Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO), a public polytechnic under the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE) in Ipoh, Malaysia has conducted their APACC reaccreditation process once again, after having successfully gone through reaccreditation in 2018, which had earned them a gold level accreditation status under APACC. PUO was first accredited in 2014 in which they have also earned a gold-level accreditation status.

In their continuous pursuit of excellence as one of the premier polytechnics in Malaysia, the five-day reaccreditation exercise was primarily aimed at evaluating the current institutional profile against the seven criteria of APACC namely: (I) Governance and Management, (II) Teaching and Learning, (III) Human Resources, (IV) Research and Development, (V) Image and Sustainability, (VI) Other Resources, and (VII) Support to Students. Moreover, the accreditation also evaluated PUO’s actions taken to the recommendations cited by the accreditation team in 2018.

PUO Director Dr. Shamsuri bin Abdullah (bottom left) and National Coordinator for Accreditation in Malaysia cum Director of Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Johor Ts. Noor Aidi binti Nadzri (bottom right) during the opening ceremony, March 6, 2023

This year, the accreditation activity was done online via Zoom platform. The APACC accreditation team was composed of lead accreditor Dr. Hazrat Hussain from Pakistan, member accreditor Prof. Chuluuntsegtseg Dagvadorj from Mongolia, and documentation officer Mr. Paulo Anthony J. Mendoza, Research, Publications, and Information Division Assistant and Interim Projects and Consultancy Division Assistant at the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC).

The APACC Accreditation Team for PUO: Lead Accreditor, Dr. Hazrat Hussain (bottom); Member Accreditor, Prof. Chuluuntsetseg Dagvadorj (top left); and Documentation Officer, Mr. Paulo Anthony J. Mendoza (top right)

During the opening ceremony, welcome addresses were delivered by key officials from PUO and DPCCE. PUO Director Dr. Shamsuri bin Abdullah, expressed his hope that the five-day accreditation will be as productive, if not better than the last reaccreditation in 2018. Ms. Ts. Noor Aidi binti Nadzri, the National Coordinator for Accreditation in Malaysia and concurrent Director of Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan in Johor also attended the opening ceremony. Signifying her support for PUO’s pursuit of quality education, she expressed her appreciation to PUO for their commitment to advancing Malaysian academic excellence to the highest standards.

After the opening ceremony, an online tour inside PUO’s facilities ensued. Among the facilities that were shown are: smart classrooms called Technology Enabled Collaborative Classrooms; workshops inside the Marine Engineering Department such as the steam turbine workshop, boiler room, and the ship engine simulation room; school library including the coffee corner and the 24/7 discussion room; student hostel; school clinic; multimedia center facilities such as the Extended Reality Studio in the Architecture Department; and student council building.

The second and third days of the accreditation focused on the interviews and presentation of the documentary evidence in correspondence to the indicators of the APACC instrument and the submitted Self-Study Form (SSF). The designated members of the institution’s APACC committee have been present throughout the sessions to ensure that all questions and clarifications of the accreditors on the submitted evidence will be answered thoroughly. Moreover, the accreditors have also cross-checked the stipulated actions taken in accordance with the recommendations given during the 2018 APACC reaccreditation.

Screenshots during the virtual tour of PUO facilities

During the exit meeting, lead accreditor Dr. Hazrat Hussain delivered the initial commendations, affirmations, and recommendations based on the critical assessment done by both accreditors during the interviews. Moreover, the accreditation team has also expressed their gratitude to the organizing APACC committee of PUO for welcoming them hospitably even though the accreditation process was only done virtually. In his closing remarks, PUO Director Dr. Shamsuri bin Abdullah also extended his appreciation to all the staff of PUO, especially to Dr. Izwah bin Ismail, PUO Deputy Director for Academics and Overall APACC Coordinator; and to Ms. Yong Rashidah Mamat Tuselim, APACC Committee Team Leader for PUO, for their leadership and commitment in ensuring the success of this year’s reaccreditation. Lastly, a special video message from DPCCE Director General Ybrs. Dr. Haji Mohd. Zahari bin Ismail was shown wherein he congratulated PUO for achieving another milestone by applying for APACC accreditation for the third time.

Screenshots during the exit meeting on March 10, 2023: PUO Director Dr. Shamsuri bin Abdullah with the APACC Accreditors (left) and DPCCE Director General Dr. Haji Mohd. Zahari bin Ismail (right)