Journey towards QAA (Quality Assurance and Accreditation) mechanism to improve quality education of HELs (Higher Education Institutions) in Bangladesh - issues, challenges and prospects.
AuthorIslam, Gazi Md. Narul
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Quality of higher education is believed to be one of the most important aspects of national development through human resource development, imparting knowledge and social uplift in a country. Higher education institutions in general and policy agencies including ministry of education of Bangladesh are realizing the increasing role in national uplift through improving quality of higher education. Purposes of this study are manifold: to explore the existing quality status and analyze the gaps between existing practices and formal quality assurance and accreditation (QAA) systems’ practices, and to assess and tap the institutional learning and challenges of introducing of QAA mechanism in Bangladesh. Primary data are collected in order to determine the perceptions of faculty members towards quality improvement initiatives in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). However, the intension is to explore the preparedness to introduce formal QAA mechanism and their implications on the institutional performance in the context of Bangladeshi HEIs. The study revealed that HEIs in Bangladesh face a number of challenges in terms of formal quality assurance practices. The key variables brought from formal QA framework fell into six quality areas: leadership and institutional governance, curriculum, facilities, student, staff, and quality assurance process development. The study suggests that introducing formal QAA mechanism in HEIs in Bangladesh, the main challenge lies with quality assurance process development. Existing quality status from this study shows that quality areas of student, curriculum and facilities remain above the average level of standard, but the quality areas of leadership and institutional governance, staff and quality assurance process development are at worse condition as the surveyed population i.e. university teachers opined. The findings would assist academicians to enhance quality assurance framework at national level as well as institutional level. However, the challenges the individual higher education institution would encounter to implement the formal QAA mechanism are addressed at length.