The role of faculty members in the new independent accreditation process in Kyrgyzstan
(American University of Central Asia)
Currently, there are five independent accreditation agencies for quality assurance in education in Kyrgyzstan: Agency for Quality Assurance in Education "EdNet" (2017); the Accreditation Agency for Educational Programs and Organizations (AAEPO), (2017); Agency for Accreditation of Educational Organizations and Programs "Sapattuu Bilim" (2018); Independent Accreditation Agency "Bilim - Standart" (n.d.); Independent Accreditation Agency "El Baasy" (n.d). These newly established accreditation agencies train accreditation experts actively recruiting university faculty members for workshops on quality assessment system and criteria for accreditation, and award certificates of experts. Universities should not ignore potential contributions of professors to the improvement of the quality assessment system through participating in the accreditation process. However, it is not clear the motivations of faculty members to attend the workshops and to participate in the accreditation process taking into account their busy teaching schedule in several institutions at once, and the time - consuming nature of the accreditation process. The purpose of the paper is to explore university faculty members' motivations to participate in the training of the accreditation agencies and their role in the new accreditation process from their own point of view. The paper will present the findings from the review of the policies and standards of the new independent accreditation agencies, and anticipated research in summer 2018, in Kyrgyzstan. I will interview 15-20 faculty members using semi-structured interviews in Kyrgyz and Russian languages at pedagogical programs that were evaluated by independent accreditation agencies to understand their experiences and role in the accreditation process. The paper will address the following research questions: • How do faculty members view their role in the accreditation process of pedagogical programs in state universities? • How do the faculty members decide to attend or not to attend training on independent accreditation offered by the new accreditation agencies? • What are the benefits for university faculty members from participation in the accreditation process from their point of view? • To what extent do faculty members understand the purpose of a new independent accreditation? The preliminary assumptions are (1) faculty members view participation in the accreditation process as a positive professional development aspect that might contribute to the improvement of the quality of education; (2) personal benefits: the certain recognition of their qualification in the academic community, and additional income; (3) the need and value of a formal certificate to get promotion.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan: Perspectives and models of educational access, quality and outcomes