Borrowing from business practices: use of management systems to implement the QA project at the institution level

Raed Shadfan
QA office, Petra University, Amman, Jordan


Over the past decades businesses had depended on systems to assure their quality. Where needed, businesses are also deploying various management systems to align their performance with their strategic goals and quality benchmarks and to reach excellence. Universities too can make good use of such business management practices when implementing their Quality Assurance projects. Looking at the requirements stipulated by various national regulatory bodies within the Arab world, one can identify good use of well-known and widely-used business systems in the fields of strategic, quality and performance management. This paper will shed some light on using such systems to assist universities in implementing their QA projects. The emerging theme after years of tackling the QA project on mainly outcome-driven approach is that Higher Education institutions may need to consider system-driven approach as a more appropriate route (at least at the initial stage) to achieve sustainable quality assurance and long-lasting accreditation.

Raed Shadfan has a BSc. degree from Kent University and a Ph.D. degree from Cambridge University, both in the UK. He is the founder and managing director of Atlas Medical, a global medical company selling its products in more than 60 countries in 4 contents. He has extensive experience in implementing QA systems used in the medical device industry such as ISO9000, ISO13485, CE directives and US FDA. He worked as a lecturer for 6 years at both Amman Ahliyya and Petra universities (Jordan). During the past 10 years, he had participated in numerous QA initiatives for higher education and had given numerous training, workshops and seminars on the subject. Currently, he works as a QA consultant for Petra University and is actively involved in stirring the planning and implementation of the university QA system. He is also a member of Petra University strategic planning committee responsible for making strategic plans and performance reviews for the University. He has published a number of scientific publications and won several awards. He has also organized and participated in numerous international exhibitions and conferences as an exhibitor and/or speaker in Europe, USA, Latin America, Gulf and Southeast Asia.

Much of his early experience was (and still is) devoted to the medical industry. This had gained him good experience in business management, global marketing & sales, quality management systems, financial systems, human resource management in addition to technical knowledge and know-how. Despite his busy life in the medical industry, he has built a passion towards spreading the QA culture within the HE institutes and implementing related quality management systems and would welcome any opportunity to exchange knowledge in this area.





Sharing Quality Assurance Practice: Issues and Approaches from a Practice-Oriented Knowledge Transfer Model

Keiichi Nakata

University of Reading, UK

Abstract: Quality assurance (QA) strategies and policies are usually translated in the form of rules and procedures, which provide the basis for QA practices. With the globalisation of higher education efforts are made to improve QA practices through sharing good practices across institutions and internationally. This can be characterised as an example of knowledge transfer through sharing of practices. However, such practices based on rules and procedures are typically influenced by and often derived from cultural norms of organisations, which are not always explicit. Drawing on a practice-oriented knowledge transfer model and organisational semiotics as its analytical basis, this talk discusses the issues in sharing QA practices.

Keiichi Nakata is Reader in Social Informatics at the Informatics Research Centre, Henley Business School at the University of Reading, UK. His main research interests lie at the interface between technology and people, in the areas of computer-supported collaborative work, cognitive systems engineering, and information systems. Recently he has been engaged in research into acceptance of pervasive systems, social media, and participatory systems. Prior to the current appointment, he was Dean of School of Information Technology at International University in Germany. His past appointments include Associate Professor at the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Tokyo, and Research Scientist at German National Research Centre for Information Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and M.Eng. and B.Eng. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tokyo.