Cũng giống VN thời mới bắt đầu làm đánh giá và kiểm định. Nhưng sao họ làm chậm thế nhỉ, VN thì làm ào ào từ lâu rồi (nhưng có vẻ họ thì làm thật, dù chậm và dở, còn mình thì rất có nguy cơ làm dối, hình thức, bệnh thành tích...)
Dù sao thì cũng nên đọc bài viết này, lấy từ Bangkok Post, để biết người biết ta!
Rankings or assessments
The resent hoopla over university 'rankings' was ill-conceived because the focus should have been on self-improvement, not which university was better than another
Writer: VASU THIRASAK
Published: 22/09/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Learningpost
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which Thai university is best of them all? "Well," said the magic mirror, "you might not like the answer to that question, and before I give you the answer, these are the criteria on which I made my judgment ... ."
Mahanakorn University of Technology was one of the research universities that received high points in Onesqa’s recent university quality assessment. SUWAT POMKOKRAG
It's hard to be a well-balanced, non-biased, truthful mirror.
When the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (Onesqa) released its assessment of the quality of university-level institutions recently, there were complaints and a few hostilities here and there against what most people perceived as being the Thai-university "rankings".
Using the correct terminology
A university ranking is an evaluation and positioning of two or more universities against each other in a hierarchy - one above the other; whereas an assessment is the evaluation of a university against itself, the main goal of which is to foster self-improvement.
Of course, Onesqa was quick to emphasize that the report did not "rank" Thailand's universities, but its voice was not heard over the boisterous din of detractors.
Onesqa clarified that the main objective of the quality assessment of universities and educational institutions was to inform each university, individually, of its true quality and performance. This would empower them to improve their own performances and achieve higher quality standards in the future.
That is what has been needed for a long time. And publishing the results for everybody to see reinforces the transparency that is often absent when tabulations are kept secret.
Therefore, each university should not waste time arguing about who is "No. 1", but instead should be asking how it did this year compared to last year and how it can do better next year.
Reasons for assessments
Onesqa was established in 2000 as a public organisation to assess - not to rank - the performance of all education institutions in the Kingdom.
Many education-related agencies, including the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Higher Education Commission, and even Onesqa, are reluctant to come up with outright official university rankings like those in the US News & World Report or the Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities.
However, for many years, academics with broader perspectives have urged for a publication of a true evaluation of all 37,000 schools in Thailand - elementary schools, high schools, vocational and commercial schools, international schools, colleges and universities - and that the results should be made public.
It is important to have assessments because they provide valuable information on the independent standings of universities to be used by prospective students and their parents who may be trying to select a university or special programme. For too long, students have had to search in the dark, or to depend on subjective conclusions by others regarding the quality of a university or academic programme.
The public distribution of objective assessments can assist parents, teachers, administrators and students in making informed decisions concerning their education.
The individual assessments also act as a mirror that enables each university to see itself and its performances and its strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of its peers. This allows each university to identify which areas it needs to improve and marks which areas of strength it should promote.
Chaiyo for Onesqa!
Whether the public calls the listing an assessment or a ranking, the most important point is that Onesqa should be applauded, not only for its bold move in publishing its university assessments, but also for doing so transparently and without bias - a rare event in Thailand.
In publishing the list, Onesqa took a courageous step knowing that it would receive lots of criticism and claims of unfairness. One of the main brickbats is that the criteria on which Onesqa based its assessments might not be fair and accurate.
But that's the point of having one's own set of criteria for making assessments. There is no universal set of standards or criteria that are used and accepted for assessments or rankings throughout the world.
For instance - and using examples from the rankings world - the US News & World Report, the leading university-rankings publication, uses a different set of criteria from the Times Higher Education's world university rankings. Each assessor has its own set of criteria, indicators and, therefore, results.
In addition, the Washington Monthly magazine recently came up with its own university rankings with the emphasis on measuring which US universities do the most for social good. Surprisingly, Harvard University (ranked No. 1 on both the US News and the UK's Times Higher Education lists) was ranked No. 11 by the Washington Monthly, with Yale at No. 23 and Princeton at No. 28.
Therefore, Onesqa's set of criteria, for all its intents and purposes, is Onesqa's set of criteria, period.
Thailand's 200 universities are assessed systematically over a five-year period. Not all universities are evaluated every year, but every university is evaluated at least once in the mandatory five-year cycle.
According to Onesqa, its assessment methodology is rigorous, systematic and beyond reproach, and that the criteria used are complex and comprehensive.
In assessing all the universities, Onesqa focuses on evaluating all aspects of the institution, including areas like the quality of graduates, research programmes, academic services, the preservation of arts and culture, curriculum and teaching/learning standards, and many others, including human resources management and employee benefits.
Additionally, the peer-review method was used in the evaluation process.
Onesqa's evaluation teams comprise more than 300 academic experts from all the universities that are being assessed. Each assessment team has a minimum of three members, but may have many more. The assessment teams are required to visit and evaluate each assigned university by means of an evaluation process that is very thorough and which takes a minimum of three days to complete.
The criteria for selecting each evaluation team member are as follows: the first person must have worked under the supervision of Onesqa during the previous university assessment cycle, and must have a full understanding of the requirements and applicable criteria. The second person must come from the university that is being assessed, so that he or she has in-depth knowledge of the university. The third person is chosen randomly from a pool of highly respected experts and is assigned by Onesqa to the evaluation team.
Time to improve
The most important thing is that Onesqa's assessment results are now public. Now it's up to us to use the assessment results to the benefit of each university and start improving the quality of our higher education institutions.
For institutions that received high marks across the board, "Well done!" And keep it up. However, to those universities that didn't receive maximum points in specific categories, you have no excuses. You now know where the weak points are, thanks to Onesqa. Dig in and start improving yourself.
Universities shouldn't waste time criticising the system or faulting other schools because they did better; instead, do your part to improve Thailand's higher education.
So, before you go back to the magic mirror to ask that tough question again, prepare yourself and make sure you work hard, because you can fool yourself that you look good, but remember that the mirror never lies. It just reflects your true being.
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