Our interviewee is the Director of the Center for Assessment of Teaching Quality and Management of Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC), PhD in Economics Ragif Gasimov.
- 2015/2016 academic year was announced a “Year of Quality” at UNEC by the Scientific Council’s decision. The goal here is to determine and improve the quality standards of the activities on defining the forthcoming tasks towards all structural units of the university, developing a mechanism for updating the academic standards, rules and procedures, setting student- oriented teaching and assessment system, development of a mechanism for the use of professor and teaching staff’s scientific researches and their results in the teaching process, establishment of the information system collecting and analyzing the teaching process, realization of the issues of transferring internal quality indicators into the external environment and other issues.
- What will be the concept of the quality based on?
- UNEC quality conception has been formed in accordance with the document titled “European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Space” of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. According to the document, to ensure quality in higher education, higher education institutions should build their activities on directions. These directions are related with the identification of the duties and powers standing in front of all structures of the university in the field of quality assurance and the renewal of the standards, rules and procedures related to quality assurance in the educational process by the educational institutions. Student- oriented teaching and evaluation system, development of a mechanism for the use of professor and teaching staff’s scientific researches and their results in the teaching process, transfer of internal quality indicators into the external environment are also of these directions.
- What ways have been chosen for this?
- 57- point Actions Plan on improving the quality of education was approved by the Academic Council of UNEC. Concrete measures and the execution periods on all structures were stated in the Actions Plan.
- Is there a need for changes at the university?
- There is a need for many changes for realization of the innovations indicated in the Actions Plan. The adaptation of course syllabuses to modern requirements, the effective establishment of the students’ work out of the lecture- rooms, improving the distribution of specialties for each semester’s curriculum, the development of the model format, setting rules and schedule changes of free topics are included to the applied changes. Preparation of regulations on the activities of the Professor- consultants of the university, compiling the academic calendar on academic structures, improvement of material and technical base of the lecture- rooms, updating the tests of the subjects presented for each of the next semester and the establishment of a commission to increase the quality of tests and preparing proposals include the changes.
- What role will the students perform in the process?
- The Actions Plan prepared on the basis of the document “European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Space” of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and related with the Quality Year includes a subject named “Student- oriented Teaching and Evaluation System”. Under the plan, the Survey Center carrying out the polls among the participants of the teaching process will be established, students’ certificates received from online courses will be recognized by the university and an appropriate mechanism for the selection of the subjects in the education process will be established. Determining need for “Ethical conduct” training of teachings staff and student relations students and teacher exchange programs of the other universities and so on reflected here.
- How will the quality process be controlled?
- In accordance with the Actions Plan, Permanent Board on “Self- assessment and Quality Improvement” will be founded at UNEC and the Quality Ambassadors of the Board composition on the faculties will be determined. Also open classes with the Rector’s participation to be conducted within the academic year, schedule of Board members’ participation at the classes will be prepared and the monitoring of the compliance of syllabuses on the subjects taught, tentative plans and the use of interactive methods will be held by.
The establishment of the quality commission under the Deans’ offices and monthly monitoring of these commissions making up mechanism on the results of proposals are also included in the actions plan.
- The model of e- university was set up at UNEC. What is the essence of the model?
- Yes, it was. The application of an “electronic university” has already begun. Initially the teaching process has entirely been digitalized in the main training building of UNEC. Information about the students, teaching staff and alumni, time- tables, groups on disciplines, tentative plans, students’ syllabuses were included in the system’s database. Teachers’ and students’ personal cabinet and section of the exam systems was founded inside the system. E- stands with the access to the system were installed in the lecture-rooms. Paper journals were replaced with the e- journals. The teaching staff will be able enter students’ attendance, seminar scores, titles of the trainings and other notes in the e- journal.
“Khalg” newspaper, September 30