ICDE Quality Network


The ICDE Quality Network was established in November 2016 by the appointment of Focal Points on Quality by the ICDE Executive Committee. The Focal Points on Quality (FPQs) have a leading and coordinating role for quality work in their respective regions. Executive Committee member Alan Tait is appointed as Chair for the Quality Network and coordinates the regional FPQs.

Main tasks and responsibilities for the ICDE FPQs for quality:

  1. Have a dialogue with UNESCO regional events for Quality and relate to regional and central quality events.

  2. Advice the Executive Committee in how ICDE should position its quality work on the global agenda.

  3. Give input and support to the production of a reference document (report) with an overview and state of play of online, open, flexible and technology enhanced education.

  4. Stimulate and facilitate for regional task forces in their own regions.

The ICDE Focal Points on Quality are:

Arab Region


Dr. Souma Alhaj Ali
Director of Center for Excellence and Governance
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University
Dubai, UAE

Dr. Souma Alhaj Ali is an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering; she is currently the Director for the Center for Excellence and Governance in Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.

She held many positions in the public and private sectors including the Director of the Center of Academic Quality Assurance at Hashemite University and the Executive Director for the United Industrial Group Corporation. She is an EFQM lead assessor and MeLQ Lead Auditor with a strong record of achievement combining skills in diverse areas of industrial engineering and building quality systems, she have more than fifteen years of experience in building and operating quality management systems in both private and governmental sectors, and seven years in assessing quality management awards like EFQM, King Abdullah II Award for Excellence, Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program, the Global Performance Excellence Award, and Middle East e-Learning Quality Framework (MeLQ).

She was appointed recently as ICDE Focal Point on quality in the Arab region. Dr. Souma has participated in writing a book and published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in reputed international scientific journals. She had a bachelor and a master degree in Industrial Engineering/ Engineering management from University of Jordan and a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Cincinnati in Ohio, USA.

Latin America and Caribbean Region


Mary Morocho Quezada
AIESAD (Iberoamericain Association of Higher Distance Education) and CALED (Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Quality in Higher Distance Education)

Morocho Mary Quezada, Ph.D. Coordinator of the Institutional Assessment Unit at Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, UTPL and Deputy Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Quality in Higher Distance Education (CALED).

She has participated as a speaker, lecturer, speaker at national and international events; and coordinated academic and research projects in the areas of evaluation, accreditation and distance higher education, such as those preceding this proposal. Economist from Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador; Master in Project Management for Development, Escuela Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL)Ecuador; Evaluation Master in Management and Educational Quality Management, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain; Masters in Distance Education, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador; PhD in Statistics and Operations Research, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain. 

European Region 


George Ubachs
EADTU (European Assocation of Distance Teaching Universities)

George Ubachs is Managing Director of EADTU, the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities. EADTU is Europe's leading institutional association in online, open and flexible higher education, and is at the heart of the modernisation agenda of European universities. Growing from its eleven founding members in ten European nations, EADTU now has a membership of fifteen institutions and fourteen national associations across 25 nations. Its membership covers over 200 universities and around 3 million students.

George Ubachs  is responsible for the development and support of the EADTU network, policies and execution of its goals in online, open and flexible higher education.

He is coordinator of international academic cooperation networks on networked curricula, virtual mobility, QA in e-learning and business models for lifelong learning. To mainstream results and create European impact, EADTU organises several (local) seminars as well as conferences European wide and organises together with the European Commission, DG EAC, a yearly Summit for the main stakeholders in higher education. 

George Ubachs is further coordinator of the E-xcellence movement  on quality assurance in online, open and flexible education and representative of the former UNESCO Global TF QA in e-learning. He further coordinates the EMPOWERing universities network of some 100 experts that represent 12 specific fields of expertise related to online, open and flexible education. As coordinator of these two dedicated networks he is working closely with the EUA, ENQA, ESU, ICDE and Unesco.

Before joining EADTU in 2002, George Ubachs has been working on various European programmes in the public and private sector (MAECON/EAM Consultants) in the field of regional social economic developments and was coordinator of the European Network of E2C-Europe (Cities for Second Chance Schools). George Ubachs graduated at the State University of Leiden and Erasmus University Rotterdam on Public Administration with specialization in European Integration and is fellow of the Leadership Foundation. George Ubachs works in close collaboration with Ebba Ossiannilsson from SADE (Swedish Association for Distance Education) and Jean-Marc Meunier from FIED (Féderation Interuniversitaire de l’enseignement à distance, France) in the ICDE Quality Network for Europe.

North American Region 


Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D, Interim Chief Knowledge Officer & Director of Strategic Partnerships, 
Online Learning Consortium

Jennifer Mathes is the Interim Chief Knowledge Officer and Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Online Learning Consortium.  In this role, she provides leadership in researching, scoping, managing, and evaluating key projects, and programs to support OLC’s member organizations. Dr. Mathes has more than 20 years of experience in both public and private education where she has supported digital learning initiatives since she taught her first online course in 1997. She has been instrumental in working with start-up initiatives as well as leading growth in institutions with an existing technology enhanced program.  In addition, she is co-editor of the OLC Quality Scorecard Handbook: Criteria for Excellence in Blended Learning Programs (2017) and Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice Handbook (to be released 2018).

Dr. Mathes holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she wrote her dissertation on “Predictors for Student Success in Online Education.” She also has earned a Master of Science degree in Business Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Illinois State University.

 Asian Region


Prof. Ojat Darojat
Universitas Terbuka

Dr. Ojat Darojat is a professor at Faculty of Education Universitas Terbuka (UT) Jakarta Indonesia who has more than twenty five years of experience working for distance teaching university. Currently he has been assigned as the chairman of the Institute for Development of Learning Materials, Examination, and Information System at UT Indonesia.

His main area of research interest is curriculum and quality assurance system for distance higher education. Darojat earned his Ph.D in Curriculum Theory and Implementation from Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Oceania Region 

Associate Professor Philip Uys,
Director, Learning Technologies
Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Philip Uys is the Director Learning Technologies at Charles Sturt University (CSU). In his position he has University-wide responsibility for evaluating new educational technologies in terms of their impact on learning and teaching and he plays a leading role in adoption and implementation of new technologies and methods.

He has expertise in the strategic implementation and management of mobile learning, elearning, educational technology, open and distance education and educational innovation, quality and change both in developing settings (Botswana and South Africa) and in developed environments (New Zealand and Australia).

He has also done a number of international consultancies for the European Union and the Commonwealth of Learning. 

African Region 

Prof. Tolly.S.A. Mbwette,
Open University of Tanzania 

Prof.  Tolly.S.A. Mbwette ia a holder of a PhD in Engineering from the University of London (Imperial College, UK) of 1989 as well as a Masters Degree of the University of Dar es Salaam (1984) and a B.Sc. Civil Eng. Degree (1981).  He also holds a PG Diploma of the UNESCO WRE Institute of Delft, The Netherlands (1982).  In Prof. Mbwette’s academic career at UDSM, he rose from a Tutorial Assistant in 1981 to a Full Professor in 1999. He was an Associate Dean for Research, Publications and Postgraduate Studies in the former Faculty of Engineering at UDSM (July 1991- June 1994) after which he became the Manager of the UDSM Transformation Programme in the Vice Chancellor’s office (July 1994-April 2002). Between 1st January, 2004 and 12th April, 2005, he was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) of the Open University of Tanzania.  From 13th April, 2005 to 12th April 2015, he was the Vice Chancellor, Open University of Tanzania. Between 2005 and 2007, he was the maiden Chairman of TCU. He is the Immediate Past Vice Chancellor of OUT and a former Member of the Governing Board of the Association of African Universities (AAU) from June 2013 to June 2017. Between 2011 and 2014 he was President of The African Council of Distance Education (ACDE).  Between 2014 and April 2017 he was a Board member of the ACDE Board. He is the Immediate Past President of the Council of The Pan African University (PAU) for the period 2015 to 2017.

Between 2008 and December 2016, he was a holder of the UNESCO COL Professorial Chair in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) at OUT.  In 2009, Prof. Mbwette was appointed as one of the Honorary Advisors to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) until 2015.  In March 2015, Prof. Mbwette was appointed to be one of the seven ICDE Chairs on Open Educational Resources (OER).  In October 2016, Prof. Mbwette was voted to be Chair of the Board of the African Network for Internationalisation of Education (ANIE).   Between October 2015 and August 2016, he was appointed by the President of URT as The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL).  Between July 2017 to date he is The Chair of The Board of DAWASCO. He is a member of The Executive Committee of The International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) for 2018 to 2019.   Prof. Mbwette is a Member of The Board of Laweh College of Open and Distance Learning, Ghana.  He is a Full Time Professor of Environmental Engineering at the College of Engineering & Technology, UDSM as well as a Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at OUT.