About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4604-4608
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SAUDI UNIVERSITIES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

H. Zaman

Taibah University (SAUDI ARABIA)
Higher education system in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region has responded actively to several international trends at the start of this millennium, among which are the rapid growth of the sector in general and in the private segment in particular, the expansion of international universities’ branches, and the increasing volume of distant and E-learning programs. These changes in the traditional structure of the system were accompanied by the evolution of quality and accreditation schemas at both system and institutional levels.
In Saudi Arabia, universities (primarily public at that time) were increasingly interested in obtaining accreditation for their programs, while no local bodies existed. These efforts were basically self-initiated by colleges and departments with no institutional policies and/or structures to support them. These attempts were challenged due to the lack of institutional accreditation which is a pre-requisite for program accreditation by international bodies. As a system response for this challenge, in addition to protecting institutions from falling into accreditation mines, an independent governmental agency was established in 2004.
Drawing from several international experiences, The National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) was established with its own comprehensive accreditation system. A major requirement of the NCAAA to higher education institutions is to establish a separate quality management entity. However, responses to this requirement varied from one institution to another, based on several variables.
This paper will discover different quality policies and structures adopted by public and privates universities in Saudi Arabia. A sample of two public and two private institutions were selected to represent the variety that exists within Saudi higher education. The sample includes: the largest public university in the country (King Abdul-Aziz University), a newly-established public university (Taibah University), one of the earliest private universities in the Kingdom (Prince Sultan University-PSU), and the sole female-only private university (Effat University).
Applying the system approach, the paper will analyze the quality structures and policies in the sampled institutions by looking into: curriculum as an input, assessment as a process, and graduates as outputs. The analysis will focus on the quality assurance processes related to the mentioned elements, and their effects on students experience (the feedback element of the system) as reflected in all four institutional satisfaction surveys.
The paper will conclude with highlighting the best practices in terms of quality structures and policies among the sampled universities. Additionally, recommendations to enhance efficiency and minimize bureaucracy will be offered taking into account variables that are dependent on the different institutional cultures.
@InProceedings{ZAMAN2013QUA,
author = {Zaman, H.},
title = {QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SAUDI UNIVERSITIES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {4604-4608}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Zaman
TI - QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SAUDI UNIVERSITIES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 4604
EP - 4608
ER -
H. Zaman (2013) QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SAUDI UNIVERSITIES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 4604-4608.
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