"Quality Assurance, Qualifications, and Recognition: Fostering Trust in a Globalised World"

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse

Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs

Felicitation Message from the Hon. Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs

I am very pleased that the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) has selected Sri Lanka as the country for hosting their main conference in 2019. I congratulate the University Grants Commission for paving the pathway. A new paradigm will soon dawn in Sri Lankan higher education with the arrival of new legislation for an Independent Quality Assurance and Accreditation System for Higher Education. The Bill has already been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Therefore, this global quality assurance conference in higher education is a timely event for Sri Lanka.

The global quality assurance strategies and processes in higher education, which will be deliberated on through the participation of world experts in the subject, will provide the direction and stimulation to enhance the standards and quality of Sri Lankan higher education in particular, and to all participating countries in general. I strongly feel that quality higher education systems play a pivotal role in the socio economic development of the world, which is presently interconnected due to amazing advancements in information and knowledge transfer.

I welcome one and all to our beautiful island and wish you all a very productive conference.

Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse
MP and President’s Counsel,
Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka

Susanna Karakhanyan

INQAAHE VII President

Welcome to the INQAAHE 15th Biennial Conference

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is with immense pleasure that I welcome you to join us at the INQAAHE 15th Biennial Conference to be held from 25th to 27th of March, 2019, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This significant event is proudly hosted by the University Grants Commission under the patronage of the Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka.

Globalization, innovative disruptions and ever-increasing diversification pose new challenges for the quality review of tertiary education performance in terms of relevance to socio-economic needs, credibility of provision, promotion of trust and recognition of awarded qualifications and degrees. While tertiary education and the role of quality assurance may not be as prone to disruption as other industries, innovative uses of education technologies have undeniably transformed the way students learn, faculty members teach, and tertiary education institutions operate. Even though keeping up with changes and disruptions is a challenge, we must seek to fully realize their potential impact on education quality, student success and innovative learning models, therefore making tertiary education outcomes more relevant to the socio-economic needs. How do we ensure a quality future for tertiary education given the rapid proliferation of new technologies used to deliver education and research? What must we do to ensure trust in provision? What are the resources quality assurance bodies need to deploy in order to promote recognition of tertiary education outcomes?

To respond to these most crucial challenges, the theme of the INQAAHE2019 Conference - “Quality Assurance, Qualifications, and Recognition: Fostering Trust in a Globalised World”- offers a unique platform for a constructive dialogue addressing some of the current major challenges. The sub-themes of the Conference are:

- New technologies, innovation and quality assurance: how to consider QA and its key principles in a world of disruptive technology and constant change;
- Thinking and acting globally: the role of QA in qualifications frameworks and student and talent mobility: challenges and opportunities;
- Ensuring and promoting trust in a globalized context;
- Challenges and Solutions to recognition Issues: new opportunities for QA contribution to recognition within the frame of global developments.

With the invaluable contribution of leading international experts in the field who will bring a wealth of experience from all over the world, the Conference aims to deliver the most recent relevant research, best practices, and critical information to support tertiary education professionals and experts in their daily operations. Additionally, the event will provide you with a professional platform to refresh and enrich your knowledge base and explore the latest innovations in higher education in general, and quality assurance specifically, through a series of pre-conference workshops with the following major topics:

- National Quality Assurance Frameworks: establishment and operationalization;
- NQAAHE Guidelines of Good Practice and the new Procedures: how to prepare an EQAA to successfully undergo a recognition review;
- Trusting Technology: Strategies for Assessing Quality, Reliability and Integrity in Online Teaching and Learning
- Qualifications and recognition: quality assurance as a tool to promote recognition of HE outcomes.

Last, but not least, the INQAAHE Conference offers innumerable networking opportunities with leading professionals and between researchers, peers, and colleagues, prospects for exchange of experience as well as learning from a diversity of quality cultures.

The Programme Committee, under the leadership of the Chair, Ms. Karen Treloar, and the UGC Local Organising Committee, under the lead of the Chair Prof. Deepthi C. Bandara, are investing both time and effort to provide you with, not just an unforgettable and highly intellectual experience, but also a special programme to experience the unique aesthetic treasures of Sri Lanka.

We cordially invite you to enjoy the exceptional opportunities offered by the INQAAHE Conference, which brings together the best of quality assurance practices, bridges the diversity of QA systems from all over the world as well as provides a unique opportunity to join us to explore the exquisiteness of our host nation.

With best wishes,

Susanna Karakhanyan,
INQAAHE VII President

Mohan de Silva

Chairman, UGC, Sri Lanka

Message from the Chairman, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka

Investment in quality higher education is one of the most valued investments for a country aiming for global excellence. Little island nation Sri Lanka stands out for introducing a policy of universal free school and university education to all her children 7 decades ago, a policy that has seen excellent outcomes. In her pursuit to achieve a sustainable quality culture and accreditation system in higher education, Sri Lanka is privileged and honored to be elected to host the main conference for 2019 of the globally acclaimed International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

In the context of higher education in Sri Lanka, the University Grants Commission (UGC), established in 1978, functions as the apex body of the state university system. Maintenance of the quality and standards of the academic programmes in state universities is one of the key responsibilities of UGC which is managed through the Quality Assurance Council of the Commission.

Sri Lanka, one of the major tourist attractions in the world, eagerly awaits, ready to host you all, the respected delegates for an academic feast in quality settings and to make your visit together with your family to our green and pleasant land a most memorable one.

Welcome to the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Prof. Mohan de Silva
Chairman, UGC, Sri Lanka

Prof Nilanthi de Silva

Director -QAC,UGC

Message from the Director, Quality Assurance Council, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka

As the global economy has grown and millions of people around the world have been lifted out of poverty over the last few decades, the demand for higher education has grown exponentially, especially in the developing world. Opportunities have increased in tandem, but ensuring the quality of such programmes is a challenge to all those engaged in the delivery of higher education.

In Sri Lanka, quality assurance activities have gained an ever-increasing momentum since the turn of the century. It is now firmly established within the state university system, under the guidance of the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Commission. The Council seeks to gain the confidence of all stakeholders in our university system, in quality assurance activities and processes that are in accordance with internationally recognized evaluation mechanisms, and to thereby enable continuous development and efficient performance of Sri Lankan universities.

By hosting the biennial INQAAHE conference in Colombo in March 2019, we hope to provide our international delegates with the opportunity to conduct their deliberations in a warm, congenial setting in a country with a rich heritage and tremendous natural beauty. At the same time, we hope it will provide our local colleagues with an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about how quality assurance activities can foster trust in higher education in a globalized world.

I am delighted to welcome you to the INQAAHE Conference 2019 to be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo Sri Lanka from 25thto 28th March 2019. I assure you it will be a most memorable event.

Prof Nilanthi de Silva
Director, QAC -UGC

INQAAHE Conference 2019 Secretariat

University Grants Commission

20, Ward Place, Colombo 07,

Sri Lanka

+ 94 113 056 886