Section 1 An Overview of Quality Assurance of Malaysian Higher Education

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1 1. CODE OF PRACTICE FOR PROGRAMME ACCREDITATION Sectin 1 An Overview f Quality Assurance f Malaysian Higher Educatin INTRODUCTION The Ninth Malaysia Plan ( ) advcates the develpment f a wrld class human capital. The Ministry f Higher Educatin (MOHE) has incrprated this visin as ne f its primary bjectives under its Strategic Plan, in line with the natinal agenda t make Malaysia as a preferred centre t pursue higher educatin. 1. THE MALAYSIAN QUALIFICATIONS AGENCY In December 2005, the Malaysian Cabinet decided t merge the Natinal Accreditatin Bard (Lembaga Akreditasi Negara, LAN) and the Quality Assurance Divisin (QAD) f the MOHE. This merger created the Malaysian Qualificatins Agency (MQA), the single quality assurance agency in the cuntry, whse scpe nw cvers bth the public and private Higher Educatin Prviders (HEP). The Malaysian Qualificatins Agency Act 2007 (MQAA 2007) assigns the respnsibility fr quality assuring higher educatin in Malaysia t the MQA. The respnsibilities are: t implement the Malaysian Qualificatins Framewrk (MQF) as a reference pint fr Malaysian qualificatins; t develp, with the c-peratin f stakehlders, standards, criteria and instruments as a natinal reference fr the cnferment f awards; t quality assure higher educatin prviders and prgrammes; t accredit prgrammes that fulfil a set f criteria and standards; t facilitate the recgnitin and articulatin f qualificatins; t establish and maintain the Malaysian Qualificatins Register (MQR); and t advise the Minister n any matter relating t quality assurance in higher educatin. 1

2 2. RELEVANT COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES 2.1 THE MALAYSIAN QUALIFICATIONS AGENCY COUNCIL The MQA is headed by a Cuncil. It cmprises a Chairman and 16 members. The functins f the Cuncil are: t apprve plans and plicies fr the management f the Agency; t apprve amendments and updates f the MQF; t apprve plicies and guidelines relating t audit prcesses and the accreditatin f prgrammes, qualificatins and higher educatin prviders; t receive and mnitr reprts, returns, statements and any ther infrmatin relating t accreditatin, institutinal audit and evaluatin; and; t cntinuusly guide the Agency in its functin as a quality assurance bdy and d all things reasnably necessary fr the perfrmance f its functins under the Act. Frm time t time the Agency may establish cmmittees fr varius purpses, including t prvide input fr plicy decisins. These cmmittees cnsist f resurce persns wh pssess in-depth r specialized knwledge and experience in their respective disciplines t perfrm such duties as prescribed under the MQAA THE MALAYSIAN OPTICAL COUNCIL The Malaysian Optical Cuncil (MOC), under the Optical Act 1991 is respnsible fr recgnizing ptmetry/pticianry schls fr the purpse f licensing their graduates fr practice in Malaysia. Implicit is the rle f setting standards and certifying the achievement f standards f ptmetry/pticianry prgrams awarded by all HEPs within and utside Malaysia. 2.3 JOINT TECHNICAL COMMITTEE A Jint Technical Cmmittee* respnsible fr the accreditatin prcess and curse apprval in all HEP is set up under the MQA Act 2007 (Act 679), sectin 51. The Jint Technical Cmmittee is respnsible fr cnstituting the evaluatin panel, studying the reprt f the accrediting team and submitting the recmmendatins n * hencefrth referred t as the Jint Technical Cmmittee 2

3 accreditatin fr ratificatin by the Cuncil and the Accreditatin Cmmittee. The Jint Technical Cmmittee is als respnsible fr reviewing the validity f the standards and prcedures frm time t time and t submit prpsals fr changes. The Jint Technical Cmmittee is chaired by a member f Malaysian Optical Cuncil frm the Public Sectr appinted by the Chairpersn f the Cuncil. Members include three representatives frm the Malaysian Optical Cuncil, tw representatives frm the Ministry f Health, ne frm MQA, ne frm MOHE, tw frm universities and ne frm JPA. Currently the secretariat f the Jint Technical Cmmittee is at the Malaysian Optical Cuncil. The Jint Technical Cmmittee will appint a panel f assessrs t evaluate the curriculum and t cnsider the HEP plans in principle and implementatin details f at least the first tw years f the prgramme. The Jint Technical Cmmittee als has t review and make recmmendatins in relatin t the applicatin. A visit will be rganized t the site where the prgram is intended t be ffered. The panel will prduce a final reprt which will be reviewed by the Jint Technical Cmmittee befre recmmendatin is made t MOC. The Jint Technical Cmmittee nly judges whether the prpsed schl is likely t meet the accreditatin standards. It des nt decide n the need fr a new HEP because the develpment f a new ptmetry/pticianry schl is a cmplex undertaking. Decisins that need t be made abut the wrkfrce implicatins f the new schl, hw it will be resurced, and the educatinal needs it will serve are best left t ther apprpriate authrities ther than the Jint Technical Cmmittee. Hwever, as the develpment f a new ptmetry/pticianry schl will have an impact n the educatinal and clinical resurces available t existing schls, the Jint Technical Cmmittee may als advise MOC n hw a new schl will affect the verall standards f basic ptmetry/pticianry educatin. Based n the recmmendatins f the MOC, an applicatin t cnduct an ptmetry/pticianry prgramme may be apprved (prvisinal accreditatin) r rejected by the Minister f Higher Educatin. 3

4 2.4 ACCREDITATION COMMITTEE There are five Accreditatin Cmmittees cvering the majr fields f study, i.e., science and medicine, engineering and built envirnment, infrmatin technlgy and multimedia, arts and humanities, and the scial sciences. The Accreditatin Cmmittees have the fllwing functins: t evaluate and analyze prgramme accreditatin reprts; t make decisins n an HEP s applicatin fr Prvisinal r Full Accreditatin f prgrammes and qualificatins; and t grant, refuse, maintain r revke Prvisinal Accreditatin r Full Accreditatin f prgrammes and qualificatins. 2.5 INSTITUTIONAL AUDIT COMMITTEE An Institutinal Audit Cmmittee has the fllwing functins: t evaluate and analyze institutinal audit reprts; t determine the state f academic health f institutins f higher educatin; t recmmend the awarding, r therwise f an institutinal selfaccreditatin status; and t make recmmendatins fr the maintenance, suspensin r revcatin f self-accreditatin status. 2.6 THE EQUIVALENCY COMMITTEE All qualificatins ffered in Malaysia must establish their level vis-a-vis the MQF. Hwever, there are qualificatins, within as well as thse riginating frm utside f Malaysia, whse level in the MQF is unclear and needs t be determined. The equivalency statement is generally used fr purpses f admissin, emplyment and recgnitin, althugh it is nt legally binding n the authrities respnsible fr these. The Equivalency Cmmittee has the fllwing functins: t receive and analyze equivalency assessment reprts f prgramme and qualificatin; and t make decisins n the equivalency f qualificatins fr their placement in the level f qualificatins in the MQF. 4

5 2.7 THE STANDARDS COMMITTEES Standards is an essential cmpnent in a quality assurance system t determine the expected level f attainment. Frm time t time the MQA will establish standards cmmittees, bth permanent and ad hc, cnsisting f experts in the varius disciplines f study. The members f the cmmittees cme frm academia, prfessinal bdies and industry. The Standards Cmmittees have the fllwing functins: t develp and review the guidelines, standards and criteria fr prgramme accreditatin and institutinal audit; t develp and review standards fr specific disciplines; and t develp and review guides t gd practices. The guidelines, standards and criteria are develped in cnsultatin with principal stakehlders and varius fcus grups and apprved by the MQA Cuncil. 3. THE MALAYSIAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK The Malaysian Qualificatins Framewrk (MQF) serves as a basis fr quality assurance f higher educatin and as the reference pint fr natinal qualificatins. It is an instrument that classifies qualificatins based n a set f criteria that are apprved natinally and benchmarked against internatinal best practices. These criteria are accepted and used fr all qualificatins awarded by a recgnized HEP. The Framewrk clarifies the academic levels, learning utcmes and credit systems based n student academic lad. Hence, the MQF integrates all higher educatin qualificatins. It als prvides educatinal pathways thrugh which it links these qualificatins systematically. These pathways will enable the individual learner t prgress thrugh credit transfers and accreditatin f prir experiential learning in the cntext f lifelng learning. 4. APPROACHES TO QUALITY ASSURANCE The wrk f the MQA revlves arund tw majr appraches t quality assure higher educatin in Malaysia. The first apprach is t accredit prgrammes and qualificatins. The secnd is t audit institutins r their cmpnents. 5

6 There are tw levels in prgramme accreditatin. The first level is Prvisinal Accreditatin which indicates that the prgramme has fulfilled the minimum requirement fr it t be ffered. This level is cnnected t seeking apprval frm the MOHE t cnduct the new prgramme. The secnd level is Full (r Final) Accreditatin, i.e. a cnferment t dente that a prgramme has met all the criteria and standards set fr that purpse and in cmpliance with the MQF. Institutinal Audit takes many frms. It culd be cmprehensive r thematic; it culd be by faculty r acrss faculties. It culd take the frm f peridic academic perfrmance audit n institutins f higher learning r establishing the cntinuatin r maintenance f prgramme accreditatin status. It culd take the frm f an exercise fr purpses f verifying data, fr purpses f public plicy input r fr rating and ranking f institutins and prgrammes. The highest frm f institutinal audit is the self-accreditatin audit, which can lead t a cnferment f a self-accreditatin status fr the institutin s audited, whereby it can accredit its wn prgrammes. The varius appraches t quality assurance prcesses wuld generally include peridic mnitring t ensure that quality is maintained and cntinuusly enhanced. 5. THE MALAYSIAN QUALIFICATIONS REGISTER The Malaysian Qualificatins Register (MQR) is a registry f all higher educatin qualificatins accredited by the MQA. The MQR cntains, amng thers, infrmatin n prgrammes, prviders, levels and validity perids r cessatin dates f these qualificatins. It is meant t prvide students, parents, emplyers, funding agencies and ther related stakehlders with the necessary infrmatin abut higher educatin qualificatins in Malaysia. The MQR is accessible at 6

7 6. THE QUALITY ASSURANCE GUIDELINES 6.1 QUALITY ASSURANCE DOCUMENTS The quality assurance evaluatin wuld be guided by: The Malaysian Qualificatins Framewrk (MQF); The Cde f Practice fr Prgramme Accreditatin (COPPA); The Cde f Practice fr Institutinal Audit (COPIA); Prgramme Discipline Standards; and Guides t Gd Practices. The Cde f Practice fr Prgramme Accreditatin (COPPA) is adapted frm the Cde f Practice fr Quality Assurance in Public Universities f Malaysia (2002) published by the Quality Assurance Divisin (QAD) f the MOHE. Als, Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (Natinal Accreditatin Bard, LAN) -- the predecessr t the MQA -- had a series f guidelines fr prgramme accreditatin and gd practices, which MQA will cntinue t utilize t cmplement COPPA and COPIA. Frm time t time, the MQA will develp new prgramme standards and guides t gd practices t cver the whle range f disciplines and gd practices. It will als review them peridically t ensure relevance and currency. 6.2 AREAS OF EVALUATION The quality evaluatin prcess cvers the fllwing nine areas: 1. Visin, missin, educatinal gals and learning utcmes; 2. Curriculum design and delivery; 3. Assessment f students; 4. Student selectin and supprt services; 5. Academic staff; 6. Educatinal resurces; 7. Prgramme mnitring and review; 8. Leadership, gvernance and administratin; and 9. Cntinual quality imprvement. Each f these nine areas cntains quality standards and criteria. These criteria have tw distinct levels, i.e., benchmarked standards and enhanced standards. The degree f cmpliance t these nine areas f evaluatin (and the criteria and standards accmpanying them) expected f the HEP depends n the type and level f assessment. 7

8 Generally, the MQA subscribes t the shift frm a fitness f purpse t a fitness fr specified purpse. Hwever, in the current stage f the develpment f Malaysian higher educatin and its quality assurance prcesses, there is a need t ensure that the HEPs fulfil the benchmarked standards. Nevertheless, the size, nature and diversity f the institutins call fr flexibility wherever apprpriate. Where necessary, HEPs may need t prvide additinal infrmatin t explain why certain standards are nt applicable t their case when preparing their dcuments fr submissin t the MQA. 7. PROGRAMME ACCREDITATION There are tw levels f prgramme accreditatin, i.e., Prvisinal Accreditatin and Full (r Final) Accreditatin. The institutin is required t submit all necessary dcuments t the Malaysian Qualificatin Agency fr apprval and prvisinal accreditatin at least 9 mnths prir t the intended cmmencement f the prgramme. A schl that is starting a new prgramme is assessed n its readiness and capacity t cnduct and sustain an ptmetry/pticianry curse. The HEP must have clear plans. The Jint Technical Cmmittee decides whether the planned curriculum is likely t cmply with the accreditatin standards and whether the schl has demnstrated the cmmitment and the capacity t manage the changed prcess. The purpse f Prvisinal Accreditatin is t establish whether the minimum requirements t cnduct the prgramme have been met by the HEP in respect f the nine areas f evaluatin and especially the curriculum design. Where necessary, a visit may be cnducted t cnfirm the arrangement r the suitability f the facilities at the HEP premises. The evaluatin is cnducted by MQA s Panel f Assessrs (POA) and their findings are tabled at the respective Accreditatin Cmmittee fr their decisin. The HEP uses the reprt frm the Prvisinal Accreditatin exercise as ne f the requirements t seek apprval frm the MOHE t ffer the prgramme, and, n btaining it, t cmmence the prgramme. The purpse f Full r Final Accreditatin is t ensure that the prgramme has met the set f standards as in the Cde f Practice, and is in cmpliance with the Framewrk. Full Accreditatin is an external and independent assessment cnducted 8

9 by MQA thrugh its POA, wh wuld evaluate the Prgramme Infrmatin and Self- Review Reprt submitted by the HEP. The panel wuld als make an evaluatin visit t the institutin. This site visit is t validate and verify the infrmatin furnished by the HEP. The panel will then submit the final reprt t the MQA. 7.1 THE ACCREDITATION REPORT In the whle accreditatin exercise, the feedback prcesses between the Agency and the HEP are cmmunicated thrugh the panel s ral exit reprt and written reprt in the spirit f transparency and accuntability t reinfrce cntinual quality imprvement. The Accreditatin Reprt will be made available t the HEP cncerned. The mst imprtant purpse f the Reprt is fr cntinual quality imprvement f the HEP. The Accreditatin Reprt is a narrative that aims t be infrmative. It recgnizes cntext and allws cmparisn ver time. It discerns strengths and areas f cncern as well as prvides specific recmmendatins fr quality enhancement in the structure and perfrmance f the HEP, based n peer experience and the cnsensus n quality as embdied in the standards. If the HEP fails t achieve the accreditatin fr the prgramme and it is unable t rectify the cnditins f the rejectin, the MQA will infrm the relevant authrity accrdingly fr its necessary actin. In the case f a maintenance audit fr prgrammes already accredited, the cessatin date shall be effected n the MQR t indicate the revcatin f the accreditatin. 7.2 THE ACCREDITATION SUMMARY REPORT A summary reprt summarizes the final evaluatin reprt f the Panel. This reprt may be made accessible t the public. The reprt cntains infrmatin that wuld be helpful t prspective students, parents, funding agencies and emplyers. Accreditatin adds value t the prgramme and qualificatin. It enhances public cnfidence and can becme a basis f recgnitin natinally and internatinally. The 9

10 accreditatin reprts can be used fr benchmarking and fr revising quality standards and practices. Benchmarking fcuses n hw t imprve the educatinal prcess by expliting the best practices adpted by institutins arund the wrld. 7.3 FOREIGN SCHOOLS OF OPTOMETRY/OPTICIANRY Malaysia has recgnized many ptmetry/pticianry schls befre the accreditatin standards & prcedures were evlved. Fr accreditatin f freign schls, the same standards and prcedures must apply. During the interim perid when cuntries are setting up their accreditatin system, schls that are identified n certain criteria (e.g. change in ranking in their wn cuntry, perfrmance f graduates des nt meet expected utcmes) will be invited t apply fr reaccreditatin. 8. INSTITUTIONAL AUDIT A cmplete descriptin abut institutinal audit in the MQA quality assurance prcesses is prvided in its Cde f Practice fr Institutinal Audit (Petaling Jaya, Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia, 2008). Hwever, in prgramme accreditatin, there is an element f auditing in the frm f Prgramme Maintenance Audit, whse purpse is t mnitr and t ensure the maintenance and enhancement f prgrammes that have been accredited. The Prgramme Maintenance Audit is crucial given the new apprach that makes the accredited status f a prgramme perpetual, that is, withut an expiry prvisin. Prgramme Maintenance Audit, which applies t all accredited prgrammes and qualificatins, must be carried ut at least nce in three years. 10

11 Sectin 2 Guidelines n Criteria and Standards fr Prgramme Accreditatin INTRODUCTION Higher Educatin Prviders (HEP) are respnsible fr designing and implementing prgrammes that are apprpriate t their missins and gals. This Cde f Practice fr Prgramme Accreditatin (COPPA) guides the HEP and the MQA in quality assuring prgrammes ffered by the frmer. Unlike the Cde f Practice fr Institutinal Audit (COPIA), COPPA is dedicated t prgramme evaluatin fr the purpse f prgramme accreditatin. Bth COPPA and COPIA utilize a similar nine areas f evaluatin fr quality assurance. Hwever, these nine areas will be adjusted accrdingly t fit their distinct purpses. Fr example, while the item n visin is crucial at the institutinal level, its fit at the prgramme level is mre directed t see hw a specific prgramme supprts the larger institutinal visin. Similarly, when COPIA talks abut curriculum design its perspective is largely abut institutinal plicies, structures, prcesses and practices related t curriculum develpment acrss the institutin. In COPPA, it refers specifically t descriptin, cntent and delivery f a particular prgramme. This chapter discusses guidelines n criteria and standards fr prgramme accreditatin. It recmmends practices that are in line with internatinally recgnized gd practices. They are aimed at assisting HEPs attain at least benchmarked standards in each f the nine areas f evaluatin fr prgramme accreditatin and t stimulate the HEP t cntinuusly imprve the quality f their prgrammes. All these are in supprt f the aspiratin t make Malaysia the centre fr educatinal excellence. The guidelines are designed t encurage diversity f apprach that is cmpatible with natinal and glbal human resurce requirements. The guidelines define standards fr higher educatin in brad terms, within which an individual HEP can creatively design its prgramme f study and apprpriately allcate resurces in accrdance with its stated educatinal gals and learning utcmes. 11

12 The guidelines are divided int the fllwing nine areas f evaluatin: 1. Visin, missin, educatinal gals and learning utcmes; 2. Curriculum design and delivery; 3. Assessment f students; 4. Student selectin and supprt services; 5. Academic staff; 6. Educatinal resurces; 7. Prgramme mnitring and review; 8. Leadership, gvernance and administratin; and 9. Cntinual quality imprvement. The prgramme standards define the expected level f attainment fr each criterin and serve as a perfrmance indicatr. They are specified at tw levels f attainment: benchmarked standards and enhanced standards. Benchmarked standards are standards that must be met and its cmpliance demnstrated during a prgramme accreditatin exercise. Benchmarked standards are expressed as a must. Enhanced prgramme standards are standards that shuld be met as the institutin strives t cntinuusly imprve itself. Enhanced standards reflect internatinal and natinal cnsensus n gd practices in higher educatin. HEPs shuld be able t demnstrate achievement f sme r all f these r that initiatives tward the achievement f these prgramme standards are underway. Achievement f these standards will vary with the stage f develpment f the HEPs, their resurces and plicies. Enhanced standards are expressed by a shuld. The use f the tw levels recgnizes the fact that HEPs are at different stages f develpment and that quality imprvement is a cntinual prcess. Thus, these levels are utilized by the MQA fr purpses f evaluating applicatins fr prgramme accreditatin, bth Prvisinal and Full Accreditatin. In principle, an HEP must demnstrate that it has met all the benchmarked standards fr its prgramme t be fully accredited, but nevertheless taking int accunt flexibility and recgnitin f diversity t facilitate the creative grwth f educatin. In the remaining pages f this chapter, specific criteria f the standards are spelt ut fr each f the nine areas f evaluatin. These are peratinally defined and serve as perfrmance indicatrs f quality. 12

13 AREA 1: VISION, MISSION, EDUCATIONAL GOALS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES The visin, missin and educatinal gals f the HEP guide its academic planning and implementatin as well as bring tgether its members t strive twards a traditin f excellence. The general gal f higher educatin is t prduce bradly educated graduates thrugh the: prvisin f knwledge and practical skills based n scientific principles; inculcatin f attitudes, ethics, sense f prfessinalism and leadership skills fr scietal advancement within the framewrk f the natinal visin; nurturing f the ability t analyze and slve prblems as well as t evaluate and make decisins critically and creatively based n evidence and experience; develpment f the quest fr knwledge and lifelng learning skills that are essential fr cntinuus upgrading f knwledge and skills that parallel the rapid advancement in glbal knwledge and cnsideratin f ther issues that are relevant t the lcal, natinal and internatinal cntext. Academic prgrammes are the building blcks that supprt the larger visin and missin f the HEP. Hence, ne must take int cnsideratin these larger institutinal gals when designing prgrammes t ensure that ne cmplements the ther. The quality f the HEP and the prgramme that it ffers is ultimately assessed by the ability f its graduates t carry ut their expected rles and respnsibilities in sciety. This requires a clear statement f the cmpetencies, i.e., the practical, intellectual and sft skills that are expected t be achieved by the student at the end f prgramme. The main dmains f learning utcmes cver knwledge, practical and scial skills, critical and analytical thinking, values, ethics and prfessinalism. The levels f cmpetency f these learning utcmes are defined in the Malaysian Qualificatins Framewrk (MQF). STANDARDS FOR AREA Statement f Prgramme Aims, Objectives and Learning Outcmes A prgramme s stated aims, bjectives and learning utcmes reflect what it wants the learner t achieve. It is crucial fr these aims, bjectives and learning utcmes t be expressed explicitly and be made knwn t learners and ther stakehlders alike. 13

14 1.1.1 Benchmarked Standards The prgramme must define its aims, bjectives and learning utcmes and make them knwn t its internal and external stakehlders. The prgramme bjectives must reflect the key elements f the utcmes f higher educatin that are in line with natinal and glbal develpments. The prgramme aims, bjectives and learning utcmes must be develped in cnsultatin with principal stakehlders which shuld include the academic staff. The prgramme aims, bjectives and learning utcmes must be cnsistent with, and supprtive f, the HEP s visin and missin Enhanced Standards The aims, bjectives and learning utcmes f the prgramme shuld encmpass qualities in the areas f scial respnsibility, research and schlarly attainment, cmmunity invlvement, ethical values, prfessinalism, and knwledge creatin. The department shuld cnsult relevant stakehlders, particularly ptential emplyers, when frmulating prgramme aims and bjectives. The prgramme aims, bjectives and learning utcmes shuld be peridically reviewed in cnsultatin with a wide range f stakehlders that may include the alumni, industry, cmmunity, civil sciety rganizatins and internatinal peers. 1.2 Learning Outcmes The quality f a prgramme is ultimately assessed by the ability f the learner t carry ut their expected rles and respnsibilities in sciety. This requires the prgramme t have a clear statement f the learning utcmes t be achieved by the learner Benchmarked Standards The prgramme must define the cmpetencies that the student shuld demnstrate n cmpletin f the prgramme that cver mastery f bdy f knwledge; practical skills; scial skills and respnsibilities; values, attitudes and prfessinalism; prblem slving and scientific skills; cmmunicatin, leadership and team skills; infrmatin management and lifelng learning skills and managerial and entrepreneurial skills. 14

15 The prgramme must demnstrate hw the cmpnent mdules cntribute t the fulfilment f the prgramme s learning utcmes. The prgramme must shw hw the student is able t demnstrate the learning utcmes, fr example, thrugh summative assessments Enhanced Standards The prgramme shuld specify the link between cmpetencies expected at cmpletin f studies and thse required during career undertakings and further studies. AREA 2: CURRICULUM DESIGN AND DELIVERY Fr the purpse f accreditatin fr prgrammes ffered by the Higher Educatin Prviders, the term curriculum design and delivery in this cde f practice is used interchangeably with the term prgramme design and delivery. Prgramme means an arrangement f curses that are structured fr a specified duratin and learning vlume t achieve the stated learning utcmes and usually leading t an award f a qualificatin. STANDARDS FOR AREA Academic Autnmy An academic institutin is expected t have sufficient autnmy ver academic matters. Such autnmy shuld be reflected at the departmental level where the prgramme is being ffered Benchmarked Standards The department must have sufficient autnmy t design the curriculum and t allcate the resurces necessary fr its implementatin t ensure the achievement f learning utcmes. Where applicable, the abve prvisin must als cver prgrammes franchised t, r frm, ther HEPs in accrdance with natinal plicies. The academic staff must be given sufficient autnmy t fcus n areas f his expertise, such as curriculum develpment and implementatin, academic supervisin f students, research and writing, schlarly activities, and academically-related administrative duties and cmmunity engagement. 15

16 2.1.2 Enhanced Standards The HEP shuld have a clearly stated plicy n cnflict f interest, particularly in the area f private practice and part-time emplyment. The bundaries f academic autnmy fr the department and the academic staff shuld cntinue t expand reflecting the intellectual maturity f the HEP. 2.2 Prgramme Design and Teaching-Learning Methds Benchmarked Standards The department must have a defined prcess by which the curriculum is established, reviewed and evaluated. The prcess must invlve the academic and administrative staff f the department. The prgramme must be cnsidered nly after an assessment has indicated that there is a need fr the prgramme t be cnducted. The prgramme must be cnsidered nly after the resurces t supprt the prgramme have been identified. The prgramme cntent, apprach, and teaching-learning methds must be apprpriate and cnsistent, and supprts the achievement f the prgramme learning utcmes. There must be a variety f teaching-learning methds in rder t achieve the eight dmains f the learning utcmes and t ensure that students take respnsibility fr their wn learning Enhanced Standards The curriculum shuld encurage multi-disciplinary appraches t enhance the persnal develpment f the student thrugh electives, study pathways and ther means, which shuld be mnitred and appraised. The needs analysis fr the prgramme shuld invlve feedback frm external surces including market, students, alumni, peers, and internatinal experts whse cmmentaries shuld be utilized fr purpses f curriculum imprvement. There shuld be c-curricular activities that will enrich students' experiences, and fster persnal develpment and respnsibility. 16

17 2.3 Curriculum Cntent and Structure A teaching-learning envirnment can nly be effective when the curriculum cntent and structure f a prgramme cntinually keep abreast with the mst current develpment in the field f study Benchmarked Standards The prgramme must incrprate the cre subject matter essential fr the understanding f the cncepts, principles and methds that supprt the prgramme utcmes. The prgramme must fulfil the requirements f the discipline taking int accunt the apprpriate discipline standards and internatinal best practices fr the field. The cntent f the prgramme must be peridically reviewed t keep abreast with scientific, technlgical and knwledge develpment f the discipline, and with the needs f sciety Enhanced Standards The department shuld establish mechanisms -- thrugh the use f the latest technlgy and thrugh glbal netwrking -- t access t real time infrmatin and t identify up-t-date tpics f imprtance fr inclusin in the curriculum and its delivery. 2.4 Management f the Prgramme Benchmarked Standards Students must be prvided with the mst current written infrmatin abut the aims, utline, learning utcmes, and methds f assessment f the prgramme. The prgramme must have an apprpriate crdinatr and team f academic staff (e.g. a prgramme cmmittee) respnsible fr the planning, implementatin, evaluatin and imprvement f the prgramme. The prgramme team must have authrity and established prcedures fr planning and mnitring the prgramme. The prgramme team must have adequate resurces t implement the teaching and learning activities, and cnduct prgramme evaluatin fr quality imprvement. 17

18 The prgramme, especially its cntent and delivery, must be regularly reviewed and evaluated and the results utilized t assure quality. (At level 6 and abve f the MQF, the review must invlve external examiners.) The department must prvide its student a cnducive learning envirnment in which schlarly and creative achievements are nurtured Enhanced Standards Innvatins t imprve teaching and learning shuld be develped, supprted, and evaluated. Innvatins n imprving teaching and learning shuld be dne in cnsultatin with principal stakehlders and experts, internally and externally. The review and evaluatin f the prgramme shuld invlve stakehlders as well as external expertise natinally and internatinally. 2.5 Linkages with External Stakehlders Linkages with stakehlders utside f the department, particularly at the peratinal level, are crucial fr identifying, clarifying and imprving key aspects f the prgramme and their interrelatinships in the planning and implementatin prcesses. The linkages are best develped and maintained at lcal, natinal, reginal and glbal levels Benchmarked Standards The department must have linkages with all levels f stakehlders utside f the department fr the purpses f curriculum planning, implementatin and review Enhanced Standards The prgramme team shuld btain feedback frm emplyers and use the infrmatin fr curriculum imprvement, including fr purpses f student placement, training and wrkplace expsure. Students shuld be given the pprtunity t develp external stakehlders. linkages with 18

19 AREA 3: ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS Student assessment is a crucial aspect f quality assurance because it drives student learning. It is ne f the mst imprtant measures t shw the achievement f learning utcmes. The result f assessment is als the basis in awarding qualificatins. Hence, methds f student assessment have t be clear, cnsistent, effective, reliable and in line with current practices and must clearly supprt the achievement f learning utcmes. STANDARDS FOR AREA Relatinship Between Assessment and Learning Benchmarked Standards Assessment principles, methds and practices must be aligned with learning utcmes and prgramme cntent. The assessment must be cnsistent with the levels defined in the MQF, the eight dmains f learning utcmes and the prgramme standards Enhanced Standards The link between assessment and learning utcmes in the prgramme shuld be reviewed peridically t ensure its effectiveness. 3.2 Assessment Methds Benchmarked Standards The frequency, methds, and criteria f student assessment -- including the grading criteria -- must be dcumented and cmmunicated t students n the cmmencement f the prgramme. Assessment must be summative and frmative. A variety f methds and tls must be used apprpriately t assess the learning utcmes and cmpetencies. There must be mechanisms t ensure the validity, reliability, cnsistency, currency and fairness f the assessment methds. The assessment system must be reviewed at apprpriate scheduled intervals. 19

20 3.2.2 Enhanced Standards The methds f assessing shuld be cmparable t internatinal best practices. The review f the assessment system shuld be dne in cnsultatin with external experts, bth lcally and internatinally. 3.3 Management f Student Assessment The management f the assessment system is directly linked t the HEP s respnsibility as a bdy that cnfers qualificatins. The rbustness and security f the prcesses and prcedures related t student assessment are imprtant in inspiring cnfidence in the quality f the qualificatins awarded by the HEP Benchmarked Standards Student assessment results must be cmmunicated t the student within reasnable time. Changes t student assessment methds must fllw established prcedures and regulatins and cmmunicated t the student prir t their implementatin. There must be mechanisms t ensure the security f assessment dcuments and recrds. The prgramme grading, assessment, and appeal plicies and practices must be publicized Enhanced Standards The department and its academic staff shuld have sufficient autnmy in the management f student assessment. There shuld be independent external scrutiny t evaluate and imprve the management f student assessment, including frmal certificatin f the prcesses. AREA 4: STUDENT SELECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES In general, admissin plicies f the prgramme need t cmply with the prevailing plicies f the Malaysian Ministry f Higher Educatin (MOHE). There are varying views n the best methd f student selectin. Whatever the methd used, the HEP 20

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