Written by MVP Migo-Sumagang
Photo by RRR Sazon
Posted: November 6, 2020
Despite the strong typhoon “Quinta,” which hit the country last October 26, 2020, the ASEAN University Network Quality Assessment (AUN-QA) was kickstarted with an opening program held via Zoom. The ASEAN University Network (AUN) promotes quality assurance in higher education institutions of the ASEAN region. AUN evaluates participating institutions to ensure that they are at par with the international standards and that these institutions produce robust, industry-ready graduates.
The AUN Quality Assessment (AUN-QA) started in 2007 and has assessed over 160 programs in the region. Two programs of UPLB were endorsed to undergo online AUN-QA this year, BS Chemical Engineering (BS ChE) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). The programs painstakingly conducted internal assessments months before the actual assessment last October, with the help of Dr. Alyssa Peleo-Alampay and Dr. Nina M. Cadiz, the University Administrators for Quality Assurance. Compared to the previous AUN-QA of the other UPLB programs, a unique feature of the AUN-QA this year was that it was conducted remotely, which was both challenging and reassuring.
The opening session was attended by the University Officials, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., and his Vice Chancellors and Deans. The AUN-QA assessment team was Dr. Yahaya Md. Sam of University Teknologi Malaysia, Dr.Kageeporn Wongpreedee of Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand, Dr. Ngo Van Thuyen of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Vietnam, and Dr. Porngarm Virutamasen of Srinakharinwirot University.
From the UPLB DChE side, the internal assessment team was headed by Dr. Myra G. Borines (Person-in-Charge), Dr. Monet Concepcion M. Detras (Department Chair), Dr. Rowena B. Carpio (Self-Assessment Report or SAR Head), and Dr. Jewel A. Capunitan (DChE Curriculum and Instruction Committee Chair). Other SAR team members include Dr. Ramon Christian P. Eusebio, Dr. Jerico Z. Alcantara, Asst Prof. Marilyn del Barrio, and Engr. Kristel M. Gatdula. The entire DChE Faculty and Staff were also involved in the whole process, making the event a team effort.
A series of interviews involving the Dean, Vice Dean, Department Chair, Faculty, University, and Program Support Staff were conducted throughout the week via Zoom meetings. DChE also invited students, alumni, and employers as stakeholders for the interviews.
Live streaming of the university facilities including the UPLB Main Library, Interactive Learning Center (ILC), Department of Human Kinetics (DHK), University Health Service (UHS), and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) was conducted, and their heads were interviewed about the services offered to students. The department and college facilities including classrooms (Seminar Room and ChE 2), department office, laboratories (Instrumentation Laboratory, E3 Laboratory), CEAT Library, and CEAT Student Lounge were also live-streamed, hosted by Dr. Butch Bataller.
The assessment culminated with a closing ceremony last October 30, 2020. The assessors shared the strengths and points for improvement for both programs. The assessors commented that “although it was unfortunate that they cannot be here because of the pandemic, they felt that they toured the university through the live streaming.” For the BS ChE program, the strength of the research program was one of the highlights.
The session ended with warm farewells among the assessors, University officials, and program faculty and staff. One of the most unforgettable moments was from Dr. Yahaya Md. Sam, head assessor, as he shared his golden advice to all the participants, “quality is not a destination, it is a journey.”