review visit (or visits) by external experts and their reports in which recommendations are clearly set out.
  • Production of a written response which addresses all recommendations and a timeline in respect of their implementation.
  • Establishment and implementation of a clear and timely follow-through process in respect of any quality improvement recommendations
  1. Issues Management. Establish an issues management program for all operations that allows for managing through resolution and determining the cause of issues that result from self-identification and assessment, and developing and tracking corrective actions that prevent recurrence of the same or similar issues.
  2. Continuous improvement, lessons learned and best practices.

Maintain a lesson learned and best practices program to provide a systematic approach towards continuous improvement. Develop and evaluate lessons learned and best practices and distribute them to all unities of the university.

  1. Preparation for Accreditations. Providing information and evidences of best achievements of any programs, activities or performances of the university for accreditations by internal or external concerned bodies.

8.2. MAJOR QAULITY INDICATORS

Quality service provisions of the university are mainly assessed using, not limited to, the following key indicators:

Learning-teaching processes

  • Developing and implemented of demand driven, nationally and internationally recognized curricula;
  • attracting, developed and retained competent academic, technical and office management staffs;
  • creating conducive physical environment;
  • attracting, recruiting and retaining competent and potentially competent students;
  • to graduate students of world class standing who demonstrate leadership by contributing creatively, critically and responsibly to their professions and vocations and to the community;
  • up to international standard instructional methods and materials;
  • effective and efficient library and information services;
  • fast and effective student academic support services;
  • linkage of learning-teaching with research and community engagement;
  • in placed system of continuous and fair student assessment and evaluation;
  • effective use of laboratories and teaching aids;
  • establishing effective graduate support and alumni management system;

Research process

  • building capacity for research including research laboratories and field facilities and standing in collaboration with industry, commerce, government and the wider community;
  • securing and managing research fund effectively and efficiently;
  • increasing the quality and quantity of research in national priority areas;
  • promoting and marketing of appropriate technologies and knowledge which provide economic, social and cultural benefits;
  • linking research with learning and teaching;
  • creating strong university-industry linkage to foster research and transfer of knowledge;
  • Developing and implementing graduate and research programs responsive to national imperatives and goals, and short-term training courses and consultancy services geared to meeting public and private demands.
  • Establishing collaborative activities jointly with other higher education institutions, national core scientific laboratories and others on common interests
  • establishing research groups in thematic areas and manage their research grants autonomously;
  • establishing a system of recognition and reward;

Community engagement process

  • enhancing community wellbeing through development interventions;
  • building institutional capacity for interventions which delivers excellence in community service;
  • providing competent consultancy and training services;
  • linking community engagement with learning-teaching and research;
  • enhancing on-campus community services;
  • sustaining service provision through entrepreneurial activities;

Governance and Administration

  • Creating good governance in the university; flourishing diversity and academic freedom; and consolidated colleges, schools/departments and institutes that enjoy wide autonomy;
  • providing high quality administrative services and support which enhance the performance of the University’s core functions;
  • work in partnership with academic and other colleagues in pursuit of strategies which enhance the University’s reputation as a world class academic and service institution;
  • assistance in University policy and procedure development and review through the provision of expert advice on administrative and management issues in university;
  • providing cost effective, efficient, and client-focused administrative services to students, staff, external organizations and the community; and
  • Striving for continuous improvement in the management and use of the university’s resources and to be a recognized leader in university management

Public Engagement and International Collaboration

  • Promoting active engagement of the University in the provision of socially relevant public service
  • Promoting University engagement with parents, alumni, private companies, public enterprises, foundations, professional associations and NGOs Developing an organized and focused relationship with international development agencies (both bilateral and multilateral) that support University’s priority agenda such as development of post graduate programs, thematic research, and staff development
  • Developing strategic alliance with universities from abroad and international associations to develop and strengthen graduate programs, engage in cooperative research in priority areas, strengthen academic staff and student exchange programs and share experience in academic administration

Students’ services

  • changing education and training according to client requirements for more tailored, more convenient and more cost-effective education;
  • Providing a range of educational services, programs and delivery methods that
  • are responsive to students’ needs for education and training throughout their careers;
  • Enhancing academic performance of students;
  • Enhance community engagement of students;
  • Promote student maturity, student ethics, comportment (conduct and behavior), respect for ethnic and religious diversity through self-initiated associations, group discussions, or through compulsory general courses to be developed; and
  • Promote diversity and multicultural interaction of students

Estate and facility Management

  • Providing the requisite quality and quantity of infrastructure and resources to continuously create and maintain enabling teaching and learning environment in all University campuses;
  • Mobilizing resources from different areas for smooth implementations of all
  • processes; and
  • Enhancing educational support services and resources;

Human Resource Management

  • Developing and maintain qualified, competent, and committed, diverse and adequately supported faculty to create and sustain vibrant programs of study;
  • research, community engagements and support services of the university;
  • Developing and maintain a qualified, competent, committed, diverse and adequately supported administrative staff that is responsive to the academic community of a research university and to the public demand, and
  • Promoting professional excellence of the academic staff through self-initiated associations
  1. JOB AND STRUCTURE
  • The office of quality assurance is accountable to the president of the university. It works in collaboration with all process owners and all implementation units of the university.
  • The office has a director, office manager, performance quality assurance experts and Educational quality assurance Experts. In addition, virtual teams for all core and support processes of the university are formed by the director of the office in consent of the president of the university to carry out professional internal quality assessment and produce reports for further considerations and improvements. The organizational structure of the office is indicated below.

structure quality

 

Fig1: Office of Institutional Quality Assurance Organizational Structure