Quality Assurance at the University of Petra
Within the framework of its concern to move forward in implementing quality standards of higher education, the University of Petra, in coordination with local and international professional institutions, continues with its endeavors to establish a concrete Quality Assurance foundation, based on its strategic 5-year plan (2007-2012), and its 5-year plan (2014- 2018). These plans stemmed from the university’s vision of:
“We aspire to be the "University of Choice", in Jordan and the region, for learners and scholars.”
The University has taken positive steps towards quality assurance, and what has been accomplished so far is quite an achievement despite the difficulties that UOP faced from the outset of the project and the fact that such vital changes cannot be made overnight.
How this happened?
The University of Petra had started its path towards quality assurance since 2006. It started with few experiences in subject review programs conducted by Hussein Fund for Excellence (HFE). During that time, the university carried out its Strategic Planning for Quality Assurance (SPQA), which was also run by HFE as its first attempt to create a QA system at the institutional level. The program conceived an appropriate strategic direction and a strategic plan for the university. The university further expanded its steps in the QA path by setting up a quality management system for the admin. Side, which was eventually, certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards in 2011. In parallel, the university decided to participate in HEAC’s (Higher Education Accreditation Commission) scheme for institutional quality assurance certification. This project covers the following criteria:
HEAC QA Criteria
(Vision, Mission, Objectives, and Planning)
(Educational Programs and their Effectiveness)
(Students and Student Support Services)
(Scholarships, Research, & Creativity)
(Library and Information Resources)
(Governance and Administration)
(Quality Assurance Management)
The project is currently under preparation, the audit thereon will be carried out by October 2014 …
University of Petra has already applied to QS (Quacquarelle Symonds), British accreditation entity, to be ranked after the audit is concluded in due course.
UOP believes that QA initiatives need to be institutionalized in order to sustain them. For this reason, UoP has decided to build a formal quality system that would systematically manage the quality of the provisions at the institution level with clear alignment to the university strategic direction and driven by its performance. For this reason, UOP has designed a road map that steered the QA project at the university. The roadmap was based on capitalizing on the blocks that had already been built in particular the strategic direction and the ISO system and expanding them to include the element of performance management and link the three together in an integrated system to drive the university towards achieving its quality goals.
UOP ambitions in the direction of excellence is unlimited, this is why the university exerts it efforts to head towards international ranking and accreditation, therefore UOP Strategic Plan 2014- 2018 , has specific targets in that each Faculty should obtain an international accreditation for one program at least , by the end of the 5-year plan . ABET has already been suggested for the faculty of IT.
Further, UOP is now working towards engaging with NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) , a US accreditation body, whose standards are as follows: