This unit manages academic curriculum matters that focus on three core areas:
- Academic Curriculum
- Academic Programme Accreditation and Digitization
- Academic Assessment and Evaluation
The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) was established in 2007 to ensure the quality of tertiary education. It introduces the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) as the basis for academic quality. All academic programmes offered at any public or private institution of higher learning (IHL) in Malaysia must adhere to the guidelines stipulated in the Code of Practice for Programme Accreditation (COPPA) and Programme Standard. The Ministry of Education (MOE) directed all IHL to adopt the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) curriculum and Student-Centred Learning (SCL) from the year 2010.
Through curriculum review initiatives, UiTM has implemented the OBE-SCL curriculum throughout its system. Lecturers were actively engaged in the transformation. They were introduced and exposed to the concepts of OBE-SCL implementation and assessment through numerous Training for Trainers (ToT) workshops and modules that assisted them with SCL teaching and learning. The OBE-SCL curriculum ensures that the course learning outcomes (CLOs) are mapped to the programme outcomes (POs) which in turn are aligned to the Programme Educational Objectives (PEOs).
Constructive alignment between the three (3) main components i.e., CLOs, teaching and learning, and assessment is established through a mechanism called closing the loop (CDL).
Academic Programme Accreditation and Digitization
The past, current and future programmes offered by IHL require accreditation from qualifying agencies such as the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), the Public Service Department (JPA), and in some cases from professional bodies such as the Malaysian Board of Engineers (LJM), Malaysian Board of Nurses (LLM), Malaysian Board of Pharmacy (LFM) or international professional bodies such as The Royal College of Radiographers (RCR), The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), and The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS). The accreditation is based on academic programme/course and employability of its graduates.
The application for a new programme requires a partial accreditation from MQA through the issuance of Certificate of Quality Compliance (CQC). It is then submitted to the Ministry of Education (MOE). Once MOE approves the programme, it can be offered and run. The programme must acquire a full accreditation before its first cohort of students graduate. This is fulfilled by submitting a Self-Evaluation Report to MQA. When MQA endorses the report, the programme is given full accreditation and also due recognition by the Public Services Department (JPA). To add value, UiTM suggests that new programmes acquire accreditation from local or international professional bodies.
UHEK digitally documents and updates all academic programmes offered by UiTM. This initiative ensures no variations of documents placed at faculties, academic centres, MOE and JPA. In addition, it constantly updates the accreditation status for all programmes.
Academic Assessment And Evaluation
The quality of student assessment has to be ensured throughout the UiTM system because UiTM is a massive institution of higher learning (IHL) that offers 351 programmes to 180,000 students at all campuses throughout Malaysia. UHEK plays a pivotal role in ensuring the quality of academic assessments through 3 mechanisms.
Mechanism 1 focuses on the development of JSU/JSUB/JSP/JSUP blueprints for both on-going assessments and final examinations. The JSU/JSUB/JSP/JSUP are developed based on four principles of assessment i.e., validity, reliability, fairness and consistency. This mechanism educates lecturers by creating awareness, disseminating knowledge, and giving hands-on training on the importance, principles and the process of developing JSU/JSUB/JSP/JSUP with reference to OBE-SCL, COPPA Area 3: Assessment and Garis Panduan Kesetaraan Kualiti Penilaian Pelajar UiTM.
Mechanism 2 adopts the utilisation of a centralised Item Bank System (IBS). With reference to the JSU/JSUB/JSP/JSUP blueprint, lecturers develop assessment items which are valid, reliable, fair and consistent. Through a 2-tier vetting process, developed items for every academic course are vetted by a committee that consists of a Resource Person and several experienced lecturers who are experts in the subject matter of the course. Quality is ensured for every constructed item that goes into the IBS.
Mechanism 3 ensures the standard and quality of final examination papers. UiTM adopts and administers the decentralisation of final examination operations as a way to facilitate the existence of many courses (university courses, faculty courses, programme courses) offered at multiple locations (faculties, academic centres and campuses). For each of these courses, parallel sets of the final examination papers are generated by the IBS. This quality control is vital to ensure that all parallel sets are of the same standard.