APQN was created in 2003 with the support of the World Bank and UNESCO in response to the needs of quality assurance agencies in the field of higher education located in a region that is home to more than half of the world's population. APQN operates as a regional network of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).
APQN mission statement:
‘To enhance the quality of higher education in Asia and the Pacific region through strengthening the work of quality assurance agencies and extending the cooperation between them.’
APQN has four levels of membership: Full Member, Intermediate Member, Associate Member and Institutional Member. Certain criteria need to be met at each level of membership. APQN also accepts Observers. Only full members and intermediate members are eligible to participate in the governing bodies of the association. Associates and institutional members may participate in the Annual General Meeting and other meetings of the General Council but they do not have voting rights.
At present times, the APQN network consists of 149 organizations: 34 full members, 19 agencies with interim status, 10 associate members and 86 organizations have the status of institutional members of the network. Four organizations are observers: UK, Germany, Kuwait, Thailand.