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May 29 - June 1, 2023 | Astana, Kazakhstan

INQAAHE 17th Biennial Conference 2023

Theme: ‘Roadmap to Enabling Quality in Tertiary Education 2030’

The International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) holds its 17th Biennial Conference in Kazakhstan, proudly hosted by its gracious host IQAA.

INQAAHE conferences aim to serve as platform for collective discussion, and learning from each other and from international thought leaders, with a view to supporting development and enhancement in quality assurance and higher education internationally.

The theme of the Forum revolves around the role of quality assurance in supporting the implementation of the UNESCO’s ‘Roadmap to 2030 Beyond Limits: New Ways to Reinvent Higher Education’, and addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (SDG 4).

Pandemics, conflicts, climate emergencies and economic crises are threatening continued and equitable access to higher education to wide sectors of world population. At the same time digital technologies, flexible learning pathways, innovative approaches to internationalisation, and inclusive education practices, have demonstrated their potential to secure and widen equitable access to quality education and support life-long learning.

These challenges and opportunities have been chartered in the UNESCO’s Roadmap to 2030 Beyond Limits: New Ways to Reinvent Higher Education, which expresses ‘an urgent call for renewed thinking, dialogue, and transformative action’, setting ‘signposts for co-creating more open, inclusive, equitable and collaborative higher education systems.’

The INQAAHE Conference 2023 endeavours to provide a platform to discuss the role that quality assurance can and must play to support progress along this Roadmap towards innovative, flexible and inclusive solutions to support the global agenda on widening access to tertiary education.

The Conference theme is explored through the following key sub-themes:

1. Fostering quality of flexible learning pathways: This theme provides a space to discuss a range of quality assurance issues and emerging quality assurance practices (internal and external) related to supporting life-long learning and access to tertiary education through flexible pathways. This might include, for example, quality assurance aspects related to micro-credentials, recognition of prior formal, and informal learning, the role of national and regional qualifications frameworks and recognition issues, work-based learning, articulations between institutions, courses, and educational levels, mobility programmes of different kinds, or other non traditional pathways to qualifications.

2. Digitalization of teaching and learning without compromising quality: This theme offers an opportunity to discuss the quality assurance challenges and opportunities associated with digital technology and online learning as an effective and efficient means to widen access to quality higher education. This might include key challenges to address in the quality assurance and recognition of online or blended learning, lessons learned from the quality assurance community in response to the global pandemic, innovative approaches to quality assuring online learning, or using digital technology in quality assurance, or other quality assurance aspects associated with the use of digital technology in education delivery and/or quality assurance.

3. Quality assurance of cross-border education: This theme encourages discussion on the potential of programme and institutions’ cross-border mobility, and international academic partnerships, to widen global access to quality education and associated quality assurance challenges. This might include different approaches to quality assuring cross-border education, ensuring comparability with home campus provision and responding to the needs of the local context of delivery, challenges to the quality assurance of specific models of cross-border education, cross-border cooperation in the quality assurance of cross-border education, and other quality assurance aspects related to the cross-border mobility of programmes or institutions.

4. Core values and quality of higher education: INQAAHE’s values - inclusiveness, integrity, independence, academic freedom, collaboration, internationalization, and diversity - directly support the direction for the transformation of tertiary education set out in the UNESCO HE Roadmap 2030. Thus, this theme encourages discussion on specific ways the quality assurance community can safeguard and foster these values in times of rapid change and disruptions, helping to shape resilient tertiary education systems through a shared value system that also respects and fosters diversity. Contributions may identify internal or external quality assurance and enhancement practices that support and contribute to the INQAAHE’s core values; or prompt reflection on other core values that should guide quality assurance and the wider mission of tertiary education institutions.

Across these themes our overarching interest is the role that quality assurance can play in developing enabling environments for widening access and strengthening the core values of tertiary education. Such exploration of new roles should also recognize the continuing need of QA to secure public confidence in quality and standards of tertiary education, however and wherever this is delivered, and in consideration of associated challenges, different experiences, and best practices.

The Conference will open-up a range of opportunities for you to delve deeper into these themes and issues through:

  • Pre-Conference workshops;
  • Conference Sessions (in different formats);
  • Regional networks meeting;
  • Posters.

Join us in this most exciting event bringing together thought leaders in quality assurance and higher education globally!

More information about INQAAHE events and past forums is available here.

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