For the first time in AKU, an online Self-Assessment Review Training (SAR) was conducted by the Network of Quality, Teaching and Learning (QTL_ net). On March 6th 2020, Nursing programmes of SONAM across EA campuses in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Master of Medicine (PGME) programmes in Tanzania participated in this virtual training session which was conducted by the Dr. Tashmin Khamis, Associate Vice Provost, QTL_ net and Faisal Notta, Associate Director, Quality Assurance and Improvement (QAI).
Seventy-one (71) participants from six locations across four countries were connected, which included faculty, staff, students and alumni. They were associated with the following programmes:
This is the 2nd cyclical review for Nursing programmes in East Africa and the first for Maser of Medicine (PGME) programmes in Tanzania. The process has been initiated not only to meet the regulatory requirements of Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), but also to follow good practice in the 5-year cyclical review of programmes according to the AKU Academic Quality Framework (AQF).
The 3-hour long training focused primarily on the importance of the programme self-assessment process, not only as the foundation for a meaningful peer assessment review process but also for its effectiveness in continuous programme improvement using the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) Handbook: A Roadmap to Quality. It highlights the need for academic programmes to develop their own improvement plan and take concrete actions to remedy any areas of improvement that have been identified in the programme review. Thus, the process of self-assessment increases the self-awareness of the entities through reflective practice, enables them to evaluate their own performance, and provides entities with the opportunities to discover the quality of their programme.
The SAR training was well received by faculty members and better equipped them with necessary knowledge and confidence to participate in their programme’s upcoming self-assessment review. A faculty from SONAM EA commented “we are highly motivated to initiate self-assessment process and enjoyed the practical component of self-assessment training”. Another faculty member from PGME EA lauded the hands-on exercises in the training: “working on the cells/standards, what evidence [we] need to look for and where to locate the evidence was a good exercise to internalize principles of SAR for self-improving the programme.”
Both SONAM and PGME EA are due to submit their SAR this year, with a potential external peer review exercise in early 2021. The QTL_ net team will continue to support all the entities to prepare and implement both the self-assessment reviews and external reviews in line with the AKU Academic Quality Framework.
To learn more about the programme reviews at AKU, please click Here.