First-Time Student Participation in National Accreditation Process
In 2010, AUC became the first University in Egypt to be accredited by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) (NAQAAE), a body created by the Egyptian government in 2007 to establish quality standards for its educational institutions. Since then, the University has prioritized and remained actively involved in this process, recognizing the importance of obtaining national accreditation, in addition to international accreditation.
Most recently, Omar Bahaa, Student Union academic representation chair, was nominated by George Marquis, dean of students, to participate in a workshop held by NAQAAE to raise awareness and receive feedback about its accreditation process. Bahaa, in turn, nominated three other members of the Student Union to participate with him: Pakinam El-Gohary, human resources chair, Nadine El-Gindy, member of academic services committee, and Ali Saed, member of the academic representation committee. Additionally, students from 23 other private and public universities in Egypt also attended.
At the workshop, participants discussed the definition of accreditation, how to best represent the process at universities and the general mindset around accreditation in Egypt. The general mindset at the workshop, Bahaa noted, was that as a mark of excellence, “accreditation allows Egyptian students to travel abroad to continue their education or work. We [AUC students] presented a slightly different mindset. We think of accreditation as a way for students outside of Egypt to understand AUC’s educational standing, so more people, especially international students, will come here. If we send the best engineers, architects, scientists or doctors abroad, how are we going to advance Egypt?”
Bahaa’s presentation and performance were so well-received by other participants at the workshop that he was nominated to be a moderator for the second half of the daylong workshop.
When asked why he, and the Student Union for the first-time ever this year, became involved with the accreditation process at AUC, Bahaa said that “It’s because I love this University. I believe AUC is one of the best universities available. So when we attend a workshop like this, we understand the importance of why AUC needs an Egyptian accreditation.”
Marquis also emphasized the importance of student participation in the accreditation process. "Attending conferences and workshops as invited guests of NAQAAE provides opportunities for students to learn more about the expectations of Egypt's national accrediting bodies,” he said. “In turn, students better understand Egypt's expectations from its institutions of higher education regarding their roles and responsibilities in the area of Egypt's development on a national and global scale."