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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 22/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA) is planning to assess the foundation programmes of government-funded higher education institutes.

A workshop was held to discuss the topic at the Ministry of Manpower on Wednesday, with the participation of all government stakeholders. Dr Tess Goodliffe, deputy CEO, technical affairs at OAAA said, ''We are recruiting a consultant now. So we hope that in 2015 we will be able to begin audits of foundations programmess.''

Dr Tess said local reviewers had been trained a couple of years ago.

''But when we develop a process for evaluating the foundation programmes, we will be training both private and public sector institutions as well as reviewers to work on audit panels,'' she said.

OAAA, meanwhile, has completed the quality audit of 49 higher education institutes and posted the results on its website (www.oaaa.gov.om).

''We have published reports of 49 higher education institutes. By the end of this year we would have done the quality audit of around 95 per cent of the institutions. All audit reports, apart from that of military institutions, are available on our website,'' she said.

According to Dr Tess, analysis of the first 30 quality audit reports showed that 37 per cent of higher education institutes received the accreditation, while 20 per cent were given recommendations. ''There have been meetings earlier, but this is the first time we have a chance to sit around the table with government-funded institutes to talk about the implementation of standards.''

She said that OAAA has advertised for a consultant for the foundation programme assessment to help develop an external review. ''The advertisement was put on our website and the deadline for applications is May 25.''

Foundation programmes are not part of higher education per se but come between schooling and higher education.

''We are looking at them as a separate entity and not part of the institutional quality audit. Foundation programmes need to be given special as in 2011-12, a third of students studying in higher educations institutes in the sultanate were enrolled in foundation programmes,'' Dr Tess said.OAAA, higher education institutes, assessment, studen


Muscat Daily

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