Extended discussions on the “reference framework for electronic higher education institutions”


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The Global Consortium for the Development of the “Reference Framework for Electronic, Open, Smart and Technology-Activated Higher Education Institutions”, in collaboration with the International Council for Open and Distance Education, organized a round table meeting of the Third UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education 2022.

The meeting witnessed discussions on higher education policies with the aim of informing stakeholders, decision makers and quality assurance agencies about the state of online, open, technology-enabled higher education and distance learning and engaging them in the process of developing these policies.

The meeting was held under the title “Quality in online and open higher education and cross-border distance learning: cross-sectoral and multi-country policy dialogue”, as it was part of the main program of the conference, bringing together leaders and CEOs. from member institutions of the Global Consortium to develop the reference framework together with representatives of accreditation agencies and international associations, in particular that the third UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education is the most important global event in higher education this year, which aims to develop ideas and practices related to higher education to ensure sustainable development for the world and all of humanity.

Roundtable attendance list included; Ms. Torun Gelsvik, Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, His Excellency Dr. Mansour Al Awar, president of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University of the UAE (virtual), and Dr. Mustafa Hassan, Vice President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University for International Cooperation, and Dr. Deep Adair, President of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, USA, Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Learning Foundation, George Ubachs, Director General of the European Association of Distance Learning Universities, and Professor Hussain Bagirov, President of West Caspian University in Azerbaijan.

The purpose of the meeting was to promote discussions on the use of the frame of reference by higher education institutions as a globally accessible and developed tool for improving the quality of technologically enhanced education. The meeting also emphasized the importance of harmonizing the development of the electronic higher education sector with quality assurance standards, creating a supportive system for the free exchange of information and establishing a sustainable dialogue that brings stakeholders together. In his introductory remarks, Torun Jelsvik, Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Learning, emphasized the importance of integrating e-learning, open and distance learning into national and regional qualifications frameworks and accreditation and quality assurance agencies.

His Excellency Dr. Mansour Al-Awar, President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, one of the founding members of the International Federation for the Development of the Reference Framework, reviewed the role that the “reference framework for electronic, open, smart and technology-enabled higher education institutions” can contribute to improve the quality and effectiveness of e-learning and open education.

His Excellency Al-Awar said: “We are pleased to work with the International Council on Open and Distance Learning and the rest of the member institutions to facilitate international cooperation and exchange best practices and the latest research data. The importance of such conferences lies in the role they play in promoting global dialogue through the exchange of diverse views on education Higher education, in line with UNESCO’s vision based on joint action, where we look forward to stimulating the process of transformation, development and change in the higher education system through World Federation for the development of the “reference framework for electronic, open, smart and technology-enabled higher education institutions”, and we seek to develop this system to become more dynamic and flexible in line with the demands of the digital age.

His Excellency Al-Awar pointed out that the momentum of digital transformation witnessed by the education sector, which accelerated after the “Covid-19” pandemic, requires a rapid response from all stakeholders, including academic institutions, Ministries of Education and accreditation and quality assurance agencies. , as they must develop quality standards in a way Continuously in line with the latest developments in the education sector.

His Excellency added: “We need a sustainable dialogue that brings together stakeholders with the aim of facilitating the flow of information and exchanging best practices. This is one of the important challenges that must be faced so that we can keep up with the times. and ensure the continuous development and high quality of electronic higher education. “

Dr. Deep Adair, chairman of the international network of quality assurance agencies in higher education, said: “The world suffers from a huge gap that prevents keeping up with best practices related to e-learning programs for e-learning providers. We need to be aware of this. of the diversity of this sector as it includes all providers of solutions and services specialized in e-learning.We are also witnessing a growing appetite of universities and traditional educational institutions to develop their e-learning activities, increasing the importance of these initiatives , platforms and discussion forums and a concerted effort to raise the level of expertise and accelerate the adoption of frameworks and reference standards at international level. “

His Excellency Dr. Mansour Al-Awar emphasized the strategic importance of the “reference framework for electronic, open, smart and technology-enabled higher education institutions” and its role in improving the prospects for inter-institutional cooperation and improving the effectiveness of quality assurance standards in electronic higher education.

In addition, the Round Table encouraged the participating universities to use comparative analyzes to evaluate their performance according to the key standards related to electronic, open and technologically enhanced higher education. Professor Hussain Bagirov, President of West Caspian University, shared his views on the Framework Initiative and said: “The Framework provides a new and effective methodology based on collecting universities’ experiences and studying them by all stakeholders in the academic system. The effectiveness of the Framework is also clearly knows that it illuminates the experiences of certain universities and is closely acquainted with the tools and methods they used to achieve quality standards.

Participants touched on the importance of raising the quality of technology-enhanced higher education beyond traditional accreditation methods in higher education, in addition to discussing the different views related to quality assurance factors in e-learning, open and distance learning regionally. and globally, emphasizes the need to focus on the importance of data collection, transparency and privacy protection. Use of a site that specializes in collecting, submitting and comparing.

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