Quality in Education: Achievements and Aspirations

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A QS Showcase message from Dr Abdullah Al Rubaish, rector of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

“Accreditation is a major step forward in our quest to become a leader in higher education.”
Dr Abdullah Al Rubaish
Rector

Saudi Arabia is working towards greater economic expansion and sustainable growth. Under Vision 2030 – a strategic plan intended to transform the Saudi economy – the kingdom aims to create sustainable opportunities for all. The plan places great importance on education to prepare future generations for an environment where excellence is curiosity-driven and goal-oriented.

Achieving standards of quality in education is crucial to actualising our national and social goals. Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU) (formerly University of Dammam), has won several national and international marks of recognition for the quality of its programmes in the past five years. IAU attained Institutional Accreditation from the National Center for Academic Accreditation & Evaluation (NCAAA), the national body for Academic Accreditation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May 2015. Later, the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, and College of Nursing received their Program Accreditation from NCAAA. Our College of Dentistry was recognised and certified by the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) for excellence in dental education. In February 2017, IAU’s College of Architecture & Planning was accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) of the US. The University Counseling Center (UCC) recently (May 2017) completed the onsite visit by reviewers from the International Association of Counselling Services (IACS), USA. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) will conduct its onsite review of our College of Engineering and College of Computer Science and Information Technology in December 2017.

Annually, IAU participates in the World University Rankings conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Time Higher Education (THE). The most recent recognition of quality was announced by QS University Rankings in which IAU was in the top 100 Arab Region Universities 2018. IAU also underwent the QS Star Rating Audit which evaluates universities in a broad range of categories and was rated as a “3-Star” institution (5 stars in teaching) in June 2017. It is indeed gratifying to see the recognition accorded to our dedicated faculty and students who have distinguished themselves through hard work and selfless devotion.

None of these achievements would be possible without a dedicated quality faculty team guided by the Deanship of Quality and Academic Accreditation (DQAA). They initiate and execute plans to achieve national and international accreditation as well as monitor programme performance based on different ranking criteria and indicators.

IAU has been meticulous in selecting over 1,400 highly qualified faculty from over 30 countries with academic preparation from outstanding universities from around the world. Many of our outstanding faculty have conducted research in solving medical, societal, economic, and business issues. And we take pride in producing graduates who are well-prepared for distinction and competition, locally and globally.

We believe that our academic and administrative staff members should work in an academic environment that for critical thinking, self-expression, and mutual understanding in furtherance of societal development.

I am privileged to lead these efforts in achieving the IAU’s vision.