In a bid to obtain a self-accreditation institution status, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) is undergoing a four-day audit exercise. The self-accreditation is a status granted to Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) that qualifies the institution to self-accredit its own programme without requiring approval from the MQA and Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) (only notifications are required). Nevertheless, the institution is also subjected to continuous surveillance audit by Malaysian Qualifications Agencies (MQA).
The institutional audit exercise which began on 30 November involved all levels of the organisations at Schools, Centres of Authority and Management as well as UUM academic, administrative and support staff, students, industry representatives and alumni.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), Prof .Dr. Hassan Ali chaired the opening session of the Self-Accreditation Auditing process, held at the Senate Meeting Room, yesterday.
Earlier, in his welcoming remarks, Prof. Dr. Hassan said a total of nine (9) areas involved in this audit exercise.
"The nine areas cover the Vision, Mission, Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes, Curriculum Design and Delivery, Assessment of Students, Student Selection and Support Services, Academic Staff, Educational Resources, Programme Monitoring and Review, Leadership, Governance and Administration as well as Total Continual Quality Improvement," he said.
Meanwhile, Lead Assessor, Prof. Ir. Dr. Shahrir Abdullah said to qualify for the self-accreditation status, UUM was required to do well in Self-Accreditation Assessment Audit based on the Codes of Practice for Institution Audit (COPIA).
"The audit exercise will be carried out via triangulation methods, namely fixed interviews according to a fixed schedule and verification of documents, as well as thorough observation during visits to Schools and Departments. There will be a brief report during the closing ceremony of the audit exercise and a detail report will be made available in writing later," he explained.
A total of seven (7) panel of assessors accompanied by two MQA officials involved in this audit exercise. The audit exercise is important to determine whether UUM will be awarded the Self-Accreditation status or not granted the status.
The self-accreditation status is only awarded to eligible universities. The Minister of Higher Education invites the potential IPT to be granted this status. Only eight (8) Malaysian institutions of which have gained the self-accreditation status. Meanwhile, ten (10) more universities were invited in 2014 to obtain this status.
Therefore, it is hoped that all UUM community involved in this exercise would be in the know of self-accreditation audit evaluation criteria and ready to present the correct and accurate information in verifying UUM practices related to the assessment criteria.