Kurdish universities are developing a new software to perform quality assurance in research, students’ services and third mission

The 8 Kurdish universities in the Northern region of Iraq, partners of the project, will soon have a new software to perform quality assurance measures in research, students’ services and the Third Mission activities. The software is needed to equip the Quality Assurance Directorate, established in each Kurdish university, to be more dynamic, operational and responsive places.

In the framework of APPRAIS project, the 8 public universities, in agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, agreed on developing a dedicated software for quality assurance, to allow a more accurate and professional management of the services delivered by the university QA Directorates, with a particular focus on research activities, services for students and the university socially responsible role.

The APPRAIS Software – developed in its alfa-version for the project – will offer different solutions to provide researchers, administrators and evaluators with the tools to monitor quality of results research, increase its visibility, as well to evaluate and ensure quality of third mission activities and of students’ services. It will be based on established technology and will be characterized by greater ease of use and flexibility in configurations.

The 8 Kurdish universities will pilot the software use during the lifetime of the project and will continue to use it after the project end. Potentially, its use can be later enlarged to other universities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq willing to widen the scope of their quality assurance procedures.

One of the fundamental features of the APPRAIS software will be the Research Institutional Repository which allows the archiving, consultation and communicating with authors of the products resulting from research activities. It will be a unique and integrated system able to communicate with national and international central systems for the management and dissemination of publications, compliant with the requirements of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

There would also be an Evaluation & Review component of the software dedicated to the evaluation of scientific research, based on statistics and indicators, allowing universities to manage successfully the internal evaluation procedures as well as the evluation on behalf of the Ministry.

The software will track information and data on scientific objectives, research activities, organisations and their results, quality policies pursued for research and its promotion, and critical observations. This tool shall allow universities to consider the research planning while providing students, families and stakeholders with an overview of the skills existing in the colleges and their research activities. The software will also guarantee an assessment exercise for Third Mission through a tool that enable to collect Third Mission case studies by each evaluated institution, as a selection of the impact generated by the department/institution’s activities. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in accordance with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs indicates the number of required case studies.

Finally, the software will tackle specific services for students that are measured according to the internal quality assurance system: selection and admission process, public information, the teaching and learning process, international mobility, external practices, employment services, general support services and general satisfaction with the study program. Thus, the software, using polls and surveys, registers information and evidence about the satisfaction of the students, not only with the teaching and learning activity, but also with the student service in each university. Other general services for students measure the quality and satisfaction using polls and surveys which are directly sent to the student. This is the case of the General Library, Observatory for Employment, General Information Service, Special Learning Support Service, Sports Services, Language Services, Social Attention Office, among others.

This is the first time that in the context of an EU funded project, universities will use the same and unique solution for managing QA in these three very important dimensions of university life and governance.

The provider, Awrosoft solutions company, expects to deliver the first version of the software in two months, to be ready by early 202. Then, the Kurdish universities staff members will be trained on the use of the software while they are testing it.

Stay tuned to know the progress on the software development and its use by the Kurdish Universities.