One of the primary activities of the Initiative is to develop African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA). This will be a guiding document for QAAs and HEIs across the continent and will be instrumental in fostering a shared quality culture, facilitating the cross-border recognition of quality assurance and accreditation decisions.
A Technical Working Group (TWG) will be responsible for the development of the ASG-QA and the development of a review mechanism for African QAAs that will be predicated on the ASG-QA. The members of the TWG would consist of six experts representing key stakeholders in higher education: five from Africa and one from Europe.
What is it?
The ASG-QA are a set of standards and guidelines for internal and external quality assurance in higher education. They are developed eventually to bring added value to institutions and quality assurance agencies by providing a unified framework applicable to all quality assurance processes allowing an enhancement-led approach for the escalation of institutional and educational quality.
The (ASG-QA) aims to support higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies in Africa by implementing good quality assurance practices; applying the standards and guidelines in higher education; developing adequate internal quality assurance mechanisms that fit international best practices; and assisting higher education institutions in assessing their own quality through self-assessment.
The specific purpose of the ASG-QA is, therefore, to support higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies in Africa to: (a) have a common framework and understanding of quality assurance systems for teaching and learning among all stakeholders at continental, regional and national level; (b) develop mutual trust thus facilitating recognition and mobility of students and human resources within and across national borders of the continent; (c) ensure quality improvement/ enhancement in higher education on the continent through self-assessment, external peer review and continuous monitoring and evaluation; (d) promote transparency and accountability by providing appropriate information on quality assurance to the public; (e) support higher education institutions to develop a sustainable quality culture; (f) promote international competitiveness of Africa’s higher education system; and (g) supporting production of relevant teaching and learning resources as well as students’ assessment instruments.
The draft 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), Southern Africa (SADC), North Africa (AArU) and West Africa (CAMES). 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) worked on the draft in several face-to-face meetings and a lot of drafting was carried out by the Chair and individual group members in between meetings.
Between June and August 2017, mainly through the dissemination channels of the AAU, a consultation survey on the draft ASG-QA was disseminated to all major stakeholders: HEIs, QAAs and ministries and governing bodies of higher education in Africa, for their input and comments. Responses from approximately 310 respondents were received from some 40 countries. Feedback was also received from AAU and the African Union Commission (AUC). The draft 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.
More information comming soon!