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Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Jordanian Experience


Technical Report. 29. 1.3 Increasing the student capacity of the institution/academic program: ... writing the self evaluation reports, the external review procedures. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Jordanian Experience

Quality Assurance in Higher Education The
Jordanian Experience
By Sahar N. Al-Yousef 1st International
Conference on Assessing Quality in Higher
Education 11 - 13 December, 2006 Lahore,
  • About HE in Jordan.
  • Accreditation Methodologies.
  • Informal Quality Assurance Activities.
  • Quality Assurance in HE The Future.

0. About HE in Jordan
  • Jordan is well known, regionally and
    internationally, for its highly reputed higher
    education system. This reputation is the result
    of 50 years of hard work and investment in this
    sector in addition to the determination of the
    Jordanian leadership and decision makers to
    develop the higher education sector in comparison
    with the international models enabling it to
    compete regionally and internationally.

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0.1 Major Challenges facing HE in Jordan
  • The drastic increase in the demand on higher
  • Frequency and overlap of majors in state
    private universities under different names yet
    one content.
  • Incompatibility between the graduates skills and
    jobs requirements.
  • Limited governmental financial support of HEIs.

  • Poor allocated budgets for the purposes of
    developing organizational strategic plans,
    scientific researches, grants, infrastructure
  • Competition Penetration of foreign universities
    and untraditional educational systems (open
    learning, e-learning, distance learning …etc.) in
    the Arabic market.

0.2 Legislations
  • Higher Education Scientific Research Law
    (Number (4) Year 2005),
  • State Universities Law (Number (42) Year 2001),
  • Private Universities Law (Number (43) Year 2001).

i. The Higher Education Council (HEC)
  • The Minister of HE ? president.
  • The Minister of Education ? vice president.
  • All state universities' presidents.
  • Four private universities presidents in rotation.
  • Secretary General of the MoHESR.
  • Director General of the Accreditation Council.
  • Seven experts in the field of higher education,
    four of which must come from the private sector.

The main responsibilities of the HEC are
  • Drawing the HE Policies in Jordan.
  • Licensure of HEIs and Academic Programs.
  • Support the independency of HEIs.
  • Defining the admission policy in all HEIs.
  • Nominating state universities presidents, vice
    presidents and deans to the Ministers Board.
  • Appointing presidents of private universities.
  • Allocating financial resources to support state
  • Acknowledging the academic agreements between
    Jordanian HEIs and international academic

ii. The Accreditation Council of Higher
Education Institutions (AC)
  • The Minister of HE ? the president.
  • Director General of the AC ? the vice president.
  • Secretary General of the MoHE.
  • Nine academics, six of which are full or
    associate professors, who are experts in the
    field of higher education.

The main responsibilities of the AC are
  • Issue, amend and update accreditation standards.
  • Institutional and Specialized Accreditation of
    the private HEIs and its academic programs.
  • Monitoring the performance of HEIs and taking
    necessary action when needed.
  • Assuring the compatibility of the objectives of
    academic programs with students acquired skills.
  • Strengthening the transparency and credibility of
  • Assuring that the educational process elements
    conform to the market needs and relevant economic
    development plans.
  • Continually enhancing higher education quality.
  • Enhancing HEIs abilities to encounter
    international educational challenges.

The stages to start an institution/ Academic
  • Licensing Stage
  • It is the responsibility of the HEC.
  • Requirements mainly related to the
    infrastructure, faculty members and financial
  • Result A license to provide higher education
    services in Jordan.
  • Condition Fulfilling the accreditation
    requirement within one year.

  • Accreditation Stage
  • It is the responsibility of the Accreditation
  • It is a continuous auditing and assessment
    process of the HEI and its academic programs
    aiming at assuring the fulfillment of the minimum
    quality elements of the educational process based
    on the Accreditation Standards issued by the
    Accreditation Council.
  • Currently it is limited to private HEIs.

1.1 Types of Accreditation
  • 1.1.1 Institutional Accreditation
  • It is an assessment process resulting in defining
    the institution students capacity and aiming at
    assuring the fulfillment of the minimum quality
    elements of the educational process at the level
    of the institution.
  • The HEI will be assessed based on the
    Institutional Accreditation Standards that were
    set by the Accreditation Council.
  • The institutions undergoes the accreditation
    process once every three years.
  • There are standards for accrediting private
    universities, community colleges, post graduate
    universities and non-conventional universities.

  • Institutional Accreditation Standards concentrate
    on the
  • following points
  • Administrative and Academic Structure Defining
    different councils structures as well as academic
    administrative positions.
  • Faculty members Student to Staff Ratio (SSR)
    (201-Science) or (301-Humanities), percentage
    of instructors holding only M.Sc. Degree (20),
    percentage of part-timers (10), weekly teaching
    load for faculty members, students to lab
    supervisor/technician ratio, working load of each
    lab supervisor/technician.

  • Campus Area min campus area campus area per
    student (30m2).
  • Classrooms min classroom area (60m2), classroom
    area per student (1.5m²) , max no. of students in
    a classroom (40 - 60).
  • Theaters and seminar rooms at least two seminar
    rooms and one theatre.

  • Laboratories and Workshops at least one general
    computer lab (60m² - 20 computers one printer
    per 100 students), linguistics labs, min lab or
    workshop area (60m²), max no. of students in one
    lab session (20).
  • Library min Library area per student (0.8m²),
    min no. of different book titles per student
    (10), periodicals, computers, librarians.

  • Admission and Registration Unit min area per
    student (1m²), staff, forms.
  • Public and Private Utilities clinics, athletic
    fields, restaurants, exhibition halls, praying
    rooms, toilets, cold fountains, green areas,
    parking facilities, offices.
  • Devices and Educational Aids personal computers
    for faculty members students, printers, data
    show devices, VCR TV sets, photocopiers.

  • The institution students capacity
  • It is calculated based on the results of the
    major factors
  • being campus area, classrooms area, faculty,
  • admission and registration unit.
  • It equals the average capacity of the three least
    factors or
  • the capacity based on the faculty members
    whichever less.

  • 1.1.2 Specialized Accreditation
  • It is an assessment process resulting in defining
    the academic program students capacity and aiming
    at assuring the fulfillment of the minimum
    quality elements of the educational process at
    the level of the department.
  • The Academic Program will be assessed based on
    the Specialized Accreditation Standards that were
    set by the Accreditation Council for every
    academic program.
  • The academic programs will undergo the
    accreditation process once every two years.

  • Specialized Accreditation Standards concentrate
    on the
  • following points
  • Curriculum minimum number of credit hours to get
    a Bachelor degree is 132, min percentage of core
    courses (60), knowledge areas.
  • The program must have declared vision, mission,
    objectives, intended learning outcomes and
    students assessment methods.

  • Faculty members at least one faculty member for
    every knowledge area specified by the standards,
    min no. of faculty members (Ph.D.) is four one
    of them is at least an associate professor,
    Student to Staff Ratio (301-Humanities) or
    (201-Science), max 20 of faculty members can
    be holding only M.Sc. Degree, max 10 of faculty
    members can be part-timers, weekly teaching load
    for faculty members.

  • Library contents topics, no. of book titles,
    periodicals, lexicons, encyclopedias, recency of
    the library contents.
  • Laboratories, workshops, and special facilities
    min lab area (60m2), max no. of students in one
    session (20 students), one supervisor/technician
    per lab, labs to be equipped with the instruments
    defined in the standards.
  • Administration staff, administrative facilities,
    educational aids, leaflets, brochures and a
    dedicated website that provide necessary
    information about the department.

  • The program students capacity
  • The program students capacity shall be
    calculated based on the actual number of faculty
    members and the relevant students to staff ratio
    taking into consideration the mutual teaching
    load of all concerned faculty members dedicated
    to that program or others.

Quantitative or Qualitative?
  • Although those standards are quantitative
    measures the national experience proved that it
    has a clear positive effect on the quality of the
    educational process.
  • Moreover, it forms the base for a quality
    assurance system that will concentrate more on
    qualitative measures.

1.2 The Accreditation Procedures
Self Evaluation Report (SER)
  • Selection of the External Review
  • Panel

Informing the institute
Final Verdict
Panel Orientation
Site Visit
Technical Report
1.3 Increasing the student capacity of the
institution/academic program
  • Justifying reasons
  • Is there a need in the local and regional labor
    markets for graduates holding degrees from that
    particular academic field?
  • What are the results of the graduates' assessment
    and what is the feedback from their current
  • What was done to accommodate the potential
    increase in the number of students in terms of
    the quantity and quality of faculty members, and
    in terms of expanding and enhancing the
    infrastructure of the institution/department?
  • What are the plans to assure the stability of the
    faculty members and the academic programs?

To assure the quality of the educational process
  • The maximum number of students in an institution
    is 8000.
  • The maximum students capacity that could be
    granted for any academic program when being
    accredited for the first time is 200 students.
  • The institution has the right to ask for an
    increase in the students capacity only after two
    years since the last time that capacity was
    granted or raised.
  • The maximum increase in the students capacity of
    the institution/academic program is 50 of the
    current capacity.

2. Quality Assurance Activities in HE in Jordan
  • During the last 5 years there were several
    informal activities of quality assurance of
    higher education initiated and sponsored by
  • The Hussein Fund for Excellence (HFE).
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
  • These initiatives were in the form of subject
    review programs (Law, Nursing, Accountancy, BA,
    Computer Science, and Education)

  • Faculty members were trained on
  • quality assurance requirements,
  • writing the self evaluation reports,
  • the external review procedures.
  • Following that, external reviewers from the QAA
    UK assessed these programs and the results were
    published in the form of ranking.

  • The positive effect of these activities on the
    educational process is
  • Creating a high level of QA awareness among the
    faculty members at the participating
  • Creating a well trained local team of external
    subject reviewers.
  • Creating a set of documents that could be
    considered as the nucleus of a quality assurance
    system in each university.
  • Detecting points of strength and weaknesses in
    the reviewed programs which had a positive impact
    in enhancing the quality of these programs in
  • Establishing a QA Unit responsible for the
    Quality Assurance System in each of the
    participating universities.

3. The Commission of Accreditation QA of HEIs
in Jordan
  • Why?
  • The need to move towards qualitative measures of
    the educational process.
  • The need to apply the accreditation standards to
    all HEIs (state private).
  • The need to have an independent authority that is
    free from any governmental influence.

  • Vision
  • An independent commission responsible for the
    continuous improvement and enhancement of the
    higher education in Jordan through the
    accreditation of all higher education
    institutions and the quality assurance of the
    educational process.

  • Mission
  • Enhancing the quality of the higher education in
    Jordan and improving its competitive edge
    nationally and internationally through
    establishing accreditation standards and quality
    assurance systems that will be applied by all
    higher education institutions and through
    assuring that these institutions are achieving
    their objectives in accordance with the national
    higher education policies.

  • Objectives
  • Executing the policies of accreditation and
    quality assurance of HEIs through appropriate
  • Developing the national higher education and
    benchmarking it with its international
    counterparts using key performance indicators
    that comply with the international best
  • Supporting the HEIs in enhancing the quality of
    the educational process, building the needed
    quality management systems and capacity building
    of academic staff.

  • Monitoring the performance of the HEIs and their
    fulfillment of the relevant regulations and
  • Consolidate the transparency concept through
    involving all stakeholders in the decision making
  • Evaluating and ranking of the HEIs and the
    different academic programs on a regular bases
    and publish the results by all possible means.
  • Creating quality assurance awareness and
    excellent education culture.
  • Cooperating with the international accreditation
    bodies and other related organizations.

The Commission Structure
  • A. The commission board
  • The president (full time, Prof.).
  • Two vice presidents (full time, Prof.).
  • 9 members representing HEIs and the labor market
    (part time, Prof.).

  • B. The Executive Organization
  • Licensure Accreditation Directorate.
  • Auditing Directorate.
  • Quality Assurance Directorate.
  • Research Development Directorate.
  • Administration Financial Directorate.

  • Accreditation Standards
  • Minimum quality elements.
  • Quality Assurance System
  • Excel … The sky is the limit!

The National Guideline for TQM of HEIs
  • This guideline is currently being prepared by a
    group of Jordanian experts. It will be a
    reference for the institutions and the reviewers
    and it will form the base for the quality
    management system (QMS) that the HEIs shall adopt
    and be assessed upon.

  • The guideline shall consist of the following
  • Design of a QMS at HEI.
  • Performance Management, Measurement and
    Indicators System for HEI.
  • External Auditing System.
  • Self Assessment Guidelines.
  • Design of an Excellence Model for HEI.

  • Evaluation and Ranking System for HEI.
  • Quality Management of Non-Conventional Education.
  • Training, Operation, Maintenance and Improvement
    of the QMS.
  • Awareness Campaign of the QMS.

  • Thank You
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