21 February 2021

Introducing the AUN Thematic Network Series #1 - AUN-QA

AUN Writer Team

The ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) Network was created to realise the mission of harmonising educational standards and seeking continuous improvement of academic quality of universities in the ASEAN region. Alongside the core 30 AUN Member Universities, it also works with over 100 associate members, engaging in activities not limited to training, assessment, and publishing guidelines and manuals for the network. It is one of AUN’s largest and fastest growing thematic networks.

The history of AUN-QA dates back to the 4th AUN Board of Trustees (AUN-BOT) meeting in Myanmar in 1998. The concept originated from Dr. Vanchai Sirichana, the first Chairman of the AUN-BOT after considering that ASEAN should strive to develop a quality assurance network as a way of increasing and maintaining high education standards in the region. In November 2000, the Member Universities endorsed the Bangkok Accord, which provided a series of guidelines from developing a quality assurance system and enhancing standards. Chief Quality Officers (CQOs) were also to be appointed by each Member University to help implement this aim.

AUN-QA aims to fulfill various goals pertaining to uplifting standards and quality of higher education, including:

  • Engaging in higher education quality assurance and enhancement.
  • Holistically improving the quality system and management within ASEAN universitie
  • Ensuring that study or degree programmes in ASEAN universities have attained high quality standards when benchmarked with World-excellence programmes

One of the first activities from the AUN-QA was to standardize the guidelines for quality assurance. The first AUN-QA Guidelines were published and endorsed in 2004, while 2006 saw the endorsement of the first AUN-QA Manual. Guidelines on assessment at the programme level were also first published in 2011, while the latest third edition was published in 2015.

At present, the bulk of AUN-QA’s activities are focused on assessments, both online and offline. Since the first AUN-QA Programme Assessment in 2007, the network has conducted nearly 200 assessments as of the end of the 2020. Assessors conduct their assignments under the principle of ethical conduct, fair presentation, and due professional care. The assessment process is also conducted based on impartiality and evidence-based judgements. In addition, AUN-QA also conducts Institutional Assessments, examining the institution as a whole rather than specific programs.

To develop the right assessors for the task, AUN-QA has conducted numerous trainings for new AUN-QA Assessors from different universities. The 1st training session began in 2008 and has been further expanded for various specialized sessions, including a three-tiered training system and Outcome-Based Education training. To this end, AUN-QA also organizes International Conferences, where speakers and researchers present their innovations in teaching and learning.

Aside from its size and activities, AUN-QA is also self-financed, allowing it to be autonomous and impartial in its assessment work. This allows them to build a strong reputation and solid record that garners respect within the region, as well as attracting new members to join the family. With its success over the years, the future of AUN-QA remains bright.

Contact information

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://aun-qa.org/
  • Tel: +662 2153640/2153642/2183256
  • Fax: + 662 2168808
  • Office Address: 17th Floor, Chaloem Rajakumari 60 Building, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

In the next article, we will talk about AUN-BE and their work in engaging industry and business with ASEAN universities.