As part of a series of workshops Maldives Qualifications Authority (MQA) have started conducting recently, a workshop named “Strengthening Higher Education Quality Assurance Processes in the Maldives” was held at Hotel Jen on 21 May, 2015 The workshop was orgainesed by MQA and supported by a consultant, namely Bastian Baumann, provided by the World Bank through an ongoing project funded by the Bank. The audience of the workshop again was the most active higher education (HE) providers in the Maldives; the University, colleges and tertiary institutes. The workshop was part of a carefully planned and organised developmental process for strengthening the higher education quality assurance system in the Maldives by focusing on implementing the roles and responsibilities placed at the Maldives Qualifications Authority in its mandate. Within the last couple of months, there were two workshops conducted by MQA in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to develop a ‘Higher Education Quality Assurance Policy of Maldives’.
This workshop was actually the start of a speedy implementation of what is actually outlined in the ‘Higher Education Quality Assurance Policy of Maldives’. The main processes mentioned in the policy, are accreditation and academic audit. The current workshop was actually to share the guidelines developed in this process by MQA in collaboration with the consultant, with stakeholders of MQA. Three main guidelines developed are (1) Guidelines for Provisional Accreditation, (2) Guidelines for Programme Accreditation, and (3) Guidelines for Institutional Audit.
The chief guest of the opening ceremony as well as the closing ceremony was the minister of State of Education Mr. Ahmed Shafeeu who gave a speech explaining the current higher education landscape in the Maldives as well as the need for a robust quality assurance system for higher education including a rigorous institutional audit mechanism. The Chief Executive Officer of MQA Dr. Abdul Hannan Waheed gave a historical background of how MQA transformed to where it is now and how these guidelines have been developed in relation to the mandate of MQA and the HE QA policy which is being developed. Mr. Bastian presented an overall explanation of different HE QA processes and how it is encompassed in the current guidelines being developed. The workshop was conducted by the consultant Bastian in three sessions, one for each guideline. Participants were awarded attendance certificates by the chief guest at the end of the workshop.