The First Online AUN-QA Assessors' Meeting

By Buranond Kijwatanachai
1 June 2020

The first online AUN-QA Assessors’ Meeting was held last week on Wednesday (May 27th, 2020). The meeting, which was actively participated by over 100 AUN-QA Assessors, has set the model and standard for future online conferences in the ASEAN region.

The meeting is held annually for assessors to discuss various matters pertinent to enhancing the quality assurance systems of higher education institutions in the ASEAN region. The meeting discussed the new guide to AUN-QA Programme Assessments, the incorporation of doctoral programmes into AUN-QA Programme Assessments, AUN-QA Remote Assessments, and various case studies involving issues encountered during assessments.

This marks the first venture by the AUN-QA Secretariat to hold an online conference of a large magnitude which includes plenary and breakout sessions. And although it was held online, the discussions that took place were no less lively, fierce, and interactive. In some cases, it was even more fierce as the virtual nature of the meeting allowed for participants who would have been unable to speak up otherwise to be able to participate through text-based chat which was constantly monitored by the AUN-QA Secretariat.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Wyona C.Patalinghug, the Acting Deputy Chairperson of AUN-QA Council, spoke about how earlier this year marked the very first time a force majeure interrupted an AUN-QA Assessment. An assessment in Indonesia was postponed due to a volcanic eruption. Not long after, all activities were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She then quoted one of Charles Dickens’ most famous lines “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..” to remind everyone present that although we may perceive the COVID-19 environment as one of despair, hope also exists in our search for the new normal.