On 31 August to 1 September 2017 SHARE successfully conducted the Symposium on the Consequences of Regional Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks on Higher Education in Thailand. Co-organised by the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) and the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA), the meeting gathered over 200 participants in Bangkok. The event brought together relevant stakeholders from all over Thailand, ASEAN, as well as expertise from the European Union.
The Symposium was organised in support of ASEAN’s vision of building a common Higher Education space across the region. The main objectives were, to further promote the regional quality assurance framework (AQAF) and the regional qualifications framework (AQRF) among the Thai Higher Education community. Secondly, the event was designed to facilitate further benchmarking and alignment of Thai higher education institutions with the two frameworks.
Given the technically well advanced QA mechanisms, and the already functioning QF implementation in Thailand, the Symposium focused on the political dialogue among university leadership, societal stakeholders and high level policy makers.
The Symposium’s outcomes can be summarised as follows:
- The Symposium provided substantial input on the state of play of Thailand’s quality assurance system, how it is different from regional QA and how Thailand could benefit from adopting regional QA standards and from referencing to regional QF;
- The Symposium offered lessons learned from the European experience, thereby enhancing the understanding of challenges and success factors that also apply in the ASEAN case;
- The Symposium considered currents trends in quality assurance and qualifications frameworks. Participants received guidance on preparing for upcoming changes by correctly benchmarking and aligning their institutional systems with national and regional QA and QF;
- The Symposium promoted clearly the further development and acceptance of outcome based education across Thailand and ASEAN.