LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Cambodia’s Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) continue its collaboration in the development of an internal quality assurance (IQA) system for RUA.
The partnership agreement, which began in September 2020, entails SEARCA’s assistance in establishing a broad-based technical cooperation for the development of an IQA mentoring program for RUA. Specifically, the partnership provides technical support for the following: a) design of IQA strategy and standards for RUA and development of IQA manual; b) development and dissemination of self-assessment report (SAR) findings; c) preparation of actual SAR reports for submission to the Accrediting Committee of Cambodia (ACC); and d) monitoring program.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, project activities had to be re-designed (from face-to-face to online modality). The first to the third online workshops were focused on the development of SARs of RUA’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Agro-Industry. These workshops focused on providing an overall understanding of IQA, both internal and external to the university; framework for QA assessment, QA model at the program level, the ASEAN University Network (AUN)-QA model and scoring system; and preparation of SAR. Outputs of the first three workshops included a better understanding and appreciation of the participatory process and the IQA. The draft SARs of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Agro-industry were submitted by RUA to their Board.
The fourth to the sixth workshops built an understanding and appreciation of a quality culture among the participants, as well as appreciation of undergoing the process for developing and refining the SAR and its use. The SARs reflected the efforts of both faculties to address the need to link the outputs with the industry, with the QA supporting what the programs plan to do in the coming years.
The seventh to the ninth workshops focused on the presentation of standards and indicators (program level) of the two faculties (veterinary medicine and agro-industry); identification and finalization of list of evidence and supporting documents for the indicators agreed upon under the nine National Program Standards for accreditation of HEIs in Cambodia at the program level; and presentation and critiquing of matrix of evidence per indicator, per standard.
The 10th online workshop, slated on 19 July 2022, will have the RUA participants present their SAR findings to their stakeholders.
The SEARCA-RUA IQA project is funded by the Higher Education Improvement Project (HEIP) of Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MOEYS). SEARCA tapped the services of Dr. Rhea L. Gumasing, Associate Professor, Institute for Governance and Rural Development, College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), as the IQA expert of the project. It is spearheaded by the Center’s Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD), with the Management Information Systems Unit (MISU) assisting in the conduct of the online workshops.