Usmani, Muhammad Abdul Wahid*
King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan (Suraiya.email@example.com)
Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Pakistan was formally initiated when Quality Assurance Agency was established under Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. This Quality Assurance Agency established Quality Enhancement Cells in public and private sector universities and they were given the task of conducting Program Evaluation through Self-Assessment using the guidelines provided by the QAA of Higher Education Commission. All the Quality Enhancement Cells were required to submit the Self-Assessment Reports of all the programs being offered at their respective university on set criteria. The current paper is a descriptive study which was conducted to review the impact of program evaluation on Pakistani universities. Data available with Quality Assurance Agency, Pakistan and field notes were used as tools to evaluate the efficacy and impact of quality assurance initiatives in Pakistani universities. The data shows that a very large number of programs in different universities prepared program evaluation reports and submitted for external review of the reports. External reviews resulted into action plans for rectifications identified during external review. Finally, the program evaluation reports were graded on a rubric in order to rank departments within a university. The study shows that quality assurance mechanism has got its firm roots at micro level i.e. at university level in Pakistan under the supervision of Quality Assurance Agency of Pakistan. Different programs of the universities run program evaluation cycle and report to their own Quality Enhancement Cells which in turn does a regular follow up of issues identified for assuring the provision of quality education. These cells finally report to the Quality Assurance Agency of the outcomes of program evaluation cycle.
Keywords: self-assessment; program evaluation; quality assurance; quality enhancement cell; educational quality in Pakistan