COVID-19 Pandemic for a Change: Revamping Online/Remote Site Visit in the AUN-QA Programme Assessment

By: Ip Anna Tin Wai, AUN Intern
25 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in turbulence, isolation and even stagnation across the globe. At the AUN-QA, on the contrary, the Council Members have been hard at work behind the scenes. Even in the most difficult times, education is indispensable. Instead, where major revisions to the mode of teaching and curriculum have to be made in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, quality of education, on the other hand, must be constantly monitored and improved. Just as how the AUN-QA Council is committed to help participating universities improve its quality of education, it is in the spirit of self-improvement, and above all, change, that the AUN-QA Council has transformed the modus operandi of the AUN-QA Programme Assessment with the Online/Remote Site Visit scheme.

The Online/Remote Site Visit is inherently of a different nature from traditional face-to-face site visits. Organizing online/remote site visits is therefore no easy task. From preparation with universities and assessors to the format of the assessment, each step of the process is to be reconsidered, revised, or even reinvented – all to optimize benefits and to ensure the best possible value for money for the assessed university.  Each decision is only made after meticulous deliberation and scrutiny within the AUN-QA Council.

Take the following case as an example. The AUN-QA Council, after exhaustive discussions to weigh the pros and cons, has, just on the 20 th  August 2020, come to the decision to restructure the preliminary result presentation set on the final day of the assessment. While face-to-face result presentations tend to be far more lengthy and comprehensive, online/remote result presentations will be much more brief and concise. Instead of appraising each criterion, our assessors will be commenting on the strengths and areas for improvement in order to reap the most from the shorter meeting. As the preliminary results presentation is now online and remote, the Council, with extensive consideration of different stakeholders’ opinions, believes that streamlining the preliminary results presentation is in the best interest of both participating universities and assessors.  

Let not COVID-19 pandemic further disrupt our lives. Instead, like what the AUN-QA Council professes, let the pandemic become an agent of change— a change for good in the realm of education.