COCOPEA Proposal for the Revision of CMO 46 s. 2012 [Updated Jan. 24, 2019 and approved by COCOPEA Board for formal discussion in a COCOPEA convocation with CHED Chairperson Dr. Prospero de Vera (on Feb 18, 2019 in New World Hotel, Makati, 9:30-3:00 pm)]

Contents

  1. Talking Points [PDF file]
  2. Higher Education Quality Framework
  3. Table of Indicators of Excellence (TIE) and Rewards System [PDF file]
  4. Understanding the TIE and the Rewards System [PDF TIE] [PDF Rewards System]
  5. Draft CMO on Quality and Quality Assurance [PDF file]
  6. Important Notes

Talking Points Towards a Revision of Policy-Standard to Enhance Quality Assurance (QA) in the Philippine Higher Education through an Outcomes-Based[1] and Typology-Based[2] QA (CMO 46 s. 2012)

  1. It would help the promotion of Quality Assurance in Philippine Higher Education if its Policy Standard simply focused on Quality (Q) and Quality Assurance (QA).[Cf: Higher Education Quality Framework, attached]

Quality

  1. Quality in higher education (Q) has to do with four essential dimensions: (1) the achievement by the HEI of minimum standards set by government[3]; (2) the implementation of the vision and mission of the HEI; (3) the achievement of standards of excellence by the HEI; and (4) the responsiveness of the HEI to stakeholders[4].
  2. Government prescribes minimum standards in its regulative function; it recognizes and encourages exemplary implementation of vision and mission, excellence in learning outcomes, and high responsiveness to stakeholders in its developmental function.
  3. In achieving minimum standards but especially in surpassing them, HEIs function in academic freedom. Academic freedom is vested in the HEI by the Philippine Constitution; it is guaranteed by RA 7722.
  4. The academic freedom of the HEI is its recognized ability to achieve the minimum standards set by government, to implement its mission appropriate to its vision (identity), to achieve standards of excellence in learning outcomes, and to satisfy its particular stakeholders as a responsible part of the PH system of education under current historical conditions.[5] HEIs individually and as a community govern themselves in academic freedom. Academic freedom is realized in academic responsibility.
  1. It is in the interest of the one PH system of education that minimum standards be kept minimum, to empower HEIs in academic freedom to distinguish[6] themselves in implementation of the HEI vision and mission, in excellence in the achievement of learning outcomes, and in responsiveness to stakeholders. Unto this end the process of determining minimum standards in consultation with the HEI community (through PASUC and COCOPEA) should be clarified.
  1. HEIs distinguish themselves by surpassing minimum standards in academic freedom through evidenced performance against an array of indicators of (four) levels of excellence in the implementation of vision and mission, learning outcomes, and in satisfaction of stakeholders. HEIs may distinguish themselves either in achieving all the excellence indicators of one level, level by level, or in achieving some indicators in different levels of excellence. The achievement of excellence is iterative and an ongoing demand of academic freedom.[7]

[Cf. Table of Areas of Excellence (Faculty, Administration, Research-Publications-Innovations, Community Engagement) and of Indicators of Excellence on 4 Levels (for discussion and refinement), attached. Indicators of Excellence to be assigned points through which HEI distinguish themselves.]

  1. In academic freedom the HEI declares that it has achieved minimum standards and how it has distinguished itself as an HEI in the implementation of its vision mission, in the achievement of excellence in learning outcomes, and in responsiveness to stakeholders.

Quality Assurance

  1. Quality assurance (QA) checks that what the HEI has declared is in fact true. It assures both the HEI and its stakeholders that that quality the HEI claims is in fact true.
  • The culture of QA is the development or acceptance of systematic internal and external checks and metrics of quality by the HEI.
  • In academic freedom, the HEI has the primary responsibility for Q and for QA. CHED encourages and promotes QA in its developmental function, since QA necessarily bring the HEI beyond minimum standards.
  • QA ascertains that the HEI has achieved minimum standards and ascertains indicators of excellence.
  1. The Philippines is part of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN). It subscribes to the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework (AQAF). This requires the External Quality Assurance Agency (EQAA), the EQAA Standards and Procedures (EQAA-SP), the Internal quality Assurance structure (IQA), and the National Qualifications Framework (NQnF), i.e., the Philippine Qualifications Framework. [Note important difference between Q and Qn!]
  • The HEI distinguishes itself in Q and seeks confirmation of this through QA.
  • Government recognizes how the HEI has distinguished itself in Q through QA, ultimately, through the judgements of the EQAA. In recognition of a distinguished HEI it may reward it through such incentives as scholarship grants, grants towards institutional development, the status and privileges of autonomy, center of excellence, center of development for excellence, prior access to TES funds under title of quality higher education, etc

[CHED could reward excellence on the basis of points earned for indicators of excellence, cf. 7]

  • The ultimate beneficiary of Q and QA must be the stakeholders (humane human society in the PH, the industry that promotes this). The most substantial contribution of the HEI to its stakeholders is its graduates.

[1] Where “learning outcomes” are universally accepted and non-contentious, it may be helpful to remove “outcomes-based QA” from the Policy Standard. Checking inputs is essential to assuring learning outcomes in a QA process. The strategy or pedagogy of achieving learning outcomes belongs to the HEI.

[2] While the typology of an HEI may be an important issue, it unduly complicates a CMO on Q an QA. It can be the object of a separate CMO. More important than HEI typology is to achieve consensus on Q, the iterative development of Q, and the role of QA in this iterative development. Against this and its importance for our HEIs’stakeholders, namely. humane humanity or “nationalism” or the “common good” to which industry must be subordinated, HEI typology is of secondary importance.

[3] Missing in CMO 46

[4] Missing in CMO 46

[5] This definition should help HEIs appreciate the importance of academic freedom in its historical context. There is no academic freedom outside of the historical context in which it is exercised.

[6] This will empower HEIs to appreciate and implement their mission and vision.

[7] This is innovative in this proposed revision of the CMO: an array of indicators of excellence proposed by Dr. Gina Montalan (for discussion, revision, ongoing improvement) provides the basis for HEIs to distinguish themselves and to find recognition through the QA process.


Higher Education Quality Framework

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Table of Indicators of Excellence and Rewards System

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Understanding the TEI and the Rewards System

Understand it in the backdrop of the Higher Education Quality Framework: HEI Q is understood necessarily in the achievement for four dimensions: (DI) Minimum Standards, (D2) Implementation of the Vision Mission of the School, (D3) Achievement of Excellence in Learning Outcomes, (D4) Responsiveness to Stakeholders. HEI Excellence is in the HEIs achieving and going beyond minimum standards (DI) in academic freedom.

HEI Excellence is mapped out in the TIE.

HEI Excellence can be achieved variously, according to the M-V of the HEI and its historical circumstances.

There are five indicated Areas of possible HEI Excellence (“Area”: indicated by different colors): (1) Curriculum and Instruction, (2) Faculty, (3) Administration, (4) Research, Publications and Innovations, and (5) Community Engagement.

The relevant dimension of Quality – D1 to D4 – is indicated as is relevant for every Area. D1 is only indicated when there is a governing PSG. The Excellence in Achieving Learning outcomes (D3) is achieved often simultaneously with the implementation of vision/mission (D2) or with responsiveness to stakeholders (D4).

Areas of possible HEI Excellence have different Components:
Every Component has different Indicator(s) of Excellence (IE) for the Area.

Every IE for an Area has Metrics
The IE and Metrics are ordered into four levels. Lower numbered levels, however,

are not pre-requisites of higher-numbered levels.

The table can be approved. But with use, it can be periodically evaluated and revised.

Table 2. Proposed Quality Point System
The achievement of Minimum Standards per PSG receives 20 points.

The compliance with each indicator of excellence (of a component of an area) receives up to three points. The table shows the highest possible points per component per area.

But where there a declared institutional focus on the IE of an area component [e.g. responsiveness to local and not national needs), application for up to three bonus points can be made for that IE.

Proposed Reward System

You cannot apply for HEI Excellence unless you have achieved minimum standards in at least two iterations.

An iteration is possible every year.
20 for min standards in C&I and 20 pts for Faculty are a prerequisite to apply.

All else is a matter of showing where your excellence is.
One range is for Deregulation. [At least 50% of highest points of Excellence in all areas.]

One range is for Autonomous status. [At least 50% in each of the three areas (Admin, Research, Publications and Innovations, and Community Engagements) and at least 60% in areas of Curriculum and Instruction, and Faculty.]

One range is for Center of Excellence. [at least 75% in each of the three areas (Admin, Research, Publications and Innovations, and Community Engagements) and at least 80% in areas of Curriculum and Instruction and Faculty. ]


Draft CMO on Quality and Quality Assurance

Republic of the Philippines
Office of the President
COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION

CHED MEMORANDUM ORDER
_______ SERIES OF 2018.

SUBJECT: A REVISED POLICY STANDARD ON QUALITY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IN PHILIPPINE HIGHER EDUCATION (REPEALING PREVIOUSLY ISSUED CMOs ON QUALITY ASSURANCE AND THE OUTCOMES BASED AND TYPOLOGY BASED QA)

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Memorandum Order shall be hereinafter referred to as the “CMO on Quality and Quality Assurance for HEIs,” for brevity.

SECTION 2. LEGAL BASIS. In accordance with the pertinent provisions of the 1987 Constitution and related laws that mandate the State to “enact measures protecting and promoting the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all[1],” as well as ensure that “academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning, promote its exercise and observance for the continuing intellectual growth, the advancement of learning and research, the development of responsible and effective leadership, the education of high-level and middle-level professionals, and the enrichment of our historical and cultural heritage[2],” this Memorandum Order is hereby issued.

SECTION 3. COVERAGE. This CMO shall apply to State funded higher educational institutions whether national or local, in fulfillment of their respective charters. In expression of their academic freedom, private higher educational institutions can also opt to undergo the process of quality assurance as outlined in this CMO.

SECTION 4. DEFINITION OF TERMS.

  1. Academic Freedom” – in its broadest sense, it contemplates the four essential freedoms enjoyed by institutions of higher learning, namely: to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study.”[3]

As operationalized in this CMO, academic freedom shall concretely be understood as the recognized ability of the higher educational institution (HEI, for brevity) to achieve the minimum standards set by government, to implement its mission appropriate to its vision (identity), to achieve standards of excellence in learning outcomes, and to satisfy its particular stakeholders as a responsible part of the Philippine educational system under current historical conditions.

  1. AQAN” – ASEAN Quality Assurance Network. Officially established on July 8, 2008 by 10 quality assurance authorities and ministries responsible for higher education among the ASEAN member countries, the AQAN aims to share good practices of quality assurance in higher education, collaborate on capacity building and facilitate the recognition of qualifications and cross-border mobility throughout the region and to develop regional quality assurance framework for Southeast Asia.[4]
  2. AQAF” – ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework. (also referred to as the AQAFHE, the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education.) The purpose of the AQAFHE is to promote regional harmonization in higher education by developing a quality assurance framework in higher education with regional identities where the ASEAN countries could benchmark and align their quality assurance systems of higher education. Its development will also facilitate regional recognition of degrees and qualifications.

The Framework consists of four sets of interrelated principles, namely:

  1. External Quality Assurance Agencies (EQAA)
  2. External Quality Assurance Standards and Processes (EQA-SP)
  3. Institutional Quality Assurance (IQA)
  4. National Qualifications Framework (NQF)[5]
  5. Engagement” – as used in the CMO and its appendices, this refers to the various modes by which an individual establishes a relationship to an industry or government agency, whether local or national. The relationship can either be in the form of a consultancy agreement, job order, fixed employment or tenured position, joint venture agreements and partnerships or other analogous relations.
  6. External Quality Assurance” – refers to a system by which an HEI subjects itself to evaluation and monitoring by an external quality assurance agency (EQAA) that has autonomous responsibility for its operations and has the appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure that reviewers/assessors are free from conflict of interest.
  7. EQAA” – External Quality Assurance Agencies. These refer to those agencies privately organized and funded, tasked with assuring the standards of quality for higher educational institutions. These EQAAs are widely known for their expertise in the field of QA brought about by years of experience, and have earned a reputation for the same in the local as well as international arena.
  8. EQAA-SP” – External Quality Assurance Agency – Systems and Processes.
  9. “HEI” – Higher educational institutions, whether public or private and regardless of its kind. (i.e. college or university)
  10. “HEQF” – also known as the Higher Education Quality Framework.
  11. IQA” – Internal Quality Assurance. A system that would include processes as well as measurements utilized by an HEI to determine whether in its operations, it has met its objectives, as articulated in its mission appropriate to its vision. The IQA is an HEI’s internal system of assuring quality standards and best practices.
  12. NQnF” – “National Qualifications Framework” also interchanged in this CMO with the “PQF” a.k.a. the “Philippine Qualifications Framework.” The NQnF/ PQF describes the levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualification outcomes.[6]
  13. “QA” – Quality Assurance, refers to the process whereby the claimed quality of an HEI is checked based on the AQAF principles.
  14. Qualifications” – describe competencies necessary for employment or for service to society. Such qualifications are possible outcomes of academic programs. The requirements for these qualifications are determined by the Philippine Qualifications Framework- National Coordinating Council.[7]
  15. Quality” – refers to the discrete integration of these four essential dimensions: achievement by the HEI of the minimum standards set by government; implementation of the vision and mission of the HEI, achievement of standards of excellence by the HEI and the responsiveness of the HEI to its stakeholders.
  16. “Stakeholders” – refer not only to the industries whose continued operations rely on the influx of HEI graduates, they also refer to the HEI community itself (and the nation as a whole) that benefit from an HEI’s implementation of its vision and mission.

SECTION 5. QUALITY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE; ROLE OF HEIS.

A fundamental principle in quality assurance of higher education is that quality primarily rests with the HEIs themselves.[8] This is undertaken by the HEI in the fullest expression of its academic freedom.

The HEI distinguishes itself by surpassing minimum standards in academic freedom through evidenced performance against an array of indicators of four levels of excellence in the implementation of the vision and mission, learning outcomes and in satisfaction of stakeholders. The HEIs may distinguish themselves either in achieving all the excellence indicators of one level, level by level, or in achieving some indicators in different levels of excellence. The achievement of excellence is iterative and an ongoing demand of academic freedom.

The culture of quality assurance therefore contemplates the development or acceptance of systematic internal and external checks and metrics of quality by the HEI.

SECTION 6. ACHIEVEMENT OF MINIMUM STANDARDS, CONDITION SINE QUA NON TO APPLICATION FOR QA.

Any HEI that manifests its willingness to be assessed under the QA framework outlined in this CMO must categorically declare and present sufficient documentary evidence that it has achieved the minimum standards prescribed by the CHED pursuant to its regulative function and as articulated in the various existing PSGs — being the “first dimension” of QUALITY in the QA framework. This is also a condition sine qua non for an HEI to be regarded as a candidate for Quality Assurance (QA) assessment by an EQAA.

As regards PSGs that may be issued by the CHED, the same shall be prepared and finalized after a clear process of consultations with its Technical Panel and the affected HEIs are made, with a view to keeping minimum standards at its minimum, against which HEIs shall distinguish themselves in excellence.

SECTION 7.  FRAMEWORK OF QUALITY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE.

  1. Quality – As previously stated, quality entails the discrete integration of these four essential dimensions:
  • The achievement of minimum standards set by the government in the form of the existing Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSGs) prescribed by the CHED;
  • The implementation of the Vision and Mission of the HEI;
  • The achievement of standards of excellence by the HEI in the following areas:   [i]Curriculum and Instruction, [ii] Faculty qualifications as well as the latter’s involvements and contributions, [iii] Administration, [iv] Research, Publication and Innovations and [v] Community Engagements. (the proposed Table of Indicators of Excellence is appended to this CMO as Annex “A”); and
  • The HEI’s responsiveness to its stakeholders. Stated otherwise, how the HEI satisfies the standards demanded by its stakeholders – the industry, the HEI community, the nation — relative to the HEI’s vision and mission.

Having declared itself compliant with the minimum standards prescribed by the government thru CHED, the HEI then declares how it distinguishes itself in quality through compliance with the various indicators of excellence.

As may be seen in the Table of Indicators of Excellence ( appended herein as Annex “A”), there are five identified areas where standards or indicators of excellence can be measured against. These are in the areas of: (a) curriculum and instruction, (b) Faculty, (c) Administration, (d) Research, Publication and Innovation, and (e) Community engagements.

An HEI, in academic freedom, can choose to declare itself as having achieved excellence in all the areas, or it can opt to focus on only one or two areas, and delving into the components and the various levels of each area, in consonance with its vision and mission.

  1. Quality Assurance – as the Philippines is a member of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN), it therefore subscribes to the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework (AQAF). The AQAF represents a comprehensive and wholesome quality assurance reference framework and is composed of four (4) sets of principles[9], where the interplay of each bring about effective QA systems that assure quality of programs and institutions:
  • External Quality Assurance Agency (EQAA)
  • External Quality Assurance Standards and Processes (EQA-SP)
  • Institutional Quality Assurance (IQA), and the
  • National Qualifications Framework (NQnF). In the Philippines, this is translated into the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQnF) pursuant to RA 10968.

As the IQA properly belongs to the HEI and is presupposed as already functioning in the HEI’s declaration, the EQAA then checks the HEI declaration using the External Quality Assurance Standards and Processes and whether said declaration is in fact, true. In this process, qualifications are quality assured and therefore recognizable in other ASEAN countries.

SECTION 8. REWARDS AND RECOGNITION.

All indicators of excellence as articulated in the Table of Indicators of Excellence (Annex “A”) correspond to a range of reward points (further elaborated in the Tables of the Proposed Quality Point System, Quality Reward Point System, and Recognition Award System, appended to this CMO as Annexes “B”, “C”, and “D”) that will be used as the basis in determining what recognition is to be awarded to the HEI.

Based on the judgments of the EQAA, the CHED in its developmental function, recognizes three HEI statuses:

  1. Deregulated
  2. Autonomous
  3. Excellent

and shall accordingly provide rewards or incentives to these quality HEIs as it sees fit through the grant of: additional scholarships, grants towards institutional development, status and privileges of autonomy, centers of excellence, priority access to TES funds, and other similar fiscal incentives.

SECTION 11. PROCEDURE

  1. The HEI makes a categorical declaration supported by documentary evidence that it has achieved the minimum standards set by the government. CHED shall provide a checklist to be filled up the HEI, which the latter will in turn, validate for purposes of determining compliance to the minimum standards.
  2. As the HEI has the primary responsibility for quality and quality assurance, the HEI then undergoes an internal quality assurance process – to assess whether it has fulfilled its institutional mission appropriate to its vision. This can be evidenced by the array of indicators as enumerated in Annex “A”.
  3. An EQAA, in turn, checks whether there is indeed a fulfilment of these indicators of excellence, rewards the same with the corresponding points as indicated in Annexes B, C and D, for purposes of determining the status of recognition that may awarded to the HEI.
  4. The CHED, in its developmental function, can provide certifications and potential fiscal incentives as may be appropriate to the status given to the HEI.

SECTION 12. DEVELOPMENTAL FUNCTION OF THE CHED.

As the collegial body tasked by law to reasonably regulate higher educational institutions, the CHED is also mandated to  monitor and evaluate the performance of programs and institutions of higher learning for appropriate incentives, as well as identify, support and develop potential centers of excellence in program areas needed for the development of world-class scholarship, nation building and national development.[10]

In the exercise of these developmental functions, the CHED can recognize and encourage the exemplary implementation of an HEI’s vision and mission, excellence in learning outcomes, high responsiveness to stakeholders by prescribing supplemental memorandum orders and/or guidelines for the grant of additional scholarships, grants towards institutional development, status and privileges of autonomy, centers of excellence, priority access to Tertiary Education Subsidy funds under RA 10931 (a.k.a. the “Universal Access to Tertiary Education Act of 2017), and other similar fiscal incentives to those quality HEIs assessed under this QA framework.

SECTION 13. All previous issuances pertaining to the status conferred on HEIs that are inconsistent with this CMO are hereby deemed repealed, revoked or rescinded.

SECTION 14. This CMO shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation and/or in the Official Gazette.

[1] Section 1, article XIV, 1987 Constitution.

[2] Section 5 par. (2), article XIV, 1987 Constitution in relation to section 2, RA 7722 also known as the Higher Education Act of 1994.

[3] Justice Frankfurter, concurring in Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 US 234, 236 (1957)

[4] www.share-asean.eu/sites/default/files.AQAF.pdf (page 2 thereof.)

[5] (ibid. page 5, thereof)

[6] Section 4, RA 10968 also known as the “PQF Act of 2018.”

[7] Section 5, RA 10968.

[8] Page 9, ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework. www.share-asean.eu./sites/files/AQAF.pdf

[9] Page 14-15, www.share-asean.eu/sites/default/files/AQAF.pdf

[10] Section 8, RA 7722.


Important Notes

  1. The COCOPEA Board noted the necessity of clearly articulating the priveledges and financial benefits that come with Deregulated, Autonomous, and Excellent Status.
  2. The context of proposing the change of CMO 46 s. 2012 has to be explained.
  3. The Indicators of Excellence are subject to ongoing revision based on dialogue between HEIs and CHED.
  4. Should this be approved, the External Quality Assurance Agencies (EQAA) or accrediting agencies of HEI will be asked to assess according to this policy standard considering the current accreditation status of the HEI.
  5. HEIs are encouraged to apply the instrument to themselves in order to stimulate discussions.
  6. Clarificatory questions can be emailed to Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. (pres@addu.edu.ph) and Dr. Gina Montalan (vp.academics@addu.edu.ph).

About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
This entry was posted in Philippine Educational Reform, Position Paper. Bookmark the permalink.

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