African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA)

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One of the primary activities of the HAQAA Initiative was to develop African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA). This is a guiding document for QAAs and HEIs across the continent and is instrumental in fostering a shared quality culture, facilitating the cross-border recognition of quality assurance and accreditation decisions. The AQG-QA are one of the tools of the PAQAF.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) has been responsible for the development of the ASG-QA and the development of a review mechanism for African quality assurance agencies (QAAs) that is predicated on the ASG-QA. The TWG consists of six experts representing different African regions and linguistique groups.

What are the ASG-QA?

The ASG-QA are a set of standards and guidelines for internal and external quality assurance in higher education. They are developed to bring added value to higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies by providing a unified framework applicable to all quality assurance processes, allowing an enhancement-led approach for institutional and educational quality.

The  ASG-QA aim to support both higher education institutions (HEI) and quality assurance agencies (QAA) in Africa by:

(a) providing a common framework and understanding of quality assurance systems  for teaching and learning among all stakeholders at continental, regional and national level;

(b) developing mutual trust thus facilitating recognition and mobility of students and human resources within and across national borders of the continent;

(c) ensuring quality improvement/ enhancement in higher education on the African continent through self-assessment, external peer review and continuous monitoring and evaluation;

(d) promoting transparency and accountability by providing appropriate information on quality assurance to the public;

(e) supporting higher education institutions to develop a sustainable quality culture;

(f) promoting international competitiveness of Africa’s higher education system; and

(g) supporting the production of relevant teaching and learning resources as well as students’ assessment instruments.

Drafting process:

The ASG-QA were based on the existing standards and guidelines of higher education already in use in African countries and by regional quality assurance networks or associations such as the Inter University Council of East Africa (IUCEA), the Arab Netwrok for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE), and the African and Malagache Councile for Higher Education (CAMES) in Francophone Africa. Additionally, the ASG-QA were benchmarked with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015) and other international standards and guidelines. The Technical Working Group (TWG) has led this process between September 2016 and March 2018.

Consultation process:

Between June and August 2017, an online consultation survey on draft 1 of the ASG-QA was disseminated to major stakeholders in Africa – HEIs, QAAs, student organisations and ministries and governing bodies of higher education in Africa – for their input and comments. Responses from approximately 310 respondents were received fromapproximately 40 countries. Feedback was also received from the African Union Commission (AUC). The draft ASG-QA and the survey were available in English, French, Arabic and Portuguese.

Overall, the feedback from the consultation provided the TWG with clear suggestions on how to improve the document and how to make sure the needs of different stakeholders would be best addressed.

Political endorsement:

The ASG-QA has now been finalized and can be used as a working document in African higher education. It is expected that it will be officially politically endorsed by the African Union in 2019.

Documents & Resources

For more information on how the ASG-QA relate the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM), click here.