The Association of African Universities (AAU) was one of the organizers of the just ended 8th International Conference for Quality Assurance for Higher Education in African (ICQAHEA) held in Windhoek, Namibia, from the 19th to the 24th of September 2016. Some of the conference objectives included the promotion of awareness among the African Higher Education community on recent developments in accelerating quality assurance activities and African regional harmonisation under the African-European Union (EU) Strategic partnership. The objectives of the Pan African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF), which was one key aspect that was discussed during this conference are to be achieved through Tuning Africa, The African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM), the Pan African Universities and The Harmonization of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative. All the initiatives and the associated activities are guided by the Continental Strategy for Education for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA) as well as the Agenda 2063.
The conference also provided a platform for the launch of key initiatives especially the Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) which is under the African-EU Strategic Partnership. As part of the HAQAA Initiative activities, its official launch was successfully done in Windhoek, Namibia on the 20th of September 2016 in the presence of more than 250 delegates representing at least 45 countries around the world. These countries included South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Togo, Ghana, Botswana, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gambia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Algeria, Burundi, Mozambique, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Austria and Australia, among others. In addition to the launch, a number of related presentations and discussions were done by renowned quality assurance experts from different countries to show the need for more such initiatives like HAQAA in order to improve and enhance the quality of African Higher Education.
Below is Ramon Torrent giving a speech and Elizabeth Colucci on the left waiting for her turn to talk about the initiative. Elizabeth then took the opportunity to explain to the audience the details of the HAQAA initiative operations as well as the activities that were included and the timelines for each activity.
Complimenting PAQAF and AQRM through the HAQAA Initiative Project
As explained earlier on, members of the HAQAA Initiative consortium continue to reiterate that all the lined-up activities including nurturing the quality culture in African universities are meant to promote the Pan African Quality Assurance Framework. In line with that plans are at an advanced stage to start the process of institutional evaluations using AQRM. The mapping and framing of the African Standard Guidelines at continental level is yet another ongoing activity which involves a number of prominent African QA experts drawn from different African countries and regions.
The 5 HAQAA Initiative partners comprising the University of Barcelona (UB) which is coordinating; the Association of African Universities (AAU); European Universities Association (EUA); the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), are very thankful to the European Commission (EC) for funding the HAQAA Initiative. The consortium also recognizes the African Union and European Commissions’ Strategic Joint partnership that led to the birth of this initiative. Below are photographs of the 2 people who are at the helm of this initiative, Diedre Lenan on the left for European Union Commission, and Dr Yohannes Woldetensae, right for the African Union Commission.
Something highly commendable also happened during the 8th ICQAHEA, Windhoek, Namibia. The organising committee of the event gave Diedrie Lenan, a present to thank her for her unwavering support to the quality of African Higher Education. Through her, the European Union Commission was able to pay hotel accommodation and air tickets for more than half of the delegates. Jokingly, Prof. Jonathan Mba of the AAU said, “…..what is left is to give her a suitable African name.” Below is Gabrielle Hansen (AAU), handing over the present to Diedrie.
Below are some photographs showing some members of the consortium taken on different days of the conference.
The photograph above shows from left to right Prof Ramon Torrent and Elizabeth Colucci both from the Univeristy of Barcelona and Gudrun Chazotte from the Germany Academic Exchange Services (DAAD).
Above, Prof Jonathan Mba (AAU) in a blue suit and first row to the right is Dr Violet Makuku (AAU) dressed in red and navy blue.
In the photograph above, Gudrun Chazotte is standing whilst participants sing a happy birthday song to her on Thursday 22 September 2016 in Windhoek, Namibia.
From left to right above: Goran Dakovic of the European University Association, Paula Ranne of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and a participant during dinner in Windhoek, Namibia.
From left to right: A participant in a black and white shirt followed by three ladies, Zeineb Mazouz of the University of Barcelona, Paula Ranne, Gudrun Chazotte and the CAMES president Prof Bertrand M’batchi.
On another note, the selection of participants for the HAQAA Initiative training course, ‘Developing a Common Understanding of Quality Assurance in Africa’ has been completed and the French training course was successfully done between the 10th and the 14th of October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium and Bonn, Gemany. The English course will be offered between the 28th of November and the 2nd of December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium and Bonn, Germany.
The generic HAQAA Initiative website contact for queries and inquiries is firstname.lastname@example.org. People are encouraged to register on the website either as Quality Assurance and Accreditation experts, ordinary members interested in Higher Education QA, authors of QA materials and donors of QA initiatives. A resources section is also available for those who want materials on QA for personal or institutional use.
Submitted by: Dr Violet Makuku (Project Officer at AAU – HAQAA Initiative)