ICDE’s strategic objective number 1 is: To promote quality digital, open and flexible education, ref. the ICDE Strategic Plan 2017-2020. As a consultative partner with UNESCO, ICDE supports the Education 2030 Agenda to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. To strengthen its global anchoring to regional quality work, ICDE launched an open call for Focal Points on Quality autumn 2016 among its members and established the ICDE Quality Network for a two-years period from 2017-2019 through the nomination of 7 Focal Points on quality (FPQ) for different regions. The quality network has an advisory role to the ICDE Executive Committee and is chaired by former Executive Committee member Alan Tait. The FPQ’s have been encouraged to develop and lead regional task forces for quality in online, open and flexible education within their regions. More information about the Quality Network and the FPQs .
One of the main tasks and responsibilities for the ICDE Quality Network is to give input and contribute to the UNESCO quality events during 2017 and 2018. We have been informed that UNESCO plans an international high-level conference in Paris in November 2018, to be built up with regional quality events during 2017 and 2018.
Three regional conferences have already been concluded, and ICDE representatives from our Quality Network have participated and actively provided input:
- UNESCO Regional meeting in Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Arab states, 2 March 2017, Bahrain
- UNESCO Regional Conference on Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Asia‐Pacific 15‐16 June 2017, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
- UNESCO Regional Conference on Quality Assurance of Higher Education in Francophone Africa, 26-27 May, Cameroun
In 2018, these regional quality events are in preparation:
- UNESCO Regional Consultation Meeting for Western Europe: The role of Quality Assurance in Higher Education: challenges, developments and trends, 15 -16 February, Geneva, see draft programme here
- UNESCO Regional Consultation meeting for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 22 – 23 April, Moscow
- UNESCO Regional Consultation meeting for Anglophone Africa, 21 – 23 May, Johannesburg
The International Conference takes place in Paris, France, 21 – 23 November 2018, indicated target 700 participants by invitation. ICDE is, together with Commonwealth of Learning, one of the core partners for this conference, and contributes directly and through the Quality Network.
An important aim for ICDE through its Quality Network is to advocate for a holistic perspective of quality in education, integrating online, open, flexible and technology enhanced education as a significant part of all study provisions and feeding this knowledge into the UNESCO conferences.