Sunway and MyQAN Brings ASEAN Stakeholders together to Evolve Higher Education Quality Assurance

With the theme “Higher Education as Enterprise – Embedding the Quality Assurance Culture,” the virtual event was attended by over 400 participants from universities in the ASEAN region including Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia to identify how higher education institutions have been responding in this period of major change.

The delegates also explored practical strategies that can be used to embed quality assurance processes in education institutions to create a culture which maximises flexibility, encourages enterprise and raises standards for now and the future.

YB Dato’ Mansor Othman, Deputy Minister of Higher Education officiated the seminar by saying, “The Malaysian government is always supportive of internationalisation initiatives such as SieQA as part of our push to become an international education hub. I believe SieQA 2021 is timely for the exploration of the future of quality assurance in ASEAN’s education institutions”.

Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Sunway University Vice-Chancellor explained during his keynote presentation that higher education institutions are going through a period of radical change globally and the COVID-19 pandemic has speeded up the evolution.  

“Students are becoming ‘digital nomads’ who study anytime anywhere, not just on campus, and this will also become the model for how many will work during their future careers. Learning will increasingly use combined on-campus resources and the myriad of online materials.”

Professor Wilkinson also emphasised that the big challenge for universities will be to ensure the high quality of the learning process and this is something that Sunway University is very passionate about.

During the seminar, Ybhg. Professor Dr Ts. Hajah Roziah Mohd Janor, President of MyQAN chaired a Global Quality Assurance Dialogue, titled “Challenges Facing Higher Education Quality Assurance in Managing Disruption: Regional Perspective”. The dialogue invited Professor Sibrandes Poppema, President of Sunway University and academics from Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand to share their research and recommendation on the topic from a regional standpoint.

The seminar also organized a session where academics and researchers from local universities presented their research paper on topics related to changes in higher education system due to COVID-19.

Associate Professor Dr Tommy Tong and his team of academics from Department of Biological Sciences, Sunway University were awarded best research paper with the topic “Evaluating the Perceived Effectiveness of Online Learning among Biological Sciences Undergraduates during the COVID-19 Pandemic”. His research found significance relationship between perceived effectiveness of online learning and internet connectivity, flexible learning hours and the ability to focus at home, providing insights for development of strategies to improve quality of education moving forward.


The conference also highlighted the need for more research in Quality Assurance areas in terms of relevance, and effectiveness of new approaches amongst other. Quality Assurance agencies, higher education institutions and researchers are encouraged to work closely together to ensure the continuity and development of Quality Assurance locally, regionally and globally.