Developing teaching practice


In response to the ongoing calls for excellence across all sectors in Saudi Arabia, higher education institutions are pressured to rethink their practices. However, with all the governmental strategic, focused planning in Saudi higher education to achieve excellence and compete globally, there is a gap between what is expected and what is happening regarding academic excellence’s pedagogical and practical aspects. Hence, this study is an attempt to bridge that gap. The main purpose of this study is to propose an educational excellence framework by exploring the perceptions of academics. Data was collected through semi-structured one-on-one interviews. The proposed framework will provide a roadmap to produce better and more relevant outcomes and raise the standards to complement the broader reform in higher education. The key strength of the study is that it orients the reader to understand how to acquire academic excellence to enhance institutional distinctiveness and student success.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Academic excellence is a multidimensional concept includes the aspects of learning, teaching, curriculum, governance and assessment, extracurricular activities and services, and digitalisation and ICT. All these aspects should be approached holistically.
  2. To promote sustainable academic excellence in higher education institutions, the concept of excellence must be translated into policies and procedures.
  3. The academic excellence framework provides a basis for a strategic approach to producing contextualised measurable objectives, practical actions, and performance indicators.
  4. Academics play a major role in achieving academic excellence, therefore, they should be encouraged by distinction and empowerment.
  5. The adoption of academic excellence framework on a national level can facilitate a comparative analysis of higher education institutions performance.