Forum 2024 roundtable: Ensuring inclusive and diverse teaching approaches within quality assurance protocols


INQAAHE Forum 2024
Transforming Society: Social Reponsibility trough Quality Assurance of Tertiary Education
June 12, 2024


Sub-theme 1: Fostering civic engagement
Ensuring inclusive and diverse teaching approaches within quality assurance protocols


This roundtable addresses the challenge of inclusivity and diversity within teaching materials and methodologies in higher education. Focusing on quality assurance protocols, the session aims to dissect the problem, analyze approaches, and discuss implementing quality measures. Divided into three segments, each consisting of three 20-minute discussions, participants will rotate between tables to explore topics ranging from homogeneous teaching resources and suitable pedagogical methods to language barriers. The roundtable commences with an introduction contextualizing the issue and real-life examples, followed by the three segments: problem analysis, addressing approaches, and quality assurance protocols. Each segment explores vital aspects, including curriculum review, faculty development, multilingual support, integrating diversity criteria, audits, and benchmarking practices. The session concludes with a synthesis of key takeaways, emphasizing collaboration for inclusive education. The session duration is approximately 3.5 hours, promoting collaboration, the exchange of ideas, and the formulation of actionable strategies aimed at achieving fair access to quality education for everyone. 

By addressing the lack of inclusivity and diversity within teaching materials and methodologies through internal quality assurance protocols, higher education institutions can take substantial steps toward providing equitable access to quality education. Such efforts not only break down socio-economic and cultural barriers but also create a more enriching and supportive learning environment for all students, ensuring they can thrive regardless of their background or language. Our aim is to challenge participants to discuss methods of implementing these efforts, their feasibility, and the difficulties that they may possess. 


Facilitated by:

Radu-Ioan Ciobanu

Radu-Ioan Ciobanu is an Associate Professor and researcher at the Computer Science department of the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers at the National University of Science and Technology POLITEHNICA Bucharest. He obtained his PhD from the same faculty in 2016. His research interests include pervasive and mobile networks, DTNs, opportunistic networks, cloud computing, federated learning, etc. His research has led to the publishing of numerous papers and articles at important scientific journals (such as Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies, Ad Hoc Networks) and conferences (IEEE GLOBECOM, ICC, IM, WoWMoM, PerCom etc.). He is involved in several national and international research projects, both as member and as coordinator.

Monica Drăgoicea

Monica is a Full Professor in Systems Engineering at the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers at the National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest (Politehnica Bucharest). Her academic journey began with a degree in Electrical Engineering – Automatic Control from UPB in 1993, followed by a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Technische Universität Wien, Austria, and the School of Business Administration, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA in 1999. She completed my doctorate in Automatic Control from UPB in 2000. Over the past 25 years, she has been involved in theoretical and experimental work within software and systems engineering. Her research spans diverse topics, including artificial intelligence, neural networks, and mobile robotics, with a focus on intelligent control systems for mobile robotics (1993 – 2006). Subsequently, her interests evolved to encompass real-time systems, model-driven development, and object-oriented analysis and design (2007 – 2010). Since 2010, she has been deeply engaged in service systems engineering, digital design of services, and computational intelligence. She a member of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP), the Robotics Society of Romania (SRR), and INSTICC, the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication.

Presently, she serves as the Head and founder of the Smart Cities and Robotics iLab at the Faculty of Automation and Computers at Politehnica Bucharest. Additionally, she holds the role of Academic Coordinator for BIS – Business Intelligence Specialist, a Postgraduate Continuing Professional Development Program developed in collaboration with SAS Institute. Moreover, she is the Academic Coordinator of the newly established master’s program in Advanced Analytics for Business, forged through a partnership with SAS Institute. These innovative study and research directions at Politehnica Bucharest are designed to integrate powerful analytics tools with smart service design strategies, equipping their students with essential skills for future employment opportunities in our evolving society.


Ciprian DOBRE


Ciprian Dobre leads the MobyLab group at POLITEHNICA Bucharest and has scientific and scholarly contributions on Data Science, Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing, Internet of Things, Wireless Networks, Modeling / Simulation, Mobile and Urban Smart Technologies. He was awarded the Award “Gheorghe Cartianu” of the Romanian Science Academy in 2016 and as lead developer of MonALISA he was Fellow for California Institute of Technology. He was awarded an Oracle PhD fellowship during his doctoral studies. His results received one IBM Faculty Award, two CENIC Awards (for worldwide records in high-speed networking demonstrated at SuperComputing), and four Best Paper Awards. His results were published in over 100 books, chapters in edited books, articles in major international peer-reviewed journal, and well-established international conferences and workshops.

Petrișor L. ȚUCĂ


Petrișor L. ȚUCĂ is the head of the Quality Assurance Department at the National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest and is a member of the permanent committee of engineering sciences at Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS). He held a two-year term as a member of the ARACIS Council and was president of the largest and most important student federation in Romania. In addition, he was an invited member of the Social Dialogue Commission of the Ministry of Education and invited to other structures of the ministry where the financing of higher education is discussed.

He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with an emphasis on the digitization of higher education. He also acted as an expert or expert coordinator in several national and international projects focused on quality assurance and digitalisation of higher education. His significant contributions in the field underscore his commitment to improving and modernizing the higher education system.

If you have any question about the event, please do not hesitate to contact INQAAHE and/or the Forum host, ARACIS.

Refund Policy

Shouldyour delegation decide to opt out of participating in the INQAAHE 2024 Forumdue to some circumstances after having registered, the following refund policywill be applied:




More than 2 weeks or longer notice before the Forum

100% refund


Less than 2 weeks and more than 3 days before the Forum

50% refund


Less than 3 days before the Forum

No refund

GDPR rules and regulations

By registering for this event, you consent to the use of your likeness/image in any INQAAHE and ARACIS-related social media, website, and promotional materials. Additionally, your contact information will be shared with all registered participants. By providing INQAAHE/ARACIS with your email address, you also agree to receive news related to the INQAAHE Forum 2024.

Sylvie Mainville

Sylvie is the Manager of Quality Assurance for the Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS). She works with the Executive Director to ensure ongoing consistency of the OCQAS processes with international best practices in quality assurance for and within Ontario’s Colleges.

Sylvie has taught at every age point, form pre-school, to post-secondary and even for the Canadian Armed Forces. Prior to joining OCQAS, Sylvie worked at Cambrian College where she established and actioned a college level audit process to review third-party educational institutions (for international students). More recently, she has co-developed and co-led a successful pilot process for auditing international standards of education in the Ontario college system. She also considers herself a vocational learning outcomes geek (and received a t-shirt to prove it) and is always happy to chat about learning outcomes. Sylvie studied in psychology and linguistics and holds an M.Ed. Degree from Nipissing University.

Karen Belfer

Karen Belfer is the Executive Director of the OCQAS, she oversees the self-regulatory mechanisms for the public colleges in Ontario and is responsible for the operation of the Credentials Validation Service and the College Quality Assurance Audit Process.
Prior to joining the OCQAS, Karen spent seven years as the Dean of the Centre for Instructional Development and Applied Research at Vancouver Community College (VCC), a unit responsible for college wide instructional development, program review, curriculum development, educational technology, and applied research. She has worked as an Educational Consultant managing projects internationally and in various Canadian institutions. Her focus has been the design, implementation, and evaluation of quality assurance mechanisms to enhance the learning process.

Karen did her undergraduate work in Informatics, her Masters in Adult Education, and her Ph.D. in Educational Research at the Anahuac University in Mexico, where she taught for 10 years.

Program Advisory Committees Supporting Ready, Informed and Engaged Students 

One of the winning strategies used by Ontario Colleges in Canada to ensure currency and relevancy of programs also contributes to fostering civic engagement by connecting education to community needs, infusing real-world relevance, and advocating for active participation in societal matters. Program Advisory Committees (PACs) are mandatory for every program of study offered at a public college. These committees play a crucial role in informing the college program developers, faculty, deans, administrators, students, and any other participant of valuable insights and current trends in their respective fields.

PAC are not only precious subject matter experts; as they often live and work in the same community, they bring a wealth of information on relevant societal needs and/or actualities that would otherwise go unnoticed.

This active workshop will model best practices for engaging with PAC members to fully benefit from their expertise and knowledge as well as provide a forum to share best practices.

The goal of this session is to engage the audience in a PAC experience and thoughtful conversation about ways PACs are used to help connect students to their community and their field of practice. By providing a hands-on PAC experience and a platform to share best practices, this practical training will increase awareness of how PAC involvement can help bridge the gaps between knowledge, real-world applications, and societal realities to support the transition from student to employee and active member of society.

In the scope of Quality Assurance, these innovative PAC contributions power positive change in society, providing it with a workforce that is ready, informed and engaged. Having a PAC is no longer a checkbox in a list of QA activities, it is the conduit for bringing the field and the community to the student, and that is powerful!

Prof. Mirela Panait

Mirela Panait holds the position of PhD Professor at Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti (Romania). Her work experience derives from and includes: teaching courses and seminaries; research activities; participating in scientific conferences. Regarding research results, these are represented by publishing seven books and over 100 scientific papers in the field of interest: energy transition, international finance, and sustainable development. She has published articles in leading international journals (Energy Policy, Land Use Policy, Utilities Policy, Energies, Resources Policy, etc.). On the editorial level, her activity is intense, being editor, associate editor, guest editor or reviewer for prestigious journals within Elsevier, Emerald, Wiley, IGI Global groups. She participated in over 40 international scientific conferences and she is member of scientific committee for international conferences (IBIMA; ICEBM, CIDE; FEMIB; EMCEI, ICAS etc.).

Prof. Marius Gabriel Petrescu

Marius Gabriel Petrescu currently holds the position of PhD Professor and PhD advisor at Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti (Romania). Prof. PhD Petrescu is Director of the Doctoral School of the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti. He is also General Secretary of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Council. His work experience derives from and includes: teaching courses and seminaries; research activities; participating in scientific conferences. Regarding research results, these are represented by publishing over 30 books and over 130 articles in journals, bulletins and proceedings of national and international conferences (including ISI listed, Q1, Q2). He was member of organizing / scientific committees of over 30 scientific events; president or member, in over 25 commissions for completing studies and, as a member, in over 60 commissions for doctoral examination or defense of doctoral theses. Prof. PhD Petrescu is Associate Editor of Asian Review of Mechanical Engineering, 2023-2024 and reviewer for prestigious journals such as Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C - Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, UK, SAGE Publications Ltd; Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Journal of Basic and Applied Research International, International Knowledge Press; Sustainability; Processes, Energies; Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice etc.

Prof. Eglantina Hysa

Eglantina Hysa, Professor, is a senior researcher of Development Economics and works as an independent researcher in Brussels. Her research is focused on development economics, social aspects, and quality in higher education institutions. She is the author of many scientific publications including book chapters and technical reports, published in leading international journals and publishing houses, including Integration of Education, Sustainability, Journal of Applied Economics, and Routledge. She is included as Bologna System expert for higher education in many EU projects.  Moreover, professor Eglantina Hysa was engaged in numerous and foremost contractual positions, such as: Expert Evaluator, Horizon 2020, MSCA Program, Research Executive Agency of European Commission; Expert Evaluator, Erasmus+ Programme and/or the European Solidarity Corps, European Union Program Agency (EUPA); Bologna Expert and International Expert in many European Accreditation Agencies for Higher Education; and International Consultant, Center for Higher Education Research and Academic Development, UK.

Curricular Mapping for Societal Impact: A Strategic Framework for Curriculum Design 

Curricular mapping stands as an important tool in modern educational landscapes, substantially serving in shaping curricula tailored for societal impact. This paper investigates the strategic utilization of curricular mapping methodologies as a means to craft educational frameworks that transcend traditional paradigms, fostering a profound societal imprint. Emphasizing the interaction of academia with the societal needs, this study explains the systematic approach of curricular mapping to envision, design, and implement curricula geared towards addressing pressing societal challenges.

Furthermore, the paper explores the iterative process of identifying, analyzing, and synthesizing key learning outcomes, content, pedagogies, and assessment strategies, culminating in a cohesive curriculum that not only imparts knowledge but also instigates transformative societal change. Moreover, this study illustrates how this methodology facilitates the cultivation of critical skills, ethical consciousness, and civic engagement among learners, empowering them to become proactive contributors to societal advancement.

Finally, this paper examines case studies and best practices across diverse educational settings, illuminating the adaptability and efficacy of curricular mapping in varying contexts. By extrapolating lessons from these instances, it advocates for the integration of curricular mapping as a strategic framework within educational institutions, envisioning curricula that serve as catalysts for positive societal transformation, and not only.

Dr. Juliette E. Torabian

Senior international specialist in Int'l development & education, Juliette holds a postdoctoral degree in sociology of education and a doctorate in comparative higher education. Her research and keynote speeches focus on higher education policy and quality, social justice, educational equality, and sustainability in higher education. Juliette is also on the advisory board of Oxford Encyclopedia of Education and a lecturer at University of Fribourg.

Embracing relevance: designing curricula for societal impact  

Within the tripartite role of higher education, i.e., teaching, research, and social impact, the latter is the most undermined in the neoliberal capitalist ideology. In the past five decades, higher education systems and their institutions have been redefined as service providers to customers with the ultimate goal of producing the skilled (not necessarily competent) human capital for economic development of their societies. If the output of higher education is this Homo-Economicus, then universities are, by design, stripped from their social role, i.e., cultivating minds and educating the next generation of socially engaged and politically aware global citizens. In this keynote, while exploring the impacts of neoliberal ideology on higher education, I will argue for the necessity of a new social contract for universities, their curriculum, pedagogies, and quality assurance to revitalize and reinforce their social role as a response to global socio-economic inequalities, political populism, and war.

Prof. Dr. Michael Derrer

Prof. Dr. Michael Derrer, a Swiss economic sociologist, and didactics expert, has dedicated his career to management, consultancy, and teaching, with an international focus. His main professional engagement is with HSLU (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts). He conducted large research projects for renowned customers. He authored the SWITEX (Swiss Index of Teaching Excellence), a practical tool promoting a modern activating didactic approach. Recently, he has been commissioned to provide expertise on dual professional education to Romania, based on the Swiss model. Michael Derrer is fluent in 10 European languages.

SWITEX (Swiss Index for Teaching Excellence - A hands-on approach to improving didactic performance 

The presentation will delve into the Swiss Index for Teaching Quality (SWITEX), highlighting its relevance in assessing and improving teaching quality within tertiary education institutions. By sharing experiences and best practices related to SWITEX, the session aims to incite participants to get acquainted with actionable strategies to enhance teaching quality and promote inclusivity within their respective institutions. Specifically, we will explore practical steps institutions can take in their internal quality assurance protocols to create inclusive learning environments, enhance diversity, and provide quality education that transcends socio-economic disparities.

Eduardo Ramos

Eduardo is responsible for the portfolio of QAA’s international services, including international membership services, accreditation, consultancy and QE-TNE (quality evaluation and enhancement of UK transnational education). He leads on international partnership building, ensuring QAA continues to work with governments, agencies and institutions globally to benefit UK higher education and its international reputation.

Prior to this role, Eduardo worked in education internationalisation for Universities UK, St George’s Hospital Medical School, Audencia Business School, and ICEX-Invest in Spain. He holds an LLB from the Autonomous University of Madrid, an MBA from University College London and is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

A force for good? Exploring critical approaches to quality assurance in the Global South  

Goal 4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals outlines an ambition for ‘quality education’. But what is meant by quality? How do we define quality? Who defines quality? How do we demonstrate and measure quality?

In the European Higher Education Area, the Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance (ESG) published by The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) provide the framework for internal and external quality assurance. ESG are used by quality agencies across Europe, including QAA, to demonstrate high-quality provision. If institutions are deemed to meet the standards outlined in ESG they can be awarded international accreditation.

This session will consider whether using ESG in contexts outside of Europe is appropriate and fit-for-purpose, or could be considered to be imposing Western-centric values and practices in Global South contexts. It will interrogate whether use of ESG internationally stifles innovation, promotes normativity, and perpetuates power imbalances between the Global North and Global South, where the North’s mode of education is maintained as the paradigm. It will also consider the effect and challenge of taking ESG into areas with a substantially different cultural background.

Session Aims 

  • Encourage participants to consider quality in their own contexts

  • Provide participants with an understanding of ESG and how this is used beyond the European Higher Education Area

  • Explore the relationship between quality and neo-colonialism and develop a shared understanding of the ethical issues with international quality practices

  • Develop an understanding of good practice in quality and international accreditation, including a focus on how we might make current approaches bidirectional, and how institutions and governments can positively engage with this

Session structure 

Participants will work in small groups to interrogate quality in their own contexts, discuss challenges and solutions, and engage in debate regarding the relationship between quality and Western-centric approaches and how we might make international quality practices bidirectional.

The session will be broadly structured in three parts:

  • Facilitator presentation

  • Group work

  • Feedback, discussion and conclusion

INQAAHE ISGs: building scope for organizational quality enhancement continuum  

This workshop is designed for responsibles of internal and external quality assurance systems of tertiary education organizations - TEIs and their QA bodies. Through an interactive and engaging design-thinking workshop, the participants will have a chance to experience hands-on techniques for development, implementation and cyclical evaluation of an internal quality assurance system fit to serve diverse purposes: preparation of external QA bodies for a review against the INQAAHE's ISGs, establishment of internal systems that are feasible, relevant, efficient and impactful enough to drive organizational changes/transformations. A value added of the workshop will be insights into data-driven governance to support internal QA systems in diverse tertiary education contexts.

Dr. Ariana De Vincenzi

Dr. Ariana De Vincenzi holds a PhD in Education from the University of San Andrés, Argentina, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Educational Sciences from the Argentine Catholic University. Currently, she serves as the Academic Vice-rector at the Universidad Abierta Interamericana of Argentina. She holds positions as a consultant for international universities and advises public organizations. From 2016 to 2023, she served as the Academic Secretary for the Network of Associations of Private Latin American and Caribbean Universities (REALCUP). In 2023, she was appointed as a Director of the Board of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

As a prolific scholar, Dr. De Vincenzi contributes to the advancement of knowledge through her editorial role in several international scientific journals and her extensive publications, which include articles, book chapters, and authoritative texts on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in higher education. She has been an institutional peer reviewer for the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation (CONEAU) in Argentina and has served as an international evaluator for INQAAHE, where she assesses the compliance of Higher Education Quality Assurance Agencies with the Guidelines of Good Practices (GGP).

Dr. Anna Prades

Dr. Anna Prades sits in the Board of Directors of the International Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (INQAAHE) as Treasurer, since October 2021. She is Head of Internationalisation and Knowledge Generation Department of AQU Catalunya, where she has been working since 2001. She has a degree in Psychology (1996) and a PhD in Pedagogy (2005) from the University of Barcelona. During the last years, her main endeavour in AQU Catalunya has been the building up of a system of evidences for quality assurance (official descriptors, academic indicators, assessment results, graduates and employer surveys) and the integration of these indicators in a platform for public information in order to generate trust in the Catalan Higher Education System (EUC studies).

Dr. Susanna Karakhanyan

Dr. Susanna Karakhanyan is employed by the Abu Dhabi Government as Higher Education Policy & Regulation Director at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge in the United Arab Emirates. She consults governments on policymaking, governance as well as external and internal QA systems in a diversity of contexts globally. Dr. Karakhanyan’s expertise evolves around tertiary education in general and policymaking, governance and quality assurance in particular. She authors and delivers capacity building events and external reviews of governance structures, legal frameworks and QA systems worldwide. She has authored, initiated and has been implementing a variety of projects under the auspices of the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Open Society Institute, IREX, to name some. All the projects address higher education reforms in general and diversity of aspects in legal frameworks, governance and quality assurance, in particular (e.g. Tajikistan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan). One of the most recent achievements is leading development of INQAAHE International Standards and Guidelines 2022, which make a first attempt to introduce quality assurance standards for micro-credentials, both formal and non-formal provisions. Dr. Karakhanyan holds M.S.Ed in Educational Administration/Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, the USA and PhD in Social Sciences from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her research interests focus around higher education governance and administration, reforms, policymaking, policy diffusion and transfer, and external and internal quality assurance. Her research background has helped her tremendously in the establishment of new and evaluation/review of existing tertiary education systems, including, but not limited to external and internal (both quality assurance agencies and higher education institutions) quality assurance systems in a diversity of contexts at the global level.

The Center for Advanced Research on New Materials, Products and Innovative Processes (CAMPUS) of the National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest is an advanced research & development center for multi - and inter - disciplinary technologies. CAMPUS is uniquely designed, both from the infrastructure point of view, as well as functionality. It holds a 7-storey state of-the-art green and intelligent building with unconventional power sources, energy recovery, reuse of resources, and intelligent management systems. The building itself is a working lab. It integrates 42 advanced research and innovation labs, spread over more than 8,000 square meters.

The Research Center for Innovative Products, Processes and Services (PRECIS) has as general objective the extension of the current infrastructure and research activities of the university, in order to achieve technology transfer and development of products, processes and next-generation services, mainly for industry and health. 28 advanced research and innovation labs, spread over more than 8,000 square meters, are focused on products, processes and services that include intelligent methods and technologies oriented on adaptive and innovative industrial processes, systems for increasing the quality of life, autonomous cognitive systems, cloud services and the future of the Internet, the mobile smart society and digital medicine.


The Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facilities are located in Măgurele, 6 km South of Bucharest. ELI-NP is nowadays the host for the most powerful lasers in the world, and also the most advanced research facility in the world in the field of photonuclear physics, a new interdisciplinary research field which brings together, for the first time, high-power lasers and nuclear physics.

The infrastructure will provide a new European laboratory addressing a broad range of scientific research areas, from frontier fundamental physics, new nuclear physics and astrophysics to applications in nuclear materials, radioactive waste management, material science and life sciences.

The guide will present to the participants the history and relevance of important buildings in central Bucharest, including the old city area, followed by a visit to the National Art Museum.

The National Museum of Art of Romania is the country’s prime holder of Romanian, European and Oriental art. Located in the former Royal Palace in Bucharest, it includes the National Gallery (Romanian medieval and modern art) and the European Art Gallery. Apart from numerous temporary exhibitions, visitors can also join guided tours of the former Throne Hall and other spaces of historical relevance.

The Palace of Parliament is the world's third-largest administrative building, after Surat Diamond Bourse (India) and U. S. Pentagon. It took 20,000 workers and 700 architects to build this massive structure that boasts 12 stories above ground, 1,100 rooms, a 350-ft.-long lobby and eight underground levels, including an enormous nuclear bunker. Today, it houses Romania's Parliament and serves as an international conference center. Built and furnished exclusively with Romanian materials, the building reflects the work of the best artisans in the country. The interior is a luxurious display of crystal chandeliers, mosaics, oak paneling, marble, gold leaf, stained-glass windows, and floors covered in rich carpets.