The Office of Institutional Research leads UOWD's activities in relation to quality and accreditation and is dedicated to supporting and promoting the practice of continuous improvement. The functions of the office relate to the collection, analysis and dissemination of a variety of data and reports for use in monitoring and improving educational programs and administrative units to meet student requirements and institutional goals. As such, the Office is an integral component contributing to and facilitating the improved performance of UOWD in all areas of academia and administration. The Office of Institutional Research reports directly to the President.
The Office of Institutional Research serves management, faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders by providing data and analyses for decision making, policy development and strategic planning processes throughout the UOWD environment.
The Office of Institutional Research will use valid and reliable measures to generate accurate and timely data and analyses, undertaking its activities in a transparent, co-operative, collaborative and ethical manner.
Since 2009, the functions of the Office of Institutional Research have expanded and now entail a full spectrum of performance analyses, which are fully incorporated into the University’s ongoing review and planning activities. The functions of the Office of Institutional Research are as follows:
- Planning: The Office is engaged in the planning process that steers UOWD as an institution through a variety of feasibility and viability analyses for academic programs and non-academic projects.
- Strategic Planning: The Office facilitates strategic planning at UOWD and monitors and reviews performance against targets set during this process.
- Survey Research: Survey Research represents a major component of the responsibilities of the Office of Institutional Research. Student, staff, alumni and employer opinions are collected through online surveys and analysed for use in monitoring quality and developing planning documents. Survey reports are formally tabled at standing UOWD committees for review and actioning by managers, deans and directors.
- Subject/Instructor Evaluations: Every subject and instructor is evaluated by students each term at UOWD, including subjects taught for credit and not for credit. Paper-based collection occurs within the classroom and results are entered into our online survey system for analysis and distribution to academic administrators and relevant staff members at the end of each semester.
- Enrolment Analysis: The Office of Institutional Research undertakes analyses of student admissions, enrolments, progression, weighted average mark (WAM), retention rates and graduation rates. These datasets are crucial for monitoring the functioning of UOWD as well as for future planning of faculties and facilities.
- Benchmarking: Developing and comparing UOWD performance with educational institutions through benchmarking is a key priority. This will be fully functional with the anticipated deployment of the Centre for Higher Education Data and Statistics by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
- Auditing: The Office of Institutional Research has staff trained in audit activities. For internal audits, activities include planning the scope and scheduling of the audit project, review and reporting, follow-up verification of responses given and successful implementation of corrective actions.
- External Reporting: As a key source of data and information, the Office of Institutional Research is responsible for researching and preparing various reports to external organisations and agencies. These include the Commission for Academic Accreditation, the Knowledge and Human Development Agency, Dubai International Academic City, and the University of Wollongong.
- Policies and Procedures: The Office of Institutional Research is charged with maintaining the official policies and procedures of the University. As part of this duty, the Office updates all changes to policies and procedures, and systematically reviews policies for consistency, completeness, and continuity. University policies, procedures and forms are available for viewing by current employees and students via the UOWD intranet.
- Ongoing Feedback: To supplement our regularly scheduled slate of surveys, the Office of Institutional Research maintains a continuous feedback opportunity to UOWD students, staff, and visitors through standardised comment forms. These are collected on a regular basis and forwarded to the relevant manager or dean for response to the issue. The Office tracks all actions related to the comment and subsequent action.
- Accreditation: The Office of Institutional Research is the institutional coordinator for documentation related to licensure and accreditation by the Commission for Academic Accreditation. In addition to UAE accreditation, the Office has also aided the University of Wollongong with their national accreditation agency.
- Miscellaneous Projects: A significant amount of work done by the Office of Institutional Research entails short-term projects that are delivered in cooperation with departments or faculties. The designs of these projects are developed by the Director of the Office with the relevant manager, dean, director or executive, to ensure that valid and reliable studies are conducted in a manner that is accessible and useful to the user.