International Staff Exchange is a collaborative program created among JUAA, TWAEA, and ONESQA to exchange of knowledge and best practice on quality assurance and external quality assessment and learn from each other, and also build a network of international peers. For the year 2020, the three organizations have considered transforming the international staff exchange program to be an online meeting due to the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On 29 June – 1 July 2020, the staff exchange program was operated through virtual means with staff from JUAA based in Japan, and staff from TWAEA based in Taiwan and staff from ONESQA based in Thailand composed of Dr. Somyot Cheejaeng (Head of Policy and Strategy Bureau), Mr.Sompol Jaruthanasakkoon (Head of IT and Communications Section),
Ms.Nualsupak Phunsap (Chief of International Affairs Unit), Mr.Chaimongkhol Pugsuwan (Academic Officer, Assessment System Development Section), Ms.Katewarang Pisutnarakul (International Relations Officer), and Mr.Phichit Tippayanate (IT Officer) who facilitated
the video conference system for this online staff exchange program.
A 3-day program was a peer learning, staff from the three organizations had learned from each other on interesting presentation topics related to the strengths and weaknesses of QA system, the analysis methods for the self-assessment report, and discussion on how to modify or re-build our QA system for the future. In addition to that the international staff exchange program had developed stronger ties with international peer among Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Notably, all staff exchange participants were considering together some degree of change in both the higher education sector and the external quality assessment resulting from the impact of novel coronavirus. Regarding to the ongoing change, it was recognizing the wider move to digital and online delivery such as distance learning, massive open online course as well as the change of external quality assessment approach with adoption of new innovations such as virtual training for external reviewers and virtual site visit for quality assurance system.
It seemed online education might become the norm in most countries of the world. Universities and schools in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand were prepared and transitioned to online learning as well. However, the three organizations as External Quality Assurance Agencies had recognized the need for flexibility in their external quality assessment approaches and relevant regulatory.
Remarks: JUAA - Japan University Accreditation Association, TWAEA - Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association, ONESQA – Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment