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On November 2-4, 2023 the annual Conference of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) “Innovation and Sustainable Development in Higher Education” was held on the basis of the American International University-Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

More than 50 representatives of accreditation agencies from 16 countries attended the conference, including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Samoa, etc.

Prof. Dr. Galina Motova, APQN Vice-President, opened the conference with a presentation about the challenges, risks and trends of development of higher education and quality assurance systems in the region and the world. Members of the Bangladesh Accreditation Council and the University Grants Commission (UGC) attended the opening ceremony.

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The chief guest and one of keynote speakers was Professor Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Chairman of the Bangladesh Accreditation Council (BAC). He told about the importance of quality assurance and the role of BAC in enhancing quality of higher education in the country.

Mr. Stéphane Lauwick, President of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR), presented the modern trends in education transformation and challenges that the education community face today, as well as quality assurance processes adopted at European universities and models that they follow.

During the first day of the conference three plenary sessions were held and nine presentations were delivered. The presentations were devoted to the quality of transformative teaching and learning, blended education from the perspective of the 4th industrial revolution and the COVID Pandemic.

Dr. Jagannath Patil, Advisor of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC, India), highlighted the importance of quality assurance when accrediting institutions and study programmes. Prof. Dr. Jianxin Zhang told about the 20-year path of APQN aimed at dissolving boundaries for a quality region. Jan Friis, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at CHEA (USA) and Prof. Dr. Olgun Cicek, Vice President of the Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World (IQA) and Board Director of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) were also keynote speakers at the Conference.

This year APQN celebrates its 20th anniversary, and on the occasion of this remarkable date video congratulations of the Presidents of international quality assurance networks and former APQN Presidents were presented.

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During two days the participants discussed the following issues:

- Digital Quality Assurance and Journey to Quality Enhancement,

- The Journey towards Quality Enhancement through Quality Assurance - A Case Study on AIUB,

- Blended Education from the Perspective of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID Pandemic,

- Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: A Bibliometric Overview,

- Quality Enhancement through Internal and External Quality Assurance in a Digital Environment,

- Launching of Agile in Education in Bangladesh Context: A Quest to Make Teaching/Learning Relevant,

- University-Industry Linkage in the Background of Internationalization,

- Transformative Education: QA Solution for Cross-Border Education,

- Pedagogical Innovations in Business Administration: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and Flipped Classrooms in Blended Learning for Higher Education in Bangladesh,

- Predicting Accreditation Rankings based on Monitored Items: A Study of Undergraduate Study Programs in Indonesia,

- Analysis of High Quality Education Evaluation Projects -Taking the New Round of Undergraduate Education and Teaching Audit in Shanghai as an Example, etc.

Galina Motova, NCPA Director, and Oksana Tanikova, Deputy Head of the Accreditation Office, presented “The Development Prospects of the Asia-Pacific Quality Register and Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DAQAR)” on behalf of the National Centre for Public Accreditation.

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The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on the closing day of the Conference, where new members of APQN were introduced, reports were heard and the venue for the next APQN Conference was announced.

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