Manique Gunesekera Memorial Oration

 

2017

Assessing Quality in Higher Education by Prof Dushyanthi Mendis, University of Colombo

The past year has brought study programs in Faculties of Arts and Humanities in the Sri Lankan University system under the lens of the University Grants Commission's Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (QAAC). Quality assurance and assessment are healthy practices of appraisal, and can bring significant benefits to institutions under review. However, it is important that principles of fairness, objectivity and ethical considerations are adhered to, and that the review criteria and process inspire confidence in students and members of the academic and non-academic staff in the institutions subjected to review. Because performance appraisals are not the norm in the Sri Lankan university system, review processes can be viewed as an external threat, and even perhaps as a punitive measure. I argue that this is a view that should change, and that institutions of higher education can and should use reviews to their benefit, to begin a dialogue about enhancing quality and to highlight weaknesses in the system and areas that need improvement, in striving for excellence.

 


 

2016

Prof Arjuna Parakrama, University of Peradeniya