As part of its serious endeavors to raise the level of the university ranking to parallel the advanced universities ranking, the chancellor of Al-Watanyia Private University, Prof. Dr. Ahd Khezam, directed the necessity of setting an action plan focused on the implementation of quality work mechanisms adopted in the international academic circles. WPU started the plan with the establishment of the Office of Quality Assurance and Accreditation, and set vision& goals for the office, which were designed to set operational programs to achieve these goals.
The Quality Assurance and Accreditation office inaugurated its mission by registering the faculty members of WPU in the search engine (Google Scholar), and publishing their Academic researches on the engine through the university’s website. As planned too, the courses along with the academic programs were set to be described according to NARS, and faculty members were in the national database (NSR). On top of that, this office defined the main parameters of the plan through setting a strategy for Al-Watanyia Private University, and design the operational programs for this plan. In this context, Dr.Khezam stressed on the need for collaborating with Quality assurance and accreditation centers in the universities of Hama and Al-Baath, and benefit from their experiences in this field. Within these cooperation seminars, WPU organized two lectures for each of Dr. Walid Al-Sahyoni, director of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Center at Al-Baath University, and the second by Dr. Hazem Melly, director of the Quality Assurance Center.
The first lecture entitled ((The Concept of Academic Reference Standards NARS and ARS)) in which Dr.Al-Sahyoni explained the concept of quality assurance, and the stages of its implementation, which are:1- Setting a vision and message that define the institute,2- Setting quality goals as part of the strategic plan,3- Share the goals with sub-offices at all levels.4- Defining and locating these resources 5- Submitting periodic reflective reports is necessary for analysis and evaluation. Then the principles of quality management were explained, as well as, the Deming cycle P-D-C-A cycle (Deming Cycle) or the so-called continuous improvement cycle. Followed by the explanation about components of the comprehensive quality system in the higher education, which are the self-evaluation system, the quality system, and the accreditation system.
Dr.Al-Sayhoni continued the lecture by explaining the conceptual framework of academic standards, which includes the National Academic Reference Standards for the Academic Sector NARS, and the Academic Reference Standards for each institution ARS. The lecturer elaborated on the necessity of these standards on institutional, academic levels, and for obtaining accreditation and meeting the ranking criteria on the procedures and stages. In addition, the lecture discussed the main pillars of academic accreditation of institution, which are institutional capacity, the eight columns, educational effectiveness, as well as, ILOS targeted learning outcomes, characteristics (SMART), and their importance. As well as, explaining the educational process planning path, explaining the concept of the academic program and its goals, the concept of the curriculum, the concept of the curriculum map, the relationship between academic standards and targeted learning outcomes and stages of the curriculum process to meet the NARS national standards, explaining levels of knowledge. In addition, explaining the map of targeted learning outcomes, how to characterize the academic program, and the requirements for completing the program, and the evaluation of the educational outcomes targeted for this program. While the other lecture given by Dr. Hazem Melly, director of the Quality Assurance Center at the University of Hama, was titled: ((The vision of Al-Watanyia Private University in improve its ranking based on the vision of the Ministry)). The lecture focused on three main points: the Ministry of Higher Education policy and scientific research regarding quality assurance, ranking and academic accreditation. Besides the requirements of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in relation to Syrian universities, and the vision of Al-Watanyia Private University, and its directions in the field of raising the international rankings and academic accreditation. Where Dr. Melly initially went through the measurements undertaken by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the field of quality education and upgrading Syrian universities. As well as, the policies of the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research in the fields of ranking and academic accreditation, and the vision of the ministry in the short and long-terms, in dealing with the ranking of universities on Webometrics regarding the main criteria on which this site depends on for ranking 30 thousand universities around the world. Furthermore, Dr.Melly pointed out at the importance of the ranking process in educational institutions. The inputs and outputs of the educational process have been explained, and how the PDCA has been implemented for improvement and development. The ten criteria for ensuring the quality of the educational process in our educational institutions were also reviewed in accordance with Higher Education Council Resolution 136 of 2020. In conclusion, the requirements for the next stage were highlighted, and what should be done in terms of work that lead to the improvement of the ranking Al-Watanyia Private University, and contribute to moving further towards academic accreditation, as it is necessary to prepare a logic module to achieve these requirements and WPU desired goals.