FUIW Projects > Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation

Preamble

  • In accordance with the objectives of the FUIW's charter seeking to upgrade and develop higher education and evaluate its performance to improve its quality and accreditation; and
  • En réponse à la recommandation des experts de l'ISESCO, de l'ALECSO et de la Fédération des Universités du Monde islamique appelant à la création d'une instance consultative pour la qualité et la certification (Amman, Jordanie : 17-19/9/2006) ;

The FUIW's General Secretariat has submitted the project of “the Islamic Advisory body for quality and accreditation” to the fourth General Conference of the FUIW held in Kuwait ( State of Kuwait: 4- 5 April 2007), which approved the body as “an accrediting body”.

CHAPTER ONE

Article 1 : Definition

  • Federation : It refers to the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World, operating within the framework of ISESCO.
  • ISESCO : The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  • Body : It refers to the body in charge of regulating accreditation procedures and quality standards. The decisions reached by the body shall have to be referred to the Executive Council of the Federation to submit appropriate recommendations thereon to the General Conference.
  • Institution : It refers to any governmental or non-governmental educational institution granting university degrees (higher institutes, faculties, universities) and offering regular school programmes (not less than four years after holding the senior high school-leaving certificate or its equivalent.
  • Guide to Quality and Accreditation : It refers to the guide edited by the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World which contains the whole set of standards and indicators on the basis of which the accreditation is granted.
  • Standards : They mean the whole set of prerequisites and criteria stipulated in the Guide to Quality and Accreditation, whereby a review of a university institution is conducted before it is decided whether or not to grant institutional or specialty accreditation.
  • Quality : It refers to the distinguishing characteristics of a product or service entitling it to meet specific requirements and criteria as specified in the Guide to Quality and Accreditation.
  • Performance Evaluation : It consists in assigning a specific value as to a university institution or programme, based on a particular set of criteria used for a better understanding of the interrelationship of the various elements of evaluation by means of which we come to assess the performance of a university institution with respect to its ability to discharge its mission and attain its objectives, while taking due account of its specificities.
  • Accreditation : It consists in the set of procedures and measures taken by the Islamic Advisory Body for Quality and Accreditation to ensure fulfillment of the criteria and conditions for quality as contained in the guide.
  • Institutional accreditation : It consists in evaluating the overall performance of an institution of learning.
  • Specialty accreditation : It emphasises on the specialised academic programmes set out by a learning institution on its own.

Article 2: Name of the Body

Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation.

Article 3: Headquarters

The Body shall be headquartered at the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World and shall establish offices and bureaus in some of the member universities.

Article 4: Objectives

The main objective of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation consists in providing services and examining specialised programmes within university institutions, in order to ensure that they have reached the goals set out for them and that the activities involved have been implemented in accordance with the criteria adopted by the most prestigious of similar institutions across the world. The Body is to check also for observance of the conditions required for the improvement of performance and the achievement of higher standards of output quality, conducive to earning the trust and support of the whole society.

Article 5: Means

In the process for ensuring quality and accreditation, the Body shall build on the following groundwork references :

  • ISESCO's specialised strategies.
  • Strategies of the Federation, recommendations of the Executive Council, and resolutions of the General Conference.
  • Contents of the Guide to Quality and Accreditation Standards.
  • Experiences of other specialized institutions in the field of quality and accreditation within parallel organizations and federations.

Article 6: Languages

The working languages of the Body shall be Arabic, English and French.

CHAPTER TWO

Article 7: Status

The Body shall have a legal personality of its own with internal regulations that shall be approved by the Executive Council of the Federation, providing that they be not incompatible with the objectives set out in the Charters of the Federation and ISESCO.

Article 8: Functions

The Body shall be empowered to :

  • Offer services for the purpose of developing and enhancing educational institutions as well as make proposals to upgrade performance.
  • Work out a list of criteria and conditions to be fulfilled by the programmes and institutions.
  • Update the list of criteria and conditions and tune them to the present-time changes.
  • Secure the minimum standard of quality and performance in specialized programmes and within educational institutions in higher education.
  • Provide the evaluation commissions and educational institutions with guides.
  • Form accreditation commissions.
  • Specify the fees and expenses relating to accreditation procedures.
  • Assist educational institutions in conducting self-evaluation studies.
  • Recommend appropriate decisions concerning accreditation.
  • Publish and follow up accreditation reports.
  • Lay down performance assessment systems within educational institutions, the aim being to ensure conformity to quality regulations and regular assessment criteria on the basis of which the accreditation was conveyed.
  • Conduct research and studies relating to overall quality, prior to accreditation.
  • Hold conferences and symposia as well as participate in international conferences on quality and accreditation.
  • Conclude joint agreements with parallel bodies.
  • Lay down plans for the purpose of disseminating the culture of quality and raising awareness about quality standards.
  • Preserve the autonomy of educational institutions from all that may bear on their autonomy or undermine their values and Islamic culture.

Article 9: Membership

The Body shall be composed of permanent members representing the Federation's General Secretariat and ISESCO, alongside commissioned members elected for a three-year term by the Arab, Asian, African and Western member universities they represent and observers to be designated among specialized experts in this field.

Article 10: Meetings

The Body shall meet in a regular session once every year. It may meet in a special session upon invitation from the President of the Body or request from the Secretary General of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World or his representative.

The Body shall meet at the headquarters of the Federation unless a request is made by any one of the member universities to host its proceedings.

The Body shall take its decisions by an absolute majority.

The universities represented in the Body shall take on the expenses relating to their representatives.

The Body may designate specialized experts in particular fields if deemed necessary.

CHAPTER THREE

Article 11: Functions of the Bureau

The Bureau of the Body shall follow up implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the Body as well as prepare reports required.

Article 12: Functions of the President

The President shall be the top administrative, executive and academic official accountable for the performance of the Body and implementation of its objectives. He shall represent the Body at the various similar/relevant institutions or designate his substitute.

Article 13: Functions of the Rapporteur

The Rapporteur shall be entitled to do the following:

  • Prepare the agenda of the Bureau of the Body and the minutes of its meetings as well as examine the documents referred to it.
  • Follow up implementation of the decisions taken by the Bureau of the Body in the various sectors and submit a report thereon.
  • Refer the Bureau's recommendations for accreditation to the Federation to take appropriate action.
  • Prepare regular and special reports.

Article 14: Functions of the Vice-President of the Body for Academic Affairs:

The Vice-President of the Body for Academic Affairs shall take charge of the following :

  • Accreditation (institutional accreditation and programme accreditation).
  • Information and Communication Technologies and the media (documentation and media).
  • Evaluation and follow up (performance assessment and reaccreditation).
  • Research.

Article 15: Functions of the Vice-President of the Body for Administrative and Financial Affairs:

The Vice-President of the Body for Administrative and Financial Affairs shall take charge of the following:

  • Supervision of administrative affairs (training and consultancy).
  • Supervision and rationalization of financial affairs.
  • Providing legal advice and ensuring accuracy of regulations and procedures.

CHAPTER THREE

Article 16: Functions of the Accreditation Unit

The Accreditation Unit shall have the following functions :

  • Draw up the accreditation regulations and rules of procedure, and propose control and quality standards and update them in the light of new mutations.
  • Review self-evaluation reports prepared by university institutions as part of their accreditation applications, and verify the accuracy of the accreditation procedures.
  • Examine the documentats submitted as part of the accreditation process and check them for accuracy and fulfilment of the information required.
  • Designate the panel to be entrusted with the application of the accreditation procedure.
  • Designate the field visit team and organise its visits.
  • Prepare a comprehensive report on university institutions applying for accreditation, in the light of the review of the documentation presented by these institutions.
  • Propose the appropriate decision to approve, postpone or withhold accreditation.
  • Receive, review and respond to requests submitted by university institutions which are not accredited.

Article 17: Functions of the Information and Communication Technology Unit

The Information and Communication Technologies Unit shall have the following functions:

  • Disseminate the culture of quality through guides, pamphlets, audio-visual programmes, the internet, lectures, translations and similar mechanisms of communication in such a way as to strengthen the values of quality and sensitize the public opinion and the founders to the importance of accreditation.
  • Assist university institutions to create adequate conditions necessary for the continuous improvement of the quality of products and services, and enhance their academic, administrative and financial performance by the dissemination and application of quality concepts and regulations within these institutions.
  • Publish a specialized academic magazine dedicated to the issues of quality, accreditation and educational performance assessment.
  • Encourage civil society organizations to contribute to the dissemination of the culture of quality and accreditation and to take interest in education issues.
  • Pay homage to individuals and university institutions with outstanding and excellent academic performance and organise contests in this regard.
  • Supervise the Body's library, provide it with books and information and keep it constantly up to date.
  • Create a website and ensure means of electronic contact.
  • Ensure sustainable ways of safeguarding files and documents.
  • Publish evidence-backed accreditation reports in order for other institutions to refer to them for guidance.
  • Devise a plan to ensure and facilitate access to information.

Article 18: Functions of the Evaluation and Follow-up Unit

The Evaluation and Follow-up Unit shall have the following functions:

  • Evaluate the different aspects of university education when solicited by university institutions.
  • Update information pertaining to accredited university institutions.
  • Receive accreditation applications within the fixed deadlines before the expiry of the re-accreditation period.
  • Undertake re-accreditation procedures in cooperation with the accreditation sector.
  • Draw up the reports necessary for decision making.
  • Set permanent follow-up regulations in order to ensure a regular application of quality requirements by the accredited university institutions.

Article 19: Functions of the Research Unit

The Research Unit shall have the following functions:

  • Conduct the scientific studies related to academic performance, realise public-opinion surveys on the expectations of individuals and institutions and survey opinions on the best ways to meet quality and accreditation requirements.
  • Assist university bodies and institutions in preparing for accreditation and fulfilling the requirements thereof and study their problems and help them to solve these problems using scientific research.
  • Organise conferences and symposia on quality and accreditation and propose main topics thereof.
  • Conduct the required studies to verify the accuracy of information submitted in accreditation applications.
  • Analyse the data and information produced by other sectors and study them using an accurate and transparent scientific methodology.
  • Conduct research and studies it is entrusted with.

Article 20: Functions of the Administrative Affairs Unit

The Administrative Affairs Unit shall have the following functions:

  • Organise training courses to assist officials in preparing quality and accreditation requirements in the most appropriate conditions.
  • Provide university institutions with experts and advisors to participate in training and sensitisation courses and similar activities in such a way as to meet quality and accreditation requirements.
  • Receive consultancy applications submitted by individuals and university institutions concerning quality requirements, accreditation mechanisms or problem solving.
  • Provide advice for university institutions having failed to meet the required standards of quality.

Article 21: Functions of the Legal Advice Unit

This Unit shall provide legal Advice on the following:

  • Lay down Regulations as well as introduce and update the necessary amendments thereto.
  • Review the contracts, agreements and conventions to be concluded between the Body and similar local or international organs.
  • Provide legal advice for the different university institutions soliciting it.
  • Disseminate the legal culture within university institutions.
  • Carry out the required investigations into cases involving deceit or violation of the good academic practices and academic values.

Article 22: Functions of the Financial Affairs Unit

The Financial Affairs Unit shall have the following functions:

  • Secure the necessary financial resources.
  • Pay bonuses according to the rules of procedure.
  • Draw up the Draft Annual Budget, taking into consideration the amount of work and the estimated resources.
  • Estimate the financial cost related to the implementation of the activities of the other sectors.
  • Organise the acceptance and use of grants in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • Ensure accuracy and transparency of financial procedures in the various sectors.

Article 23: Financial Resources

The financial resources of the Body shall include:

  • The financial support provided by the Federation.
  • Fees secured from accreditations granted by the Body.
  • Consultancy fees and the income secured from academic works of the Body.
  • Donations and grants by other institutions to the Body provided they do not bear on its autonomy.

Organizational Chart of the Body

Organizational Chart of the Bureau

Draft Mechanisms for the Activation of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation

Introduction :

The project on the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation was submitted by the General Secretariat of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) to the FUIW’s 4th General Conference held in Kuwait in April 2007. The conference approved the project and recommended however that the body shall have overall authority for accreditation, well-defined duties and functions, specialized units, an organizational chart and a bureau, and shall serve as an integrated, administrative and executive organ with financial and administrative responsibilities and not as an advisory body as the title of the project suggests.

Likewise, the first symposium on “Quality and Accreditation in Islamic University Education”, which was held at Um-al-Qura University (Makkah-al-Mukarramah: 11-13 May 2008), issued a recommendation calling for the establishment of an International Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation, reporting to the FUIW.

Moreover, during the second symposium held in Kuala Lumpur from 20 to 22 July 2009 on “Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Islamic World: Current State of Affairs - Challenges- Prospects for Human and Institutional Capacity Building”, it was called for implementing the aforesaid recommendation and examining the ways of putting it into action.

At the invitation of the FUIW, the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) hosted an experts’ meeting on the activation of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation, at the Legend Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, from 8 to 10 April 2010. The meeting brought together a panel of experts representing several FUIW Member Universities, namely :

  • The Azerbaijan State Economic University (ASEU);
  • The Islamic University in Uganda;
  • The Assiut University, Egypt;
  • The Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS), Saudi Arabia;
  • The King Saud University, Saudi Arabia;
  • The International Islamic University Malaysia, IIUM;
  • Putra University of Malaysia;

The meeting sought to:

  • Consider the project on the activation of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation, as approved by the Fourth General Conference held in Kuwait from 4 to 5 April 2007; develop appropriate recommendations and mechanisms for its implementation and propose academic institutions which can host the Body and enable it to assume its functions;
  • Discuss the organizational chart of the Body, the bureau to be in charge of running its activities, and the university to host it;
  • Discuss the financial and funding aspects of the bureau and its activities, and develop a general perception of the operating budget and the budget for the establishment of the Body’s seat and relevant infrastructure
  • Present a strategic vision and a general executive plan of the Body’s activities and the ways to manage them;
  • Present a general perception of the model of quality and accreditation to be adopted by the Body to disseminate quality and groom universities for obtaining the required internal and external accreditation;
  • Consider the issues of staff recruitment and human resources in charge of the management of the Body;

The experts’ meeting organized several working sessions during which the project on the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation was examined from its academic, structural, administrative, organizational and financial aspects. The items of discussion featured the following:

  • The Body’s administrative and executive structure and powers; the functions of each constituent unit; and the working mechanisms (discussion of the proposal made in this respect);
  • Headquarters, human resources and infrastructure required for the activation of the Body;
  • Budget and funding;
  • General strategic plan, scheduled activities, and tentative date for the Body’s effective establishment and coming into operation;
  • The model of quality and accreditation to be adopted by the Body to disseminate quality among the FUIW member Universities;

The meeting came out with the following recommendations and proposals:

  • Lauding the Islamic International University Malaysia for accepting to host the Bureau of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation.
  • Commending the FUIW General Secretariat for accepting to finance the Body’s activities and projects that would contribute to the strengthening of the quality of higher education in the Islamic world;
  • Entrusting the Bureau with development of flexible administrative structure and mechanisms to ensure overall effectiveness in the performance of its duties.
  • Lauding the commitment by the universities represented in the experts’ meeting to financially and morally support the Body, as well as their cooperation with the FUIW General Secretariat and the International Islamic University Malaysia to activate the Body and bring its action to fruitful conclusion;
  • Entrusting the International Islamic University Malaysia and the FUIW with the appointment of experts to prepare three-year action plans, which will serve as a framework for the implementation by the Body of annual programmes and activities aimed at consolidating quality higher education in the Islamic world;
  • Establishing a data bank of experts and specialists who would contribute to the activities of the Body at various universities of the Islamic world, in order to facilitate research and training in the fields of quality and accreditation;
  • Calling upon the International Islamic University Malaysia and the FUIW to jointly convene an experts’ meeting on the development of a mechanism for academic accreditation for the various FUIW member Universities, with a view to reaching a common mechanism for academic accreditation.
  • Conducting a feasibility study and an inventory of the needs of universities in terms of training and expertise building in quality improvement;
  • Inviting FUIW member Universities, and governmental and non-governmental institutions to support the Body’s projects to strengthen higher education in the Islamic world;
  • Submitting the recommendations and resolutions issued by the experts’ meeting to the FUIW 15th Executive Council and 5th General Conference to approve them and take the necessary measures to implement them;
  • Submitting the recommendations and resolutions issued by the experts’ meeting to the 5th Islamic Conference of the Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research to approve them and take the necessary measures to implement them.