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Academic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Regional and Inter Regional Issues and Implications


Accreditation (fitness-for-purpose approach) ... Increased Market Demand for Quality and Relevance of Education ... African Higher Education Initial Findings: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Academic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Regional and Inter Regional Issues and Implications

Academic Quality Assurance and Accreditation
Regional and Inter- Regional Issues and
Presented by Prof. Clifford N.B.
Tagoe Vice-Chancellor University of Ghana
  • At the International Workshop on
  • Quality and Equivalence Issues in Education
  • Facilitated by The University of the West Indies
    in collaboration with University of Ghana
  • June 19 21, 2008 Mona Campus University of West

The Balme Library, University of Ghana, Legon
What is Quality Higher Education?
  • Gola, defines quality in higher education as
    specifying worthwhile learning goals and
    enabling students to achieve them, it involves
    articulating academic standards to meet
  • societys expectations,
  • students aspirations,
  • the demands of the government, business and
    industry and
  • the requirements of professional institutions.

Gola, M.M. 2003 Premises to Accreditation A
Minimum set of Accreditation Requirements in ENQA
Workshop Reports 3, European Network for Quality
Assurance in Higher Education, Helsinki, pp 25-31.
Definition of Accreditation
  • Accreditation (standard-based approach)
  • a process of quality control and assurance in
    higher education, whereby, as a result of
    inspection or assessment, or both, an institution
    or its programmes are recognised as meeting
    minimum acceptable standards
  • Accreditation (fitness-for-purpose approach)
  • an accreditation system should provide elements
    to analyse the quality of the institutions
    performance and relevance in accomplishing its

Growth of Higher Education in Africa and the
Labour Market Requirements
  • Ssenkaaba notes that in 1960, Africa had only six
    universities mainly producing civil servants. Now
    there are about 350 universities in Africa with
    more than half a million students.
  • In Uganda, there was only 1 university in 1987
    with about 10,000 students but today there are
    over 25 universities with about 65,000 students.
  • The Labour Market requires that
  • Universities must be globally competitive in
    world class research and teaching
  • They should access and bring to their home
    country international expertise and talent
  • And they should develop global citizens.

Ssenkaaba, R B 2007 Importance of Credit
Accumulation and Transfer System in Promoting
Quality Assurance in East Africa. A Paper
Presented at The Second International Conference
on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in
Africa Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 1719 September
Purpose of Quality Assurance and Accreditation
The need for Quality Assurance and Accreditation
in Africa
  • Demand for efficiency, competitiveness,
    Increased Transparency and Accountability in
    Higher Education
  • Increasing Mobility, Globalization, the
    CrossBorder Recognition and Harmonization of
    Qualifications and Awards
  • Rising Private Contributions and interests in
  • The Challenge of the New Modes of Delivery to
    Traditional Approaches to HE Development
  • Expansion in Tertiary Enrollment in Africa
    without a Matching Increase in Funding
  • Increased Market Demand for Quality and
    Relevance of Education
  • The Challenge of BrainDrain Quality HE in
    Africa could Improve Retention of Skilled Human

University of Ghana Legon (ca. 4.2km by 4km)
1990 - 8,000 Students 2007 - 28,000
Sports Area
Staff Housing
Student Halls
Library and Departments
Weaknesses and Threats in Quality Assurance
  • Lack of Institutional Capacity
  • Lack of Human Capacity
  • Lack of Funds
  • Poor Inter-University Communication
  • Private versus Public institutional conflict
  • Government Interference

Quality Assurance Accreditation Initiatives in
  • World Bank Funded Quality Assurance Project of
    the Association of African Universities.
  • The Distance Education Course on External Quality
    Assurance for Higher Education for
    English-speaking African countries. International
    Institute for Educational planning, UNESCO.
    September to December, 2006.
  • The Second International Conference on
    Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Recognition
    of Qualifications in Higher Education in Africa.
    Tanzania 2007.
  • ECOWAS Meeting of the ad-hoc committee on
    equivalence of certificates in West Africa. 2006
  • International Conference on Accreditation,
    Quality Assurance and Recognition of
    Qualifications in Higher Education in Africa
    Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, 6-8 February 2006

ICT Centre, University of Ghana, Legon
Promoting Regional Quality Assurance and
  • UNESCO Global Forum on International Quality
    Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of
  • Development of UNESCO/OECD guidelines on Quality
    provision in Cross-Border Higher Education
  • Association of African Universities
  • Quality Assurance Support Programme for African
    Higher Education Initial Findings
  • 51 QAA Bodies in Africa, Made up of 46 Government
    Institutions and 5 Professional Bodies. Several
    Countries have both Government and Professional
    Bodies. Ghana, Morocco and Tanzania have only
    Professional Bodies.
  • 32 of the 51 QAA Bodies in Africa have a mandate
    only on National programmes, 9 have a mandate
    over Foreign programmes while 9 deal with both
    National and Foreign Programmes.

The Association of African Universities
  • the AAU launched a new phase of its QA work in
    2007 comprised of three program components
  • Support for member universities of the AAU to
    develop strong internal quality assurance
    mechanisms. This will include training of
    self-evaluators and peer reviewers who would also
    be available to serve in accreditation/audit
    panels set up by national QA agencies.
  • Support to existing and emerging Quality
    Assurance/Accreditation Agencies for development
    of capable external evaluation and monitoring
    systems within national higher education systems.
  • Development and implementation of a Regional
    Framework on Recognition of Studies,
    Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other
    Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in
    Africa, based on the Arusha Convention, as an
    instrument to enhance inter-university
    collaboration and student mobility.

Source Association of African Universities (ND)
Quality Assurance Support Programme for African
Higher Education http//
International Network of Quality Assurance
Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)
  • INQAAHE was established in 1991, with a handful
    of members. It has grown to become a global
    network, with over 180 members in about 100
  • INQAAHE is promoting Regional Networks because of
  • Geo-political considerations governmental
    national or regional decisions, or a commitment
    to integration, make it necessary to develop
    specific arrangements (e.g., Bologna).
  • Geographical or cultural proximity logistics are
    less expensive is easier common languages
    similar stages of development of HE and QA
    schemes within a specific region or sub-region.
  • Common interests, such as mobility, recognition
    of qualifications, credit transfer, the impact of

Global and Regional Networks of HEQA Agencies
Source Lemaitre, María José 2008 Global and
Regional Networks for Quality Assurance.
Presented at the ACE 2008 Annual Meeting
Latin-American Symposium for Accreditation in
Higher Education
African Quality Assurance Network for Higher
Education (AfriQAN)
  • Functions and benefits of the African Quality
    Assurance Network include
  • Assistance in good practice dissemination
  • Regional promotion and advocacy
  • Information support and assistance in
    organization of new quality assurance agencies in
    places where they do not exist
  • Mutual cooperation into research in quality
  • Cooperation in quality assessment and procedures
  • Development of compatible methodologies of
    national quality assurance systems and mutual
    recognition of decisions
  • Collective promotion of higher education.

Cross-Border Higher Education and Distance
  • A complex situation is being created by the
    growing number of CBHE providers in Africa. These
    providers are either African or foreign
    universities. Including the African Virtual
    University, the Open Universities of Tanzania,
    Nigeria and South Africa. Foreign universities
    include the Colombia Southern University, the
    Edinburgh Business School, the Herriot-Watt
    University and the University of Delaware. etc.
  • Franchised higher education has also become a
    prominent feature of CBHE in addition to
    institution mobility where the involvement of the
    local HEI varies from simply providing the
    facilities to involvement in curriculum design,
    teaching, quality control and assessment and
  • CBHE is also organized widely through Distance
    Learning and often operates through agents that
    register with national trade authorities, and so
    bypass the quality control of national
    educational authorities.

  • The rapid adjustments in national education
    systems impacting on African higher education
    present enormous difficulties and challenges for
    all universities. These forces include
  • Globalisation
  • Advances in information technology
  • Increase in student numbers
  • Student-centred learning and
  • Increased flexibility with the development of
    course credit-based systems
  • The future for those institutions who fail to
    confront and adapt to these issues is uncertain.
    Quality Assurance and Accreditation systems
    especially those which are in collaboration
    within the continent and between other regions of
    the world are essential for African Universities
    to respond to demands of their stakeholders.

University Avenue, University of Ghana, Legon
Recommendations I
  • For Africa to achieve credible QAA for its
    universities we need to address
  • The need to have clarity of purpose, terminology
    and regulations
  • The requirement to have transparency at all
    levels, contributing to delivering trust by
    creating macro level understanding and due
    diligence procedures in developing partnerships
  • The need for coherence in the practice of
    regulatory bodies and independent bodies to
    assure the quality of QA agencies (Quis custodiet
    ipsos custodes?)

Recommendations II
  • Africa also has
  • The need to have Staff development and capacity
    building in QAA as well as developing systems to
    promote ownership of quality assurance by
  • The requirement for transferability of
    qualifications within and between regions based
    on the mutual recognition and status of degrees
  • The need to focus on student-centred issues/

The Way Forward
  • The establishment of fora at the national,
    sub-regional and regional levels where issues
    pertaining to QAA can be discussed and developed
  • The creation of mechanisms for sharing of best
    practice between institutions of higher learning
  • Greater corporation between international bodies
    promoting and funding QAA activities in Africa
  • Increased involvement of internal and external
    funders of higher education in Africa with QAA
    issues and
  • The institution of professional QAA bodies within
    Universities in Africa.

Centre for African Wetlands University of Ghana,
(No Transcript)