OAAAQA Issues the ISR (First Attempt) Outcomes for Al Zahra College for Women

02 Mar 2022

Oman Authority for Academic Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Education (OAAAQA) has now completed an Institutional Standards Reassessment (ISR) of Al Zahra College for Women (ZCW). This ISR (First Attempt) has resulted in a summative decision about the meeting of standards and associated criteria, now made available on the OAAAQA website (click here). The ISR Report is not made publicly available but may be circulated to OAAAQA Board Members, the Ministry of Higher Education Research and Innovation, and to other government bodies (based on their request and subject to the approval of the OAAAQA Board).
ZCW submitted the ISR Application on 4 December 2020 and a Panel was formed to undertake the ISR process. The Panel comprised experienced locally-based and international reviewers (click here). The Visit took place between 28 and 31 March 2021 and was conducted (with the exception of ‘Day Zero’, a day of Panel discussions before the interviews at the College commenced) at ZCW’s premises. During the Visit, the Panel spoke with 78 people, including representatives of the governing authorities, staff members, students and external stakeholders. The Panel also visited a selection of venues and reviewed a range of additional evidence and supporting materials.
On 1 December 2021, the OAAAQA Board approved ZCW ISR Report, a copy of which has been received by ZCW. ZCW succeeded in meeting a further 15 of the 70 applicable criteria, bringing the total of Met criteria to 52 across five out of the eight applicable institutional standards. The ISR process resulted in an Accreditation Outcome of ‘On Probation`. ZCW will undergo Institutional Standards Reassessment (ISR 2) after 12 months from the date of ISR Report Approval.
As a context to the above results, it may be helpful to mention that OAAA`s Institutional Accreditation system consists of two stages. The first stage is comprised of Institutional Quality Audit (IQA) which results in a report that includes formal conclusions commonly referred to as CARs (Commendations, Affirmations and Recommendations) and aims at assisting a Higher Education Institution (HEI) to enhance the quality of its internal systems. The second stage is comprised of Institutional Standards Assessment (ISA) which leads to an outcome of an HEI being Accredited, Conditionally Accredited or placed On Probation according to the number of Standards and Criteria that an HEI meets. HEIs that are not able to meet the accreditation requirements after ISA are given an opportunity to demonstrate they have met all pending requirements through Institutional Standards Reassessment (ISR). An HEI may attempt ISR twice (through a `First Attempt` and a `Second Attempt`) before the Institutional Accreditation process is terminated