Strategic Support for Accreditation
Project Title: Strategic Support for Accreditation of Programs and Internationalization at South Asian Higher Education Institutions (SSAPI)
Erasmus Plus Program in Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) funded by European Commission
Funding Amount: 876,206 (~ 0.9 M) Euros
Two European Partners
- Germany – University of Bremen (UoB)
- Portugal – University of Evora (UEvora)
Nine Asian Partners
- Pakistan – Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST)
- Pakistan – National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES)
- Pakistan – Riphah International University (RIU)
- Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka Technology Campus (SLTC)
- Sri Lanka – University of Peradeniya (UoP)
- Maldives – Maldives National University (MNU)
- Maldives – Villa College (VC)
- Maldives – Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences (KGUMS)
- Bhutan – Royal University of Bhutan (RUB)
SSAPI aims to achieve Standardization leading to accreditation of academic programs. The activities of project will uplift the standard of higher education system (academic program, procedures and policies, facilities, documentation, etc.), in line with international standards, policies and best practices. It aims to build capacity building in staff, faculty and students, as well as structural reforms in the institutions in order to equip them for internationalization. The trainings are being delivered by European project partners, to the Asian partner institutions. Improving the international ranking of the partner institutions and getting international accreditation of selected programs are the focused goals of the project.
Current Team Members
- Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam (Project Manager)
- Dr. Muhammad Aleem
- Dr. Usman Habib
- Mr. Hammad Majeed
- Mr. Umair Manzoor
- Ms. Sara Afzal
- Mr. Shams Farooq
- Mr. Amir Rehman
Past Team Members
- Mr. Usman Kaiser Moghal
Activities conducted at FAST - NUCES under SSAPI umbrella
Trainings at NUCES
FAST-NUCES organized a series of diverse and impactful trainings as part of the SSAPI project, aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of its faculty, academic and administrative staff, and Teaching Assistants. These capacity building sessions spanned a wide range of topics and disciplines, covering areas such as pedagogy, research methodologies, IT essentials, and administrative best practices. Renowned experts from various domains were invited as resource persons for these sessions, ensuring that the participants received valuable insights and cutting-edge expertise from specialists in their respective fields. The trainings were thoughtfully curated to address the specific needs and challenges faced by each group, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and professional development within the university community. The enthusiastic participation and positive feedback from the attendees underscored the success of these training initiatives, reaffirming FAST-NUCES' commitment to empowering its staff and educators with the necessary tools to excel in their roles and contribute meaningfully to the institution's growth and success.
Training session of faculty members on ChatGPT on August 3, 2023
The faculty capacity building session on "Managing Classroom in the Age of ChatGPT" was conducted on August 3, 2023, by Director QEC, Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam. During the session, the resource person provided valuable insights on effectively managing classrooms amidst the challenges posed by technology, particularly ChatGPT. The participants actively engaged in the interactive session, and a fruitful question and answer session followed, addressing their queries and concerns. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the session, highlighting its relevance and practicality in navigating modern teaching environments. The session proved to be instrumental in enhancing the faculty's capacity to adapt and thrive in the age of ChatGPT.
Training session of Administrative Staff Members on IT Essentials
Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) organized two comprehensive one-day training sessions for the administrative staff on IT Essentials, conducted on June 19 and June 21, 2023. Resource person, Mr. Fahd Shahzad, led the sessions, recognizing the critical role of administrative staff in the accreditation process, particularly in providing essential data from their respective offices and departments. The training aimed to equip participants with practical skills and knowledge in effectively presenting data to support the accreditation requirements. Throughout the interactive sessions, participants actively engaged in discussions and hands-on exercises, fostering a conducive learning environment. The content covered a range of topics, including data organization and utilizing IT tools to enhance administrative efficiency. By the end of the training, all the participants expressed their satisfaction with the sessions, highlighting their newfound confidence in contributing meaningfully to the accreditation process and further elevating their administrative capabilities. The training proved to be a valuable investment in enhancing the staff's competencies and aligning them with the institution's commitment to excellence in all aspects of its operations.
Introductory session on SSAPI project for administrative staff on June 19 and 21, 2023
On June 21, 2023, Director QEC, Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam, conducted the staff training for the Islamabad campus on the SSAPI project. During the session, he delivered a comprehensive overview of the project's objectives, goals, and the consortium of 11 universities participating. Director QEC emphasized the pivotal role of administrative staff in the accreditation process, as they are responsible for providing valuable data from their respective departments. The training session also underscored the substantial benefits of the project, including opportunities for internationalization, university accreditation, and staff training initiatives. The primary aim of the session was to equip the staff with vital knowledge and skills to make significant contributions to the success of the project. Similar session was delivered by Mr. Umair Manzoor, Deputy Manager QEC during a session conducted on June 19, 2023.
Introductory session on SSAPI project for QEC staff of all campuses
An introductory session of the SSAPI project was organized on February 15, 2023 for all the staff members of the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) from all five campuses of the university. The session was conducted by Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam, Director QEC of FAST-NUCES, who provided a comprehensive briefing on the project's objectives, goals, and the consortium of 11 universities involved. He highlighted the activities completed and those planned for the future. Moreover, the participants were informed about the project's significant benefits, such as internationalization opportunities, university accreditation, and staff training initiatives.
Faculty Orientation Session on January 19, 2023
On Thursday, January 19, 2023, the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at FAST-NUCES, Islamabad, organized an orientation session for newly joined faculty members. The session included presentations by Dr. Kashif Munir, Dr. Arshad Islam, and Mr. Yasir Nazir on various aspects of FAST-NUCES, covering qualities of a good teacher and employee, effective teaching methodologies, and NUCES HR policies. The interactive session allowed participants to actively engage and have their queries addressed. The resource persons' efforts were appreciated, and the participants expressed high satisfaction with the training, anticipating its positive impact on their professional duties.
Faculty Training Session on August 10, 2022
On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) organized a capacity building session for FAST-NUCES, Islamabad Campus faculty members on Outcome Based Education (OBE). This training session holds particular importance in the context of the SSAPI project, as it aligns with the project's objective of enhancing academic and professional innovations at the university. By focusing on OBE, the session aims to improve the overall quality of teaching and learning, which is a crucial aspect of the SSAPI project's goal to elevate educational standards and practices. The integration of OBE principles into daily teaching methodologies and the adoption of CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) cycles will contribute to the institution's continuous improvement and growth, reinforcing the SSAPI project's mission to foster excellence and innovation across various domains within the university community. The session was followed by a productive Question and Answer segment, with the presence of Rector NUCES, Dr. Aftab Maroof, and Director Campus, Dr. Waseem Shahzad, adding significance to the event. The dedication of both the resource person and participants was acknowledged, reflecting the importance of such training in contributing to the institution's continuous improvement and alignment with the goals of the SSAPI project.
Training session of 150 Teaching Assistants on August 10, 2022
The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at FAST-NU conducted a training workshop for Teaching Assistants (TAs) on August 10, 2022. Ms. Sara Afzal from FAST School of Computing and a panel of four experienced TAs led an interactive session to highlight the roles and responsibilities of TAs. The participants gained valuable insights on grading using rubrics, maintaining professional interactions, and handling conflicts of interest. The training was well-received by 150 students interested in TA positions, who showed enthusiasm in learning spreadsheet skills and understanding the significance of their responsibilities. Director QEC, Dr. Arshad Islam, commended the resource person and participants for their passion and interest in the session, and the feedback indicated high satisfaction with the training's potential to enhance their professional performance as TAs.
New Faculty Orientation Session on August 18, 2022
On Thursday, August 18, 2022, the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at FAST-NUCES organized an orientation session for more than twenty newly joined faculty members who joined the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES) before the Fall 2022 semester. The session commenced with Mr. Umair Manzoor, Deputy Manager QEC, providing insights into QEC's activities, the significance of various stakeholders in Institutional Performance Evaluation (IPE), Post Graduate Program Review (PGPR), and the preparation of Self-Assessment Reports. He also discussed the importance of faculty collaboration with QEC in various activities and surveys. Dr. Arshad Islam, Director QEC, then offered an overview of the university's teaching-learning environment, emphasizing its supportive nature and providing valuable teaching and assessment techniques for the newly appointed faculty. The last session was conducted by Mr. Yasir Nazir, Manager HR, FAST Head Office, who comprehensively covered various HR policies. The training was followed by a fruitful Question and Answer session, and the participants expressed high satisfaction with the orientation, appreciating the resource persons and expressing confidence that the session would enhance their professional performance.
Training session for Teaching Assistants on March 18, 2022
The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at FAST-NU conducted a training workshop for Teaching Assistants (TAs) on March 18, 2022. Led by Ms. Sara Afzal, the session focused on familiarizing TAs from both the School of Computing and School of Engineering with their roles and responsibilities. The workshop covered important aspects like grading using rubrics, maintaining professional interactions with students while respecting privacy, and handling conflicts of interest. Participants actively engaged in learning basic spreadsheet skills to manage student grades effectively. Dr. Arshad Islam, the QEC Director, praised the resource person and participants, and their positive feedback indicated high satisfaction with the training, enhancing their professional performance as TAs.
Two weeks Training Visit of four members team to University of Bremen
The first onsite physical training program under the SSAPI project was held in Bremen, Germany, from 4-15 July 2022, hosted by the University of Bremen. A total of 56 participants representing the 2 European partners and 9 Asian partner universities participated in this 2-week training program. Four members from FAST-NUCES who attended the training included Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam, Dr. Muhammad Aleem, Mr. Hammad Majeed and Ms. Sara Afzal
The training program included a variety of activities designed to share knowledge and experience across the higher education institutions (HIEs) on program development and accreditation. Activities included simulation of program accreditation in engineering, psychology, electrical engineering, business administration and computer science, as developed by partner universities. In addition, meetings of the project managers, the Quality Board, and the DPC were also held during the training period to update on project activities and plan for future targets and deliverables. Visits of facilities at the University of Bremen, including the LogDynamics Lab, BIBA and the State and University Library Bremen (SUB), were also included as part of sharing institutional experience among the partners. Opportunities were also given to participants to attend classes and observe examples of project based learning at the university.
Visit to attend project progress review meeting at Villa College, Maldives
Villa College Maldives and the Maldives National University collaborated in hosting the Project Review Meeting for the Strategic Support for Accreditation of Programs and Internationalization (SSAPI) project, which took place from February 5th to 8th, 2023. Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam, Dr. Muhammad Aleem and Mr. Umair Manzoor participated in the meeting from FAST-NUCES.
The meeting served as a crucial platform for representatives from all participating institutions to convene and evaluate the progress achieved thus far. Additionally, it facilitated discussions on the forthcoming steps in the project's journey. This gathering enabled institutions to exchange valuable insights, share best practices, and foster meaningful collaborations, all aimed at elevating the standard of higher education throughout the region. The meeting's agenda encompassed various sessions, including project manager meetings, financial officer meetings, quality board meetings, and DPC meetings, ensuring comprehensive engagement and involvement in the project's various aspects.
Two weeks Training Visit of four members team to University of Evora
The SSAPI Project Training was hosted by the University of Evora, Portugal, from July 3rd to July 14th, 2023. Representatives from 11 partner institutions participated in the program. Four members from FAST-NUCES included Dr. Muhammad Arshad Islam, Dr. Usman Habib, Mr. Hammad Majeed, and Mr. Umair Manzoor. The training sessions, led by experts from the University of Evora and the University of Bremen, focused on sharing experiences and best practices to enhance the quality of education and foster internationalization efforts among Asian partners. The diverse topics covered accreditation and internationalization guidelines, innovative teaching methodologies, research strategies, and administrative practices. Participants also had the opportunity to visit various campuses of the University of Evora and explore the Science and Technology Park PACT, which provided valuable insights into fostering a conducive learning environment and promoting collaboration and innovation.
Throughout the two-week training, the participants exhibited exceptional dedication and active engagement, positively contributing to the program's success. Networking and collaboration among the partner institutions flourished during the training, laying the foundation for future joint initiatives. The University of Evora efforts in hosting and organizing the training were acknowledged with gratitude for their commitment to fostering international cooperation and knowledge sharing.