Greetings and Welcome to the Quality Assurance Division
A Warm Welcome to all members of the Divine Word University Community for the 2022 Academic Year. I hope you had a restful break as we all look forward to another year that awaits us. Hopefully, we are now better prepared to cope with the challenges of COVID-19, compared to 2020 and 2021.
The University's 2022 theme is: “Run to Win Together”. The theme is drawn from the university motto: “Run to Win” inclusive of the community giving of our selves through our time and efforts as we collectively fulfill the overarching university goal of Being of Service to Society as a Whole. This, we do well together through the three university pillars of learning and teaching, research, and community engagement and/or service. All three core businesses require us to participate fully to assure and enhance quality at all times, within a Christian environment.
To live out our 2022 theme, the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) aims to be of service with the best of our intentions and with integrity. We hope not just to achieve the desired outcomes, but more so, through staff and student transformation in embracing the virtues or principles that guide the values DWU stands for. This, for our division, is practically joining hands with you all to run to win together.
Quality Assurance is everybody’s business and like all other higher education institutions, we will aim to safeguard our internal quality mechanisms as would be expected. The QA Division is largely responsible for ensuring we are all on the same page and aiming to achieve the best possible outcomes in our practices, and within the legal frameworks that guide us. The QA Policy (2020) establishes the framework that guides our work at DWU. The cycle adopted is called: Plan, Act, Evaluate, Improve (PAEI). To do this well, we rely on individuals, students, staff, academic and administration divisions, and the leadership and management team to continue to pursue quality outcomes of their practices. One such example of teamwork is the 2021 Good Shepherd Seminary Academic Audit that QAD jointly conducted with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS).
Our policies and regulations serve as guides so that we remain focused on our core business of providing quality higher education to all who come to us and seek our help. We are also mindful of the expectations of our external partners – the industry, churches, nongovernment organizations, community-based organizations, and especially, the Government of PNG through the Department of Higher Education, Research and Technology (DHERST). DHERST is the body responsible for assuring external quality assurance through conduct of audits and quality assessment undertakings.
In 2021, we expected the DHERST External Panel to return to assess our performance based on the 2017 Quality Assessment Review. The Report, dated 2018, consisted of 21 recommendations and 16 suggestions. The panel was to assess how well we have attempted to implement the recommendations and suggestions. We believe we have come a long way and done well, thanks to all of you. Our challenge now is to turn the amber (orange) lights into green and the red to amber or even better, to green.
QAD is also responsible for managing university data and information on behalf of the President's Office. We will continue to analyse and report on unit evaluations that students complete online every semester. Last year our role expanded to include unit evaluations for Wewak campus. We hope to include Rabaul, POM and Tabubil campuses this year once they come on board to use the standard online unit evaluation forms.
Our 2022 priorities include: preparing the final report for the 2021 External Quality Assessment Review, analysing and reporting on unit evaluations for Madang, Wewak Rabaul and POM campuses, analysing and reporting on the 2021 Graduate Tracer Study, preparing and administering the questionnaire for the 2022 Graduate Tracer Study, and creating questionnaires for data collection from the industry and workforce to set up the database. Our priorities also include working closely with key administrative divisions like Human Resource Management (HRM), Information Communication Technology (ICT), DWU Marketing, and the Partnerships Office.
In terms of governance, the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) is responsible for relevant policy directives and monitoring and evaluation of academic programs and administrative functions of the university. This year the membership will include: chairpersons of Faculty Curriculum and Assessment Committees, the Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, the Coordinator of the Flexible Learning Centre, VP Academic Affairs, VP Research and Higher Degrees, the Director for HRM, and representatives from key administration divisions like Marketing, Partnerships, and ICT.
Maretta Kula-Semos (PhD)
Director, Quality Assurance