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Abdel Bagi A.G. Babiker
Professor Abdel Bagi Abdel Ghani Babiker is the president of the Evaluation and Accreditation Corporation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Sudan. He graduated from the Higher Teacher Training Institute (currently the Faculty of Education, University of Khartoum) and is the holder of an MSc and PhD in Geography from Martin Luther University, Germany. He is a professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Khartoum, and has taught at various universities in Sudan and the Arab region. Professor Babiker has also served as dean at the Faculty of Education, University of Khartoum; president of Wadi Al-Neel University; director of the Staff Development Centre, University of Khartoum; and general director of the Under-Secretariat for Non-Governmental Higher Education at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. He is the president of the UNESCO Regional Committee for the Recognition, Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education Degrees and Certificates in the Arab region; president of the Regional Arab Network of GUNI (Global University Network for Innovation); chairman of the Committee on Professional Development and Training of the Arab Society for Quality Assurance in Education; chairman of the Sudanese Educational Forum and president of the National Association of Teachers in Universities and Higher Education Institutes in Sudan. Professor Babiker is the author of three books on educational matters and 44 published and 14 unpublished papers on education, geography and environmental studies (in English, German and Arabic).
President of the Evaluation and Accreditation Corporation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Sudan.
Professor Abdel Bagi A.G. Babiker spoke on quality assurance and accreditation of Higher Education in The Arab Region.
“Many Arab States took the move and the have either established or in the process of finalizing the establishment for a body to cater for evaluation and accreditation at the national level (Jordon, UAR, Oman, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia , Palestine, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya and Yemen)”
¿Should accreditation be ruled by general norms established by the state and developed by public or private agencies?
Accreditation is a process of recognizing educational programs and/or educational institutions for quality, integrity and performance that entitles them the confidence of the community at large. Within this process HE institutions are required to examine their goals, operations, and achievements….etc. internally and externally against certain norms and standards. These should be established and developed by a wider segment of the community including certainly the state and all other stakeholders if possible.
¿Which is the historical background of accreditation in Arab Countries?
Accreditation is a recent phenomena in the Arab Region. It started in the nineties of the 20th. Century, but as a licensing process. Till the Beirut UNESCO Regional Conference on Higher Education (1998) Jordan was the only Arab country which established an accrediting body, but only to license private higher education institutions. But very few institutions started mid nineties seeking external accreditation, especially for some of their professional programs of engineering and medicine. The spread of quality assurance and accreditation in the region in the true sense of the two concepts is a phenomena of this decade.
¿Which Arab Countries are ahead in the accreditation processes?
Many Arab States took the move and the have either established or in the process of finalizing the establishment for a body to cater for evaluation and accreditation at the national level (Jordon, UAR, Oman, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya and Yemen).
¿Do you consider that the best guarantee for quality assurance and accreditation is to build International Agencies of Accreditation oriented in their procedures by the National Ministries of Education under the coordination of UNESCO?
This question is creating currently a heating discussion in the Region. Currently, UNESCO Regional Office, Arab States is conducting a survey on the efforts of quality assurance and accreditation in the Arab States. Form and structure of a proposed regional body together with cooperation with international frameworks are important issues in the survey. Preliminary gathered information of the countries surveyed till now show different concepts of the different stakeholders. But generally most of the people surveyed welcome cooperation with international organizations, especially UNESCO, and sound accreditation networks. Involving the national Ministries of Higher Education in the determining procedures of any international agency, although would guarantee the official acceptance and/or recognition in a short term manner, but some believe it may turn negatively in the sense that it may rather express the interests of governments on the account of other stakeholders (institutions, professionals, students, civil society …..). I think the proposal could be more feasible if we also engage international associations of those stakeholders.
Professor Abdel Bagi A.G. Babiker is the author of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education in The Arab Region. This paper will be published in the next GUNI report Higher Education in the World 2007, presented at the 3rd International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education: Accreditation for quality assurance: what is at stake?