About the Directorate of Teaching Quality Assurance
The majority of world universities practice the standards of teaching quality assurance (TQA) in order to assess, monitor and enhance the process of education, and to ensure that the education process achieves its objectives. Following from this, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Kurdistan Regional Government KRG, perceived the urgent need to introduce the process of TQA at the universities of the Kurdistan region. The Directorate of Teaching Quality Assurance was established at the University of Sulaimani upon the recommendation of the General Directorate of Teaching Quality Assurance and Accreditation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The Directorate of Teaching Quality Assurance has officially started its activities in 2010. It has successfully functioned so far and has had a positive impact on the process of education. The Directorate has an active role in improving educational process, enhancing students’ scientific abilities, and improving the educational capabilities of the teaching staff. This is achieved by the means of a number of mechanisms suggested by the Ministry as well as other faithful people to the TQA process.
The Directorate is primarily engaged with establishing a relationship between each of: faculty deans and heads of individual departments; heads of departments and teaching staff; and teaching staff and students. The aims it to further enhance the process of TQA, which has, in turn, largely contributed to the enhancement of the quality of education and student learning experience. The activities of the Directorate have received very good feedback from learners and as such, the Directorate has decided to continue working as enthusiastically as ever so that it can further enhance the quality of education provided at the University of Sulaimani.
The activities of the Directorate mainly focus on the following aspects:
- Student feedback: this is one of the mechanisms that indicate teaching staff qualifications. Students are given feedback forms containing a list of questions and asked to provide their feedback on the qualifications of their teaching staff according to a specified range (from 1-5). Student feedbacks can be an indicative of the teaching competence and performance of the teaching staff.
- Continuous Academic Development: this considers the role of teaching staff in academic activities such as: seminars, conferences, workshops, etc., in an academic year.
- Teaching staff portfolio: this includes the collection of activities performed by the teaching staff, and any changes in relation to their status in a year, including: academic and administrative activities, changes in academic titles, research works, etc.
- External assessor: this is an integral component of TQA; however it has not received proper attention so far. External assessors can play a significant role in assessing qualifications of the teaching staff.
- Peer review: this covers evaluating the performance of teaching staff in class and in applying educational tools and materials by a fellow lecturer. The peer reviewer should be a teaching staff from the same department of the reviewing lecturer, and selected by the reviewing lecturer, provided that s/he would not become his/her peer reviewer later. This indicates that the process is a circular one. The results are reported to heads of departments and college staff of TQA. However, the process of peer reviewing has not been carried out so far.The Directorate currently consists of a director and several staff. It is run in coordination with the Office of University vice-President for Scientific Affairs and the Presidency of the University of Sulaimani.
The structure of TQA
- Supervisor: is the University vice-President for Scientific Affairs and Higher Education
- Director: is the Director of TQA of the University
- Head of college committee of TQA: is the School Coordinator
- Department coordinator of TQA: one coordinator per department
- Stage coordinator: it consists of four, five or six coordinators
TQA is currently practiced by 20 colleges at the University of Sulaimani and all coordinators perform their responsibilities accurately.
Responsibilities of coordinators
- Collecting coursebooks from the teaching staff
- Giving feedback forms to students and collecting them, analyzing the feedbacks and producing their outcomes
- Organizing times and venues for seminars
- Recording names of seminar attendants and calculating points of forms (H1 and H2).