Arab Open University (AOU) is a major provider of higher education in the Arab world. The eight countries where it currently offers courses are united by a common language and related cultures and separated by diverse educational systems and local accreditation requirements. As part of AOU, the Quality Assurance Department (QAD) operates in this multicultural environment. Development of commitment to and a culture of care for, quality is one of the key aims of the QA system of AOU. AOU abides by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency, UK) quality standards enshrined in its Code of Practice.
The main activities of QA department at Oman Branch are:
- Managing QA Department at the Branch and organizing the Branch QA Committee
- Contributing to tutor and student induction
- Preparing Annual Program Evaluation Statistics using SIS and other systems
- Managing the completion of Annual Programme Evaluation Document.
- Monitoring exams and assessment
- Producing Internal Review report for the Branch with the contribution from other departments.
- Supervising the Introduction of Student PDP at the Branch
- Contributing to development of QA culture at the Branch
- Liaison with other Branches for the effectiveness of any improvements.
- Preparing QA reports for Ministry of Higher Education in Oman and other government bodies
- Participation in QA Conference, workshops and seminars
- Report findings to the Branch Director, QA Committee Meeting or concerned department and to QAD every semester. The findings include suggestions for necessary improvements at the branch lever or at the university level.
- QA Coordinator at the Branch continuously monitors the academic and the relevant administrative procedures and processes in order to find out whether certain pre-defined Quality standards and other University requirements are met or not.
- Monitors the implementation of the staff appraisal and student and tutor survey, and report the findings.
- Managing the completion of the annual program evaluation statistics and reports.
Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Code of practice “provides guidance on maintaining quality and standards for universities and colleges subscribing to QAA”. The Arab Open University (AOU) subscribes to these standards for ensuring the quality of its provisions. Mapping the QAA Code of practice, enshrined in its ten precepts, onto the rules and regulations of AOU is the first step toward that goal. These precepts, as well as the rules and regulations of AOU, evolve in time to adjust to new circumstances. It is therefore essential that AOU should keep abreast of these developments and update this mapping whenever necessary.