Evaluation and Quality Assurance System in Iranian higher education
For the past three decades In Iranian higher education, various approaches have been used for Supervision, Evaluation, and quality assurance. The first action taken in this area dates back to the early 1990s when education departments began conducting internal evaluation (self-assessment). Initially, the mission was assigned to the National Organization for Educational Testing (NOET). This process continued for a decade, and through this, efforts were made to design and institutionalize internal evaluation mechanisms in universities and higher education institutions. During that time, all universities in the country were involved in conducting an internal evaluation of departments. The internal evaluation process is performed in the form of a systematic and flexible framework in three main stages as follows:
Step 1: Develop criteria, indicators, and standards
At this stage, the preparations for the evaluation and the necessary conditions for implementation are prepared. At this stage, the following measures are taken.
1- Familiarize group members or necessity, philosophy, and internal evaluation process
2- Forming a strategic internal evaluation committee consisting of 3 to 5 faculty members
3- Explaining and clarifying the mission and goals of the educational departments
4- Determining the factors, criteria, and indicators to be evaluated and agreeing on them among faculty members: In general, 7 main factors are used in conducting internal evaluation: Objectives and mission; organizational management and leadership; Faculty Members; Students; Teaching-learning strategies; Training courses and curricula; Educational-research facilities and equipment; Graduates
5- Repairing the requirements of judgment (optimal level or standard) on the quality of markers
Step2: data collection and analysis
At this stage, data is collected through questionnaires, interviews, observations, and checklists
Step 3: Compile a report and follow up on the results of the evaluation
Following the successful implementation of internal evaluation in the Iranian higher education system, the second part of the ACCREDITATION approach (external evaluation) was placed on the agenda of the National Organization for Educational Testing (NOET). In this regard, universities, after conducting internal evaluation, invite external evaluation teams to visit the institution. The purpose is to verify the results of internal evaluation, to examine their educational and research system from the perspective of external evaluators. Because there are no independent and specialized institutions that can perform external evaluation, specialized teams were formed and external evaluation was done by the Center for Research, Evaluation, Accreditation, and Quality Assurance of Higher Education.
How is Evaluation and quality assurance done in universities today?
In the last five years, the Center for Supervision, Evaluation and Quality Assurance (CSEQA) located in the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran (MSRT) has been responsible for evaluating and monitoring the performance of universities. At present, in the subdivision of these activities’, centers with the same title have been established in all universities of the country. Their task is to monitor and evaluate the educational and research activities of the universities’ centers. In this regard, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran has developed a comprehensive regulation to establish evaluation and quality assurance centers in universities, as well as monitoring and evaluation centers in the provinces. According to these laws, the evaluation and quality assurance in universities has been deposited to the university supervision centers, and also the national universities in the provinces are responsible for monitoring the performance of other universities and higher education centers.
At the University of Kurdistan (UOK), Supervision, Evaluation and Quality Assurance Center (SEQAC) is responsible for evaluating educational and research activities. In this regard, the following actions are taken: