Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), in collaboration with the Association of Arab Universities (AARU), held a webinar on ‘The Consortium for Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-enhanced Higher Education,’ with the aim of publicizing the international consortium for the development of the benchmarking framework for online and open higher education institutions. It presented the aspects and indicators of the benchmarking framework and the results of trial implementation, as well as identified the benefits of using the website to enter data and display results. During the webinar, welcome speeches were given by HE Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of the AARU and HE Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU.
HE Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama praised the positive results of the Benchmarking Framework’s trial phase and said: “The Benchmarking Framework plays a critical role in enhancing the ability of open, smart, and online universities to provide quality education by connecting higher education institutions to share best quality assurance methods and provide adequate information on best practices in the field of online higher education.”
“It is important to continue holding similar symposiums to discuss the developments and intended results from the Benchmarking Framework in order to improve the quality of e-learning, which is gaining traction globally and among all institutions of higher education due to its flexibility,” Dr. Salama added.
HE Dr. Mansoor Al Awar thanked the Association of Arab Universities and Dr. Salama, as well as the strategic partners and members of the Consortium for Benchmarking Framework for their tireless efforts in supporting the development and improvement of the online learning system, which also keeps pace with the demands of accelerated digital transformation by focusing on the quality of educational inputs needed to deliver highly efficient outcomes. He further emphasized the strategic importance of the Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-enhanced Higher Education in strengthening the prospects for inter-institutional cooperation and improving the effectiveness of standards to ensure quality in online higher education.
“As HBMSU celebrates its 20th anniversary, we continue to strive to be at the forefront of universities that change the future. The Benchmarking Framework acts as compelling evidence of the success of the proactive efforts led by HBMSU to improve the global higher education system, by adopting a comprehensive approach standard to evaluate and enhance competencies, improve skills, and drive scientific content. Furthermore, it keeps pace with accelerated global variables, as HBMSU is a leading academic institution in the Arab world, providing vocational training and lifelong education in a smart learning environment that employs the latest innovative technologies, in accordance with the guidance of good leadership.”
Additionally, Professor Moustafa Hassan, HBMSU Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation, gave a comprehensive overview of the Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-enhanced Higher Education, addressing six main themes, namely: An overview of the Benchmarking Framework and its stages of development since the initiative's launch, benchmarking as a quality assurance tool, the objective of establishing the Benchmarking Framework, the aspects and indicators of the Benchmarking Framework, the results of implementation trials, and use of the website for data entry and display of results.
In March, HBMSU announced the global implementation of the Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-enhanced Higher Education, which was launched in February 2022 on the sidelines of the ‘Innovation Arabia 15’ events. The international Consortium for Benchmarking Framework holds six organizations and 13 universities, such as the Association of Arab Universities (AARU), Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), Commonwealth of Learning, International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (UNESCO-ICHEI), European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE), Asia E-University, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO of Italy, the Open University of China, Universitas Terbuka., University of the Philippines – Open University (UPOU), as well as the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) as an official partner.