Dr. Mansoor
  • Discussing collaborative benchmarking initiative for the future of online education by, and highlighting significant achievements of 2023

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) took part in the Annual Meeting of the Consortium for Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart and Technology-enhanced higher education on December 14, 2023. This virtual meeting explored the future trajectory of the international Consortium, dedicated to advancing the quality of online education through collaborative benchmarking initiative. Against the backdrop of the substantial achievements of 2023, the meeting celebrated the triumphs of the Consortium for Benchmarking Framework, a collaborative endeavor initiated nearly five years ago by HBMSU and other global leaders in online higher education. It showcased the Consortium's resounding success in fostering excellence in the digital realm of higher education.

The meeting was attended by several prominent figures, including H.E. Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General at the Association of Arab Universities (AArU); Prof. Nadia Badrawi, President of Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE); Ms. Torunn Gjelsvik, Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE); H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU; and many other distinguished members and representatives of the Consortium.

Participants were presented with the global report on the 2023 benchmarking implementation cycle, which was implemented by ten universities of the Consortium, followed by the findings of the two expert committees nominated at the previous Members' meeting. The meeting also discussed future plans to enhance online higher education, in alignment with the Consortium’s growth trajectory and maintaining top-quality output standards.

H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU commented: “The Annual Meeting is a strong reminder of the collaborative spirit and commitment that drive our common goal of raising the bar for online education worldwide. This common outlook and dedication have greatly contributed to the success of the Consortium for the Benchmarking Framework since its inception nearly five years ago. The year 2023, marked by its noteworthy accomplishments and innovations, therefore serves as a testament to our combined efforts in the field of online, open, smart, and technology-enhanced higher education.”

His Excellency added, “A major contributor to the Consortium's success has been the continued assistance we have received from member universities and partners. We firmly believe that this meeting, providing ample opportunities for all members to leverage their participation in our digital transformation endeavor, is essential to the Consortium's continued growth and development.”

H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar made the opening remarks at the meeting, which was followed by remarks from H.E. Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General, Association of Arab Universities (AARU), who expressed his gratitude to HBMSU for initiating the Consortium and bringing together all its members. He emphasized the crucial goal of the Consortium — to establish a collective understanding of quality in online higher education in the rapidly changing world and to ensure that students receive the highest levels of educational excellence.

Ms. Torunn Gjelsvik, Secretary General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), reaffirmed ICDE's steadfast support to the Consortium as a strategic partner, expressing, “I must commend HBMSU, led by Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, for the notable achievements in 2023. The creation of a highly valuable toolkit is particularly noteworthy.”

Prof. Moustafa Hassan, Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation in HBMSU, presented the benchmarking implementation cycle report for 2023, while also making a presentation on the benchmarking framework toolkit. Several other discussions on key topics that would impact the future of online higher education were also held, making the Annual Meeting for Online Higher Education Consortium a remarkable success.