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Taiwan’s Evaluation of Universities Marks a Milestone of International Cooperation: Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan signs the Memorandum of Understanding with Institutes in Japan and Thailand

On April 8th, 2013, the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) of Japan and the National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA) of Thailand. In the future, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand will establish a close connection with each other through frequent interaction and cooperation, evaluator visits and exchanges, and the promotion of evaluation practices. Norihiko Suzuki, the Senior Managing Director of JUAA, Channarong Pornrungroj, the Chief Executive Officer of ONESQA signed on the MOU.

Since it was founded in 2005, HEEACT has been commissioned by the Ministry of Education to conduct program accreditation and institutional accreditation, it has also been actively working with international network of accreditation in order to achieve mutual recognition. So far HEEACT has joined the Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) to enhance the international visibility of Taiwan’s higher education. Furthermore, HEEACT has already signed the MOU with the Shanghai Educational Evaluation Institute (SEEI), the Japanese National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), the Philippine Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities(AACCUP), the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS), the Indian National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), and ONESQA (from 2009 to 2012). In 2012, HEEACT signed the Statement of Credential Assessment and Recognition with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to advance the assessment and recognition of Taiwan and Malaysia’s credentials.

JUAA was established in 1947. This foundation is under the sponsorship of institutions of higher education in Japan and is certified by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT, Japan). The mission of the JUAA is to improve the quality of institutions of higher education in Japan. Universities, colleges, junior colleges, colleges of law and colleges of commerce will be included for evaluation in Japan. ONESQA was founded in 2000. This governmental evaluation institute is at the same level as other Ministries which are directly under the Prime Minister. ONESQA sets up external evaluation criteria and guides universities in self-evaluation based on the criteria made by the Board of Education.

Signing the MOU with Asia-Pacific countries not only enhances the cooperation among professional evaluation institutes, aggregating experience from countries that share similar education systems, but also improves Taiwan’s educational quality assurance system. Moreover, it could increase publicity for HEEACT, help educational experts worldwide learn more about Taiwan’s educational quality assurance system, and enhance the international visibility of higher education in Taiwan. It is also expected to promote mutual higher education development and consolidate the foundation for credential assessment and recognition.