A training workshop on Quality Assurance and Self-Assessment of programs was held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on26 February 2015. A large number of academia, researchers and Programs Team Members attended the workshop. The workshop was organized by the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) of PMAS-AAUR.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, was the chief guest and inaugurated the workshop. In his inaugural speech, he highlighted the importance of quality in all fields, especially in higher education. Referring to his participation in the Vice Chancellors Forum of the Islamic countries held in Islamabad earlier this week, he said the Vice Chancellors of the universities of the Islamic world were also concerned about the quality in the educational institutions of their countries. He said quality is priority all over the world and it's everyone's responsibility. He said, "Quality is never an accident - it always the result of sincere effort, high intention and intelligent direction and the Arid Varsity is trying to achieve it at all costs, as it's at the top of agenda and integral part of my vision as the Vice Chancellor. He declared that to achieve quality in higher education, the Arid University has formulated a system for fair selection of new faculty strictly on merit. Addressing to the participants he said,"It's not enough to do your best, you must know what to do and then do your best. He said Arid University has >8000 students and we must inculcate quality knowledge as they will soon join various organizations all around the world. Therefore we need to develop a system to change the mindsets of the faculty as well as the students. We must focus on the practical aspect of the programs. The University and Government of Pakistan are spending huge money on the research projects, labs establishment and the applied research. Now it is our duty to divert our energies to the applied side rather than basic research. The Vice Chancellor admired the role of QEC that it has been playing to enhance the quality of education and research at the Arid Varsity. He announced that special awards and incentives will be given to the best program team members on the basis of performance in the Self-assessment program.
Earlier, Professor Dr. Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC in his welcome address thanked the Vice Chancellor for his keen interest on the quality front. He also appreciated the Program Team members and the faculty for their contribution in this regard. He said the QEC was established in 2007 as Higher Education Commission Islamabad initiative and it has played a vital role boosting the quality of education and research. The Arid Varsity has been ranked among the top 200 universities of the world in the disciplines of Agriculture and Forestry.
Later sessions on Self-assessment of programs and quality assurance were conducted in which Professor Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC and Shahbaz Ahmad Khan, Deputy Director (QEC) made the presentations. These followed interactive session with the participants
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi has recently qualified and achieved institutional membership of Talloires Network. The Talloires Network has been developed with the purpose of serving needs of Quality Assurance agencies and to highlight the civic activities performed by the higher education institutions all over the world. “It is in recognition to the continued efforts the QEC-AAUR has been making and an evidence to prove that the AAUR has an active interest in the Quality Assurance at the institution” Prof Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC said.
Quality Enhancement Cell PMAS-AAUR organized an orientation session for students on “Online Evaluation of Courses and Teachers by Students” on the 26th of June 2013. Earlier QEC, in collaboration with the Campus Management System (CMS) Team at AAUR, had launched the system on the 24th of June, 2013. The aim of online evaluation program is to make the data entry more accurate and efficient. This system has been designed to reduce data entry burdens for the Program Teams as this system helps timely upload of data, immediate reports for review by the authorities, automatic generating compiled reports for their use in the self assessment reports and ultimately meeting standards of data quality. Using this system, now students will be able to evaluate the courses and also the concerned teachers more effectively and securely.
A large number of students attended the session. The CMS team demonstrated the procedure of online evaluation using the system. Professor Dr Safdar Ali, Dean Faculty of Crop & Food Sciences, while addressing the students, appreciated the efforts of the Quality Enhancement Cell and CMS Team for launching the system and said the online course and teacher evaluation will further improve the quality of education and research. In the end Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, said that the online evaluation of all courses and relevant Teachers is mandatory for all students and their feedback will help establishing faculty benchmarks for effective course design and make decisions for further improvement in the education system of our institution. He thanked the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad for his keen interest and support for developing the online system.
Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University has lately launched an online evaluation system for students and teachers. An orientation session was organized by the QEC on 24 June 2013 for the Program Teams of various departments where the program was formally launched. The Program has been developed by the Campus Management System (CMS) team of Arid University in collaboration with QEC.
Online Teacher and Course evaluations typically replace paper evaluation that requires laborious intensive handling. It provides a secure, authentic and efficient method of obtaining useful feedback from the stack holders. Deans, HoDs and Administration will use the results to improve course offerings and provide feedback to faculty to improve their performance.
Professor Dr Riaz Ahmad QEC appreciated the CMS team for their support and responded quarries from the Program Teams. He said the online evaluation will help the program teams to complete evaluations effectively. In the end Professor Dr Safdar Ali, Dean Faculty of Crop & Food Sciences and the Program Team members appreciated the efforts made by the QEC for implementing the system and organizing the orientation program.
Quality Enhancement Cell at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, in collaboration with Pakistan Scientific & Technological Information Centre (PASTIC), organized a seminar on Scientific and Technological Information Services on 04 June 2013 to create awareness of anticipatory information services among the researchers/students. Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, PMAS-AAUR, was the chief guest on this occasion. While addressing the audience the Vice Chancellor appreciated the services of PASTIC and emphasized the importance of S&T information services for research work He thanked the team of PASTIC and said that such awareness seminars should be organized more frequently.
Senior Scientific information Officer, Dr. Saima Tanveer, in her address talked about PASTIC S&T information Services and explained the role of PASTIC for scientific community. She emphasized the participants to take guidance from the PASTIC during their research work. She also informed that PASTIC has been supplying information services that aim at fulfilling the needs of researchers and scientists, particularly the Universities research scholars and faculty members by providing them bibliographic search, research papers/ articles published in national as well as international journals. Mr. Saifullah Azim, Senior System Analyst from PASTIC, delivered a thorough presentation with the title "PASTIC and its S&T information Services" and enlightened the young scientists with the PASTIC S&T information services. About 70, participants comprising of Faculty Members, MPhil & Ph. D. Students attended the Seminar. A stall with PASTIC publications was also organised during the seminar.
Professor Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, PMAS-AAUR attended a Two Days Workshop on “Strengthening Programme Self Assessment” organized by the Quality Assurance Agency of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on 23-24 May 2013. The Resource person was a well renowned International Expert, Prof. Colin N Peiris. Focus of the workshop was purpose and importance of External Quality Assurance and its role in improving the Internal Quality Assurance practices, importance of self assessment, application of web based Monitoring and Evaluation System for self assessment, and sharing experiences in QEC activities and areas of improvements.
Quality Enhancement Cell, PMAS-AAUR organized a workshop on "Self Assessment in Universities" on 31st of December 2012. The workshop consists of two deliberations…
The purpose of workshop to aware the Program Teams involved in quality enhancement activities at the University. Workshop was attended by the Program Teams from different Faculties/Institutes/Division of the university.
Prof. Dr Mohammad Saleem Akhtar delivered a lecture on "Extraction Information from Evaluation Performae” at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad on 26th of December 2012.
Mr. Shahbaz Ahmad Khan, Deputy Registrar Quality Enhancement Cell, attended "World Quality Day Celebration" held at "Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad" on 21st of December 2012.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, participated in the workshop on Institutional Performance Evaluation Review held at HEC, Islamabad on 03-04 April 2012. Dr Ahmad was selected as member of the Institutional Performance Evaluation Review panel constituted by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan who will conduct the institutional performance evaluation of Pakistani universities periodically.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director Quality Enhancement Cell participated in the workshop on Building Quality in Higher Education held at University of Management & Technology, Lahore on March 28-29, 2012 as organized by UMT, HEC and Pakistan Academy of Sciences.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, attended the 14th Congress of Soil Sciences Society of Pakistan held at Expo Centre, Lahore from 12-15 March 2012. He chaired the session on Soil & Water Pollution, apart from his two oral papers presentation at the congress.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director Quality Enhancement Cell, participated in the National Science Conference held at PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi held on 10-12 January 2012 and presented two research papers.
The Quality enhancement Cell (QEC) of PMAS-AAUR and Research Centre for training & Development, IRP jointly organized a one-day Research workshop on "Citation & Referencing in Research using EndNote X5 on 25th August, 2011 for faculty members and research scholars. The workshop equipped the participants to shift from manual work to citation and referencing by using EndNote X5. The participants learned how to use databases effectively for advanced searching, finding relevant resources, creating libraries of their references, creating a bibliography in Word, insert referencing while writing and selecting required output styles etc. the workshop was highly interactive with major focus on hands-on-practices and usage of software.
Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony of the workshop, Prof. Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan (Sitarai-e-Imtiaz), Vice Chancellor of the University, distributed certificates to the participants of the workshop. He emphasized that creating references and citing published work in research writing is one of the most critical areas for publishing in the international journals of repute. The academic researches need good skills for making citation acceptable for the targeted journals of their disciplines. Talking on the Quality of education and research at Arid University he said, "It's on the top of our agenda and we are focusing on it." The Vice Chancellor also admired the Director QEC for taking recent several initiatives on quality front and congratulated him on achieving a total score of 89% (W category) by the QEC of the Arid University in the recent ranking of the Pakistani Universities QECs by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, in his welcome address, deliverd a short speech on importance of Citation and Referencing tools for the researchers. The Director QEC reciprocated and appreciated the Vice Chancellor for his full support and personal involvement in this regard and hoped that with his (Vice Chancellor's) continued support and guidance, the QEC will achieve the objectives of strengthening the internal Quality Assurance procedures at the University.
Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC-AAUR, attended training on Plagiarism Detection Service (Turnitin) at Bangkok, Thailand organized by the HEC in collaboration with iParadigms Europe, UK. The training was organized for the top 13 focal persons of Pakistani universities in recognition to the antiplagiarism services at their institutions. The participants had hands on training and updates of the Turnitin Software. Mr. Mark Harnor, the resource person, explained the role of administrator. He said, "It is text matching tool which provides clues for potential plagiarism". He emphasized that the instructors/supervisors are supposed to verify each and every source by visiting respective websites before giving the verdict/certificate that plagiarism has not occurred. The PeerMark and GradeMark components were also discussed. The Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi is one of the top universities in Pakistan where strict antiplagiarism policy has been implemented.
A training seminar on "Guidelines for Self Assessment Report Writing" was organized by QEC PMAS-AAUR on 13 December 2011. Seminar was attended by the Program Teams from University Institute of Information Technology and Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. Mr. Shahbaz Ahmad Khan Assistant Registrar (QEC) explained to the participants about the standards and criteria of the Self Assessment and about writing a good report addressing these criteria. The Director QEC, Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmad responded various queries and questions of the participants regarding the Self Assessment. The Director UIIT and Dean FV&AS appreciated the QEC for organizing the seminar.
The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has lately assessed the progress of Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) of Pakistani Universities through quantitative/scorecard system. Based on the evaluation, the QEC at PMAS-AUR has achieved a total score of 89% and has been ranked as "W category" (80-100%). The Vice Chancellor has received a letter of appreciation from the QAA-HEC in this regard. The Vice Chancellor has congratulated Professor Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, and said that due to the efforts made by the QEC squad during past four years, the quality of education and research at the institution has phenomenally enhanced. The Director QEC has also appreciated the full support and personal involvement of the Vice Chancellor and hoped that, with the continued support and guidance of the Vice Chancellor, the QEC will achieve the objectives of strengthening the internal Quality Assurance procedures at the university. The Director QEC has also congratulated the entire faculty, Deans and Directors and appreciated their cooperation and support since establishment of the QEC.
PMAS-AAUR has recently qualified and achieved institutional membership of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN). The APQN has been developed with the purpose of serving needs of quality assurance agencies in the higher education in Asia and the Pacific region and extending the cooperation between them. It is in recognition to the continued efforts that the QEC-AAUR has been making and an evidence to prove that the AAUR has an active interest in the Quality Assurance at the institution, Prof Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, said.
The Quality Enhancement Cell, AAUR has lately designed and implemented a laboratory book for all postgraduate research students of this university. All chairpersons and supervisors have been requested to direct their research students that each of them get the Laboratory Book registered from office of the QEC-AAUR before its use. All other guidelines/instructions are clearly stated on the first page of the laboratory book. The lab book is mandatory for all the research students and must be maintained regularly. It can be asked to produce it at any stage of the candidature and, in particular, at the time of submission of thesis.
Hope the implementation of the Lab Book will improve the quality of research and also the legitimacy of the fresh and innovative research the young scholars of this institution are conducting.
Professor Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC-AAUR attended a forum on higher education quality assessment jointly organized by Quality Enhancement Cells of Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi and Quality Assurance Directorate of NUST, Islamabad from March 20-21, 2011. The Directors of Quality Enhancement Cells from Phase I and Phase II of the Public Sector Universities of Pakistan participated in the forum and shared the perspectives on the topic of the forum.
Good questions recognize wide possibilities of thoughts and build up divergence. Teachers must develop questions to expand student's knowledge, leading to creativity. QEC-AAUR organized a seminar on "Improving Teaching through Skilled Questioning" on 24 March 2011. A large number of faculty attended the seminar. The resource person, Mr M.H. Abbasi, presented several techniques of asking and answering questions with examples and also the usefulness of questioning to foster student's achievements.
Dr Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, attended an international Training on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Skills Training for External Quality Review) organized by Quality Assurance Division of HEC in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, UK from 18-20 April 2011.
A training seminar "Guidelines for Self Assessment Report Writing" was organized by QEC PMAS-AAUR on 06 September 2010. Dr Ghulam Rasul Deputy Registrar (QEC) explained in detail to the faculty "How to Write the Self Assessment Report", Seminar was attended by the Program Teams from different Faculties/Institutes/Division of the university.
The University Institute of Management Sciences, Departments of Horticulture and Biochemistry of PMAS-AAUR have achieved the ISO 9001:2008 certification. Considering the contribution of the Arid University towards education and research, it has adopted (initially for the above three departments) the international certification that declares enhanced quality of services and standards. The Director, Quality Enhancement Cell coordinated all the process with cooperation and support of the above departments to get the certification.
Declaration-certification and the implementation of "ISO Quality Management System" in the university will bring immense improvement in academic, research as well as operational functions and processes, Professor Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, said.
The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (AAUR), in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Agency HEC, organized a training seminar on the "Effective Use of Turnitin Anti-Plagiarism Services". Mr Muneer Ahmed, Deputy Director (QA) HEC was the resource person. He in particular focused two new components, Grade Mark and Peer Review, that have been added lately to the Turnitin and currently functional. Both of these components will further make writing work of research scholars more transparent. A large number of faculty members, Deans and Director attended the seminar.
Prof. Riaz Ahmad Director QEC said that accounts for the faculty of university had been generated and the faculty is using the Turnitin Services enthusiastically. The Turnitin Services has started improving the Quality of research at the university and the HEC has equal credit with this regard, he said.
The Arid University has very strict policy on the plagiarism front and lately the university syndicate has approved plagiarism policy on research theses, Professor Riaz Ahmad said.
The Quality Enhancement Cell has planned to organize a seminar on "Sports Management and Sports for Development" on 19 May 2010 at 2:00 pm at the UAAR Auditorium. The resource person is Major (R) Aamir Bilal. Major Bilal is an eminent writer and has remained Media Advisor and Official Spokesperson of Pakistan Cricket Board. The seminar is open for all the faculty and students.
The Arid University Syndicate, in its 54th Meeting held on 30 January 2010, has approved the recommendations of the 38th meeting of the Academic Council regarding the policy for plagiarism in postgraduate theses and acceptance of the theses for the award. It was decided that:
It was also decided that for the acceptance of the final most hard bound copies of the PhD theses by the Controller of examinations for the award of degrees after the foreign referee´s reports, the Director QEC would check if necessary amendments/changes, as suggested by the referees, have been incorporated.
Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University has made special arrangements to detect plagiarism with the aid of an Anti-plagiarism software "TURNITIN". This product generates originality reports which assist supervisors and instructors to determine any problems in referencing or citation and allow them to review matches between submitted work and the databases. The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at the Arid University has been equipped with this powerful tool and it is now ready to combat with plagiarism. Now the post-graduate students' theses will be checked against plagiarism prior to their external/foreign evaluation. This service will also help tackling academic and research deceit by checking papers for publications, student´s assignments and applications for research grants that will consequently lead to quality assurance. "This will help eliminating the growing fashion of plagiarism and breach of copyrights", the Director Quality Enhancement said. The Arid University is already committed to promote quality culture and is taking strict actions in the light of Plagiarism Policy developed by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
The Quality Enhancement Cell PMAS-AAUR organized a seminar on Preventing Plagiarism: A Complete Roadmap through video conference on 04 March 2010 at 11:30 am in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Agency of the HEC. The resource person was Mr Muneer Ahmed, Deputy Director (QA). Faculty members, Dean & Directors attend the seminar. The venue is Video Conference Room, UIIT.
The Quality Enhancement Cell at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi organized a video conference training workshop on "How to use Turnitin Anti-plagiarism Software" in collaborate with the Quality Assurance Agency (Learning Innovative Division) HEC on 28 January 2010.
The workshop aimed to equip the faculty with the skills for effective and tactful use of the Anti-plagiarism Software. Mr Munir Ahmad, DD QA, HEC was resource person for the workshop who delivered 3 sessions. Deans, Directors and faculty members attended the workshop.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan (T.I) also attended the workshop. He showed great satisfaction on successful organization of the workshop. At the end of the session he emphasized the need of innovative research. There should have been new and innovative research rather than validating the other's research. "This will also prevent the Plagiarism trend in the scientific working, the Vice Chancellor said". He said the supervisors are responsible for checking the plagiarism in the thesis of there students. The AAUR has a strict policy in this regard.
Professor Riaz Ahmad, Director QEC, said accounts for all the university faculty have already been created and the AAUR has a vigilant focus on the plagiarism check and the QEC team are forefront sliders to combat with the growing trend in the plagiarism.