Asian Qualitative Research Association (AQRA), an AIIAS-based research organization, hosted its Third International Qualitative Research Conference in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Themed “Honing the Craft”, the conference was attended by more than 200 scholars from all over the Philippines and several other countries from April 24 to 26, 2018 at Subic Bay Travelers Hotel.

“We are so excited to host another important conference as we are actively expanding our platform for interaction to those who are interested in qualitative research,” remarked Dr. Safary Wa-Mbaleka, president of AQRA. “We welcome those who are joining this association and attending this conference for the first time. We are committed to setting high standards for qualitative research.”

Continuing the tradition of featuring high profile resource people to the event, the keynote speaker for the conference this year was Dr. René Drumm, the associate dean for the College of Health of the University of Mississippi, USA.

It was a record breaking event where more than 80% of the attendees presented their qualitative research (QLR) studies. Up to seven concurrent sessions were held simultaneously to accommodate the numerous topics during the conference.

Many participants of the event commented that the conference has deepened their knowledge and understanding about qualitative research. Many have expressed appreciation to AIIAS’ faculty members, Dr. Arceli Rosario, Dr. Prema Gaikwad, and Dr. Safary Wa-Mbaleka for not only imparting knowledge about qualitative research but spending time encouraging new qualitative researchers.

“This conference is about building one another and helping one another grow in qualitative research,” continued Wa-Mbaleka.

During the testimonial session, participants shared many ways how qualitative research helped them grow in their personal and professional lives. One commented on how qualitative research helped her ‘keep’ her job by increased research output. Another noted that qualitative research helped in the understanding of the whole human that cannot be answered by quantitative research.

During the event, a new book entitled “Qualitative Research for Senior High School” by Safary Wa-Mbaleka and Ranjith Kingston Gladstone was launched. The book contains practical, self-explanatory, and step-by-step approach with illustrations on how to promote qualitative research to beginners.

The field of qualitative research has drawn a huge amount of interest among scholars in recent years. Proponents of this interest argue that qualitative research provides in-depth exploration of complex issues.

For this reason, AQRA was founded in 2015 with a mission to promote QLR and develop QLR scholars through the provision of capability building activities; attaining standards of excellence in QLR; and dissemination of qualitative research.

At the closing of the conference, organizers announced that the 2019 AQRA international conference will be held in Cebu City, Philippines, on April 23 to 25, 2019.


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