SELF-ACCREDITATION STATUS AS THE IMPETUS TO CONTINUALLY ENHANCE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

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Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) has recently been invited by the Minister of Education to participate in the five-day audit exercise which began from 29 November to be a self-accrediting institution along with other institutions of higher learning.

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).

In view of that, a Closing Session of the Self-Accreditation Auditing was held at the Senate Meeting Room and the preliminary findings of the audit exercise were presented by the Lead Assessor, Prof. Ir. Dr. Shahrir Abdullah from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He was accompanied by six (6) panel of assessors and two MQA officials.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), Prof. Dr. Hassan Ali chaired the closing session. Also attended were Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dr. Noor Azizi Ismail; Assistant Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads and representatives of Departments.

Prof. Dr. Hassan Ali pointed out that the success in acquiring this self-accreditation status would give an advantage to UUM in improving and enhancing the quality of its academic programmes as well as researches in order to realise UUM aspiration to become an eminent management institution.

"I would like to express my sincere thanks to all UUM campus community who involved directly and indirectly in this self-accreditation audit exercise," he said.

The institutional audit exercise 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.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ir. Dr. Shahrir Abdullah said in the presentation of the preliminary findings, all the panel of assessors were indeed satisfied with the system that has been implemented by UUM.

"I am also impressed with UUM efforts in providing the best service to all stakeholders, including developing the Welcome Centre, U-Assist and insurance coverage to its entire staff.

"However, some improvements are also necessary to qualify UUM to accredit their own academic programmes," he said.

He further reiterated that the full audit reports will be received in about a month and UUM needs to respond to the MQA as specified.

The self-accreditation audit results will be announced by the Ministry of Education, which is expected to be known at the beginning of next year.

A total of ten (10) universities involved in the self-accreditation audit exercise this year.

Director of Institute of Quality Management (IPQ), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haim Hilman Abdullah expressed his appreciation to UUM campus community for their cooperation and contributions given to the IPQ for the duration of the audit exercise.

He also emphasised that to be granted the self-accreditation status would bring many benefits and advantages to both the university and its students. This recognition would certainly give the university academic programmes added value as well as the impetus to realise UUM aspiration to become the eminent management university.