Higher education institutions must think and act globally and assure stakeholders that their requirements for quality education are met on a continuous basis. Additionally, they must assure stakeholders that students will have the required knowledge when they graduate. In that regard, quality at the University of Belize is described in terms of “fitness for purpose” and this relates to the purpose of the services the University provides; quality is then measured in terms of the extent to which the service meets its stated purpose. UB as a quality institution:
- Is student-centered
- Encourages excellence
- Is a catalyst of change
- Formulates mechanisms for receiving and using feedback
- Provides relevant, affordable and accessible educational and training programs
- Has diversified educational programs and curricula
- Creates structures for monitoring success
- Responds to national development needs
- Closes gaps between needs and resources
- Involves everyone in quality improvement
- Invests in people
- Views complaints as opportunities for growth and development
- Is committed to creating a culture of quality
- Devises systems to narrow gap between expectation of stakeholders and current reality
- Identifies critical outputs
- Encourages sustainable development
The Quality Assurance Unit aims to improve institutional capacity by strengthening the quality of the teaching/learning, service and research functions of the University through the process of quality assurance evaluations and reviews, workshops and other related quality assurance activities in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
The Quality Assurance Unit will work methodically and systematically to plan, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate the structures, mechanisms, systems and interventions needed to institutionalize a culture of quality.
The core values on which the quality assurance unit is built upon are developmental. The values that provide the guiding principles of the Unit include:
- Accountability – To take full responsibility for the implementation of quality assurance policies
- Commitment– To meet agreed upon timeframes
- Efficiency– To complete task in a timely manner
- Excellence– To perform responsibly each task to the best of our potentials and capabilities
- Integrity – To incorporate professional and ethical practices in fulfilling our responsibilities
- Teamwork– To work collaboratively by using each other’s strengths and talents
- Quality– To ensure that programs are fit for purpose
Quality Assurance Services
The Quality Assurance Unit provides the following services:
- Quality Evaluation: Quality assurance evaluation is conducted every three years. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the existing internal administrative systems and procedures within a Department, Institute, Center or Unit (DICU). Areas of internal quality assurance include:
- Quality of programs and courses
- Quality of Academic staff
- Quality of teaching and learning experience
- Quality in student assessment
- Quality in student support services
- Quality of resources and facilities
- Quality of research
- Quality of governance and administrative structures
- Quality of program review process
- Quality Assurance Review: Quality assurance review is a formative and cyclical process that is conducted in a 5-7 year cycle. The purpose of the review is to determine whether programs are “fit for purpose.” That is, the review assesses whether programs are meeting their stated goals, objectives and intended learning outcomes.
Quality assurance evaluations and reviews do the following:
- Foster awareness of existing internal quality assurance mechanisms within DICU;
- Foster awareness of internal processes that need to be strengthen to ensure continuous quality assurance and enhancement;
- Foster awareness of quality assurance indicators required for continuous monitoring and reviews;
- Provide relevant data to stakeholders regarding indicators of probable quality shortfalls so that appropriate measures/intervention can be taken in a timely fashion.
- Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI): This involves the organization, scheduling, and administering of questionnaires to seek feedback from students regarding the delivery of instruction. SEIs are conducted on a semester basis and collects both quantitative and qualitative data. Data are used to improve the teaching and learning process.
- Focus Group Evaluation (FGE): The purpose of focus group is to collect qualitative data on the quality of instruction. Data are used to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the University. The evaluation is intended to give students voice so they could describe their learning experiences in their own words and from their perspectives. As a result, focus group evaluation uses open-ended questions because they allow for the exploration, interpretation, and understanding of students’ experiences and the context that shaped those experiences.
- Quality Training Sessions: This includes the collaboration, organization and scheduling of workshops and trainings for faculty and staff. Collaboration often occurs with other departments, unit or tertiary level institution.
- Production and sharing of Quality Assurance (QA) Resources: This involves the production and appropriate dissemination of QA policy documents, reviews, reports, and manuals to UB community.
- Program Proposals: This involves the reviewing of program proposals to ensure compliance to guidelines and academic standards.
Quality Assurance Officer: Dr. Ethel Mae Arzu
Telephone: 822-1000 ext. 185/154
Secretary: Ms. Melissa Sanchez
Telephone: 822-1000 Ext. 154