Vice Provost's Message
The AKU Network of Quality, Teaching and Learning (QTL_net) interconnects Quality Enhancement with Teaching and Learning at AKU. Rather than ‘centers’, this global distributed academic support network responds to the large geographic spread of AKU through providing professional development to faculty on teaching and learning, including teaching with technology and on quality enhancement of academic programmes.
Since its establishment in 2014 QTL_net has reached over 2/3rds (66%) of our faculty across AKU in Pakistan, East Africa and the UK, with the vast majority of these faculty returning to participate in QTL_net activities. This points to the value-addition faculty gain from our services, confirmed by the high satisfaction ratings of our programmes. A faculty satisfaction survey conducted in 2019 at the end of our first 5 years revealed that faculty feel QTL_net programmes are relevant and responsive to their needs and that translates to innovation in teaching practices and enhanced planning of teaching. This was further evidence through the COVID Pandemic and the support provided for online and remote teaching and learning. Faculty are assured of safe and inclusive spaces to transform teaching to promote student engagement in learning within QTL_net. In addition our programmes provide faculty with the opportunity to interact with and learn from peers through interdisciplinary communities of practice.
Reward and recognition of teaching leads to better motivation and an institutional culture that values Teaching which is student-centred and research-led. This has resulted in AKU becoming the first university in Pakistan and in East Africa to gain accreditation by Advance HE to enable faculty to gain Higher Education Academy (HEA, UK) Fellowships providing faculty an internationally benchmarked teaching qualification in higher education aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). In addition the recently established AKU Teachers Academy, within QTL_net, will be a space ‘for and of faculty’ who are recognized for their Teaching Excellence and serve other faculty through peer mentorship to become excellent teachers.
External Peers of the QTL_net unit review concluded:
“The QTL_networks have been remarkably successful in raising the profile of the importance of teaching and learning within AKU in a very short time. They have exceeded the expectations of most educational development units in any country...The three networks are highly integrated in their work with stakeholders throughout AKU.” (Dawson, Quinney and Welch, 2019).
The dynamic and dedicated ‘dream team’ that make up QTL_net are here to serve and support you in your commitment to transformational teaching for engaged learning so that our students can be assured of a world-class learning experience at AKU.
Professor Tashmin Khamis
Vice Provost, Quality, Teaching and Learning
The Aga Khan University