dr-janahi2 The integration of Quality Assurance principles into higher education has become the key factor in the increased worldwide emphasis on assessing and enhancing student learning outcomes, as well as maintaining high quality educational programs. It has expanded significantly in recent years, with major growth in initiatives addressing quality in higher education. New demands for judging quality, such as the extraordinary growth of for-profit higher education and the rapid expansion of online higher education have emerged. This increase in the ability to judge quality has enabled countries and regions to distinguish reliable institutions from those who may be considered more dubious, and to assist students and employers in identifying institutions that provide quality higher education.

The University of Bahrain UOB is committed to providing education that is comparable to the highest international standards. Our University’s focus on student learning is critical not only to the university’s ability to promote and improve curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, and to provide evidence of the quality of educational experiences and programs, but also to fulfill the most basic public expectations and needs of higher education. The focus on student learning outcomes assessment has become something of an “industry standard” for higher education. Sound assessment processes and high academic standards are vital components of maintaining and enhancing the quality of learning at UOB. Indeed, the university asserts that assessment is more than a response to demands for accountability; it is the vital means for curricular improvement.

An important element in the strategies for improvement in the University is the establishment of the  QAAC, which leads and supports quality improvement initiatives. The QAAC is committed to promoting faculty, staff, and students understanding of and engagement in the assessment Process. We are focusing on integrating assessment throughout our campus by continuously examining our effectiveness and making changes to improve.

The Handbook IDEAS is prepared by the QAAC to help the university advance in the Outcome- Based Assessment Process. It draws on successful practices both developed at UOB and elsewhere. This Handbook is impressive – thoughtfully prepared and beautifully written – and a tribute to those who worked long and hard to pull together the required information. Reading it will give you a picture of the innovative and forward-looking ways by which UOB has strived to achieve its mission and serve its students.

In closing, I would like to encourage each of you to become familiar with the IDEAS and to fully participate in the outcomes-based assessment process. I would also like to thank you for your contributions to this remarkable process, with special thanks to those who contributed time and energy to produce this handbook which will guide the university’s community to better comprehend the outcomes-based assessment process. It is you – the faculty, staff, and students of this university – that make UOB a well-recognized national university and innovator in the delivery of high quality education to our students.

Dr. Ebrahim M. Janahi
President, University of Bahrain