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Quality assurance in higher education institutions is one core basis for revitalising higher education in Africa. The importance of quality assurance in higher education is recognised as a key area strategic area in the 2063 Agenda of the African Union, which prioritises a number of tools and measures for harmonizing the African higher education sector and rendering it both local responsive and globally competitive. Higher education quality assurance collaboration, and harmonisation more generally, is also a successful area of collaboration under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The aim is to establish compatible structures and systems which would facilitate academic mobility and foster comparability among qualifications.
As part of the HAQAA Initiative, five pilot reviews of more established national quality assurance agencies (QAA) and five consultancy visits to countries with emerging national QAA or the interest to develop one will be conducted in 2018. This exercise aims to contribute to the consolidation of quality culture in African higher education and, more specifically, to the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF). The visits and pilot reviews will utilise the newly developed African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) and the review methodology developed within the framework of the HAQAA Initiative.
This important pilot exercise will promote the consolidation of distinctly African approaches towards quality assurance and accreditation, underpinned by transparent structures and organisations that have a common understanding on principles and procedures. It will support the implementation of the ASG-QA in QAAs and QA bodies themselves, so as to render them more transparent, self-reflective and visible to their own constituencies, across Africa and beyond.
This exercise will specifically provide advice and recommendations for national bodies responsible for external quality assurance and encourage self-improvement. The exercise will not function as a ranking or scoring tool but as an enhancement led exercise for development. Beyond its formative purpose, it will also be used to revise and improve the African QAA review methodology for application in the future.