To Assure Application of UK Academic Quality Standards
Catherine Bland, Senior Quality and Partnerships Manager at the Open University (OU), UK, and responsible for the partnership between OU and the Arab Open University (AOU), emphasized that the purpose of the AOU visit by a delegation of external examiners from UK universities was to assure the quality of the exams and modules of the OU validated degree courses as per the regulations set by the Quality Assurance Agency for UK Higher Education (QAA)
Bland said, “to seek the quality assurance of learning assessment and to be at the level of equivalence to the UK quality standards, external examiners affiliated with various universities in the UK attend the AOU Exam Board each semester to review and approve AOU students’ scripts of MTA, TMA and Final Exam.”
Bland expressed her pleasure at the AOU development and the long partnership between the two academic institutions for more than 15 years. The AOU currently offers seven OUvalidated programmes – three undergraduate programmes and four master programmes. She added, “We are pleased to see the AOU are expanding the number of branches throughout the Middle East, widening the opportunities for more students to achieve an OU-validated degree..”
Bland pointed out that the AOU graduates, who studied any OUvalidated programme, would earn the same degree that the OU graduates get in the UK. She, moreover, added that the standards followed by AOU are the same standards of the UK educational institutions, which QAA monitors. One of the functions of the agency is to set the UK Quality Code for Higher Education that includes the standards of quality of academic contributions, and the standards of processes such as registration, assessment, and student communication. Educational institutions, therefore, are required to follow these standards in order to meet the UK quality standards, concluded Bland.