Being on top of the education chain, justifies the complexity, diversity and significance of Higher Education as being THE interface to the ever-evolving job market with extensive fast changes in requirements of graduates’ competencies and skills. This in turn mandates a corresponding quality-marked, dynamic, and fact-based decision making process with adaptive academic and administrative procedures within.
Education Quality, although being the capstone characteristic of the learning process, has been and is still in many cases an elusive terminology. There is a strong need for “measurable” flexible, innovative learning approaches, delivery methods and corresponding supporting functions, to improve quality and relevance while expanding student numbers. One key way of achieving this, in line with the EU policy paper on Rethinking Education, is to exploit the transformational benefits of ICT to quantify measures for education quality, effective and adaptive management and operation and emergence as a Smart Resource Planning Platform.
Although, not being a direct target in current application, Quality Criteria and Key Performance Indicators in HE systems, still represent the framework for any development and resource planning strategies aiming at efficient HE operation, fact-based decision making and elimination of resource-wasting HEI system processes.
Student-centered operation of HEIs with increasing number of technology-oriented students, complexity in academic objectives, diversity of procedures along with strong demand on education quality worldwide have rendered current models of academic resource planning and management inadequate and an integrated smart platform is already overdue (Strategic Programs and Projects – Bristol University). Mapping the industry standard “Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP” systems, successfully implemented in industrial sectors, to the academic system is a new way of looking at HEIs from a new “lean operation” perspective achieving education quality as a global objective.
Fact-based decision-making process within EG HEIs and strategic planning of resources have been a challenge to the over-sized 24 EG public universities with an average number of 200,000 students and staff each, leading to less than 20% of EG HEIs truly embracing Quality standards as a global objective. This has been rooted back to the excessive difficulty quantifying various education system ingredients into performance indicator measures that would feed into quality criteria and highly inefficient academic/administrative/financial resource planning. Data, if existing, are highly scattered and mostly in paper format and no scientific or standard real-time procedure for collecting and analyzing exists, as diagnosed by HEI leaders and National QA authorities. This is a major obstacle for true integration in the global education system, hindering recognition of academic degrees as well as transparency with EU academic institutions, when it comes to graduates’ competencies, not to mention its deep impact on students and their academic and career opportunities.
According to Article 11 of the World Declaration on Higher Education published by the United Nations, academic processes and procedures mapping all education and supporting functions within HEIs, represent the multi-dimensional perspective of education quality. Efficient management and intelligent resource planning have direct impact on the education quality, being the ultimate objective in any HEI. Such smart real-time system embracing continuous improvement and ICT tools to correlate all academic system components, defines Education Quality in its wider and holistic version.
It is thus with no doubt an ultimate objective for successful HEIs to implement the smartest and most autonomous academic system embracing all aspects of ICT, automatically capturing relevant data sets from all stakeholders within, to generate a clear and dynamic analysis of the academic and administrative performance complying with quality criteria and performance indicators prescribed by not only the national authorities but also along with international requirements, with configurability feature to fit in a future Smart Society.
Serving national priority addressing decision making, resource optimization and management:
Higher Education system reform, modernization, internationalization and partnership with EU systems has become an integral part of the national priorities and has been clearly stated in Egypt Strategy 2030. Recent requirements to establish new schools within existing universities or new universities mandate partnership with highly ranked international universities. This can only be done via proper modernization of existing universities, who embrace education quality and efficient academic resource planning mechanisms as an inherent feature of its operation. Thus, optimization of academic resource planning, efficient and effective utilization of academic resources, automation of academic processes towards quality-tailored operation is no longer a luxury for any university seeking true interface and partnership with any EU HEI.
It is therefore, the aim of the current project to create a quality-oriented smart automated university operation and resource planning environment infiltrating the global perspective of quality and best practices through the development of a smart digital platform for monitoring, analysis and automatic control of internal processes allowing for transparency, efficient management of human and capital resources, fact-based decision making, yielding a HEI model with quality KPIs being the controlling metrics for its automated processes, rendering quality compliance an INHERENT feature in ALL actions occurring within.
- Develop comprehensive gap analysis of Education Quality processes, KPIs and crosslinks with university automation systems.
- Map university processes and performance metrics to Education Quality criteria & KPIs.
- Develop intelligent closedloop feedback control system for Quality-Tailored (QT) automated processes within the HEI.
- Develop modular digital platform for the automation, performance analysis and resource planning of various academic, administrative, students, personnel, infrastructure and supporting function within the university targeting education system KPIs improvement.
- Fully integrate developed automated processes with Quality criteria assessment tools using customerclient relationship forming a fully integrated Quality-Tailored Smart ASRP.
- Develop a smart decisionmaking advisory tool for university management.
- Establish knowledge exchange mechanism between EU and EG academic and QA authorities.
- Deploy and validate the campus QT Smart Academic System Resource Planning system within the project lifetime.
- Ain shams University (ASU)
- Nile University (NU)
- Aswan University (ASWU)
- Suez Canal University (SU)
- National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Education in Egypt (NAQAAE)
- Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)