7 March 2024

“It takes an entire ASEAN QA community to raise even one single ASEAN assessor”, The Fostering of AUN-QA Assessors

Patitin Lertnaikiat
AUN Programme Officer;

Photo provided by Mahidol University

Ever since the inception of AUN-QA in 1998, it has seen steady growth for over two decades and today stands as one of the strongest networks for QA practitioners in the ASEAN region. In regards to the AUN-QA Assessor Community, its success has been the painstaking combined effort of the people involved that has shown great care and attention to elevating the standards of quality of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the ASEAN region. The expansion of the community was facilitated by the careful selection and training of AUN-QA assessor trainees that have undergone the Assessor Training Workshop (AUN-QA Tier 2 Training) for AUN-QA Programme Assessment (PA). As of March 2024, AUN-QA is home to 189 assessors spanning across 9 different countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The AUN-QA Tier 2 Training is a long-standing workshop that has so far conducted 15 batches for a total of 469 participants ever since its establishment in 2013. It provides an opportunity for AUN-QA assessor trainees from across the ASEAN region to build essential skills, knowledge and understanding of their roles in providing quality assurance services in the real-world setting of an AUN-QA Programme Assessment. In order to facilitate the need for hands-on learning and training experience, the workshop is usually conducted in tandem with an official AUN-QA PA. In the case of the 15th AUN-QA Tier 2 Training, the workshop was conducted in parallel with the 373rd AUN-QA PA at Mahidol University, Thailand, which provided trainees the opportunity to observe good practices to enhance their training experience.

During the 15th AUN-QA Tier 2 Training workshop and the 373rd AUN-QA PA at Mahidol University, Associate Professor Dr. Tan Kay Chuan from National University of Singapore (NUS) and AUN-QA Technical Expert delivered a speech of appreciation to Mahidol University for hosting the training and allowing participants to observe a live PA. In his speech, Dr. Chuan also provided insight on the lengths that the ASEAN QA community goes towards training QA practitioners to become qualified assessors, encapsulated in one single sentence: “It takes an entire ASEAN QA community to raise even one single ASEAN assessor”. 

The words uttered in that one sentence alone contains more than a decade of an entire community’s sentiments in the fostering of AUN-QA assessors and the lengths its people go through to raise the best of the best assessors for ASEAN. First of all, quality assurance (QA) has been one of the key aspects of HEIs for many decades. Throughout these years, the ASEAN QA community’s own culture has developed in ways that promotes the compilation of good practices and training of new QA practitioners through collective efforts, collaboration and passage of knowledge by experts and veterans in the field. Although such a cultural practice may not be set in writing all of the time, it absolutely exists and with it comes a wealth of knowledge and practices that the people in this community have created in regards to ensuring quality in HEIs.

This culture determines the way things are done for all components related to ASEAN QA and it is impossible for one by themselves to take it all in alone. The community must come together to share its knowledge and best practices to foster newcomers of QA in order to ensure the successful future of the QA culture in ASEAN.

Below is a transcript of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Kay Chuan’s Speech:

Transcript of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Kay Chuan’s Speech:

“You will get to see the facilities, the people, the interaction with the students, alumni, employers and so on. But this particular assessment is more significant in that we are hosting 40 trainees from Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and  Vietnam to observe and to train to be future assessors whether it is AUN-QA assessors, or their country’s own university internal assessors or country-level assessors. Everyone is on the same path towards quality assurance. The AUN thanks Professor Banjong and his entire team for allowing this learning to take place. We are all, including myself, personally touched by Professor Banjong’s speech having known him all these years in fostering the ASEAN spirit. Our appreciation also goes to the assessors from Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore for taking their time off to perform this important task. 

One more point to note, they say that it takes an entire village to raise a child. Likewise, an assessor cannot be raised by observing simply just one assessment or one activity. It takes the entire ASEAN QA community to raise even one single ASEAN assessor. And this is what is being achieved today with your assistance, Professor Banjong and his entire team at Mahidol University. We thank you very much for your efforts.”

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