Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) showcased innovative Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-Enhanced Higher Education at Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE) conference held in Oman from December 6 to December 7, 2023.  The participation of the University at the conference underscores its dedication to shaping the future of higher education quality through its novel smart learning concepts.

The fifth edition of the ANQAHE conference, themed 'Exploring the Future of Education Quality: The Impact of Smart Technologies and Internationalisation on the Education Quality Systems,' served as a significant platform. It brought together speakers, higher education delegations, Digital Transformation and AI specialists, Quality Assurance experts to discuss challenges and opportunities in quality assurance amid digitisation's impact on higher education quality systems.

As a key participant in the event, Prof. Moustafa Hassan, Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation at HBMSU, led a dynamic pre-conference workshop on Benchmarking in Online Learning on December 5, 2023. Prof. Hassan delved into various aspects of the project, including benchmarking techniques for quality assurance, the unique evaluation needs of online education, the development and pilot implementation of the Benchmarking Framework, data entry and use of the benchmarking website, global implementation results, and continuous quality improvement of the framework and its toolkit. Participants in the workshop gained practical experience by actively entering data and generating comparative graphs.

H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, stated: “We, at HBMSU, take pride in spearheading the introduction and integration of innovative smart learning concepts across the Arab world. Our active participation in the ANQAHE conference is a testament to our unwavering commitment to elevating the quality of global higher education. Quality assurance is the bedrock of a robust education system, and through collaborative efforts and tools like the Benchmarking Framework, we are shaping the future of higher education. We are dedicated to cultivating an educational environment that nurtures a highly competent generation, playing a pivotal role in propelling the UAE's transformation into one of the most inventive nations worldwide.”

Prof. Hassan, Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation at HBMSU, said: “Benchmarking Online Learning goes beyond being a mere tool; it represents a strategic approach to ensuring quality in education. Our workshop highlighted the profound impact of benchmarking on molding the trajectory of online education in the future. In this era of digital transformation, upholding academic integrity and quality stands as a top priority. The Benchmarking Framework designed for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-Enhanced Higher Education reflects our dedication to achieving excellence. By sharing insights at the ANQAHE conference, we have extended an invitation to fellow educators and institutions to embrace digital pedagogy and harness innovative tools to enhance higher education on a global scale.”

The Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-Enhanced Higher Education serves as an assessment tool for online and open universities, identifying strengths and vulnerabilities to benchmark themselves in the rapidly evolving higher education landscape. Developed collectively by members of the International Consortium for Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-Enhanced Higher Education, including experts from online and open universities, quality assurance agencies, and higher education associations, the Framework addresses unique aspects of online education and the rising need for quality assurance.

For more details about the Benchmarking Framework, please visit the website: