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11 Workshop on Establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency for Higher Education in Africa 10 – 11 April 2013, Addis Ababa The Overall Landscape.

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Presentation on theme: "11 Workshop on Establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency for Higher Education in Africa 10 – 11 April 2013, Addis Ababa The Overall Landscape."— Presentation transcript:

1 11 Workshop on Establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency for Higher Education in Africa 10 – 11 April 2013, Addis Ababa The Overall Landscape of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Africa Dr. Yohannes Woldetensae Senior Education Expert Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology African Union Commission

2 What do we mean by Quality Assurance? Quality Assurance is a systematic, structured and continuous attention to quality The purpose of a QA system is to ensure that educational activities are of high quality and are developing toward further improvements Quality Assurance is internal and external Internal QA  Policies and mechanisms implemented by an institution to ensure its own quality External QA  Actions of an external body 2 African Union Commission

3 Link between Quality Assurance and Accreditation Accreditation is one part of External QA Accreditation is a useful mechanism for assuring quality of HEIs as a formal recognition of the fulfillment of agreed standards by external body Accreditation comprise a multi-step process - Self-evaluation submitted by the Institution undergoing accreditation - External assessment by independent experts - Accreditation decision by an authorized body 3 African Union Commission

4 Link between Quality Assurance and Accreditation Both Accreditation and QA processes are important for improving Quality in African HEIs Effective Accreditation processes depends upon how well HEIs manage their internal QA systems Quality Assurance  Improvement Accreditation  Quality Control The development of African Quality Assurance Framework is a reinforcement for a Continental Accreditation Mechanism 4 African Union Commission

5 Why the need for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Africa? Demand for efficiency and competitiveness Increasing Mobility, Globalization and the Cross– Border Recognition of Qualifications Rising private interests in higher education The Challenge of the New Modes of Delivery Expansion in Enrolments Demand for Quality and Relevance of Education The Challenge of Brain Drain  Retention 5 African Union Commission

6 Challenges to the Quality of Higher Education in Africa High increase in enrollment Inadequate facilities and infrastructures Shortage of qualified staff and heavy workloads Outdated teaching methods, rely on lectures Weakening of research and publishing activities Mismatch between graduate output & employment Low level of quality management system and limited capacity of governance & leadership 6 African Union Commission

7 Challenges to the Quality of Higher Education in Africa Many countries are yet to establish regulatory agencies for QA and Accreditation In some countries, quality monitoring and accreditation is employed only in Private HEIs Many HEIs are facing challenges that are affecting their quality – Enrolment expansion Problems of comparability (credit transfer) Many initiatives in promoting QA in Africa but they are disparate & uncoordinated, with little collaboration among regions & key organisations 7 African Union Commission

8 Quality Assurance in African Higher Education Institutions Use of external examiners, self-evaluation and academic audits are among good QA processes in African HEIs Although many institutions claim to pay attention to quality issues, only few actually have in place dedicated units that can monitor performance and advise management on a regular basis QA needs be part of institution’s strategic plan 5 institutional evaluations were conducted within Europe-Africa Quality Connect project 8 African Union Commission

9 QA and Accreditation at National Levels Only 21 countries have established structured national QA mechanisms, the majority having been established within the last 10 years Botswana, Burundi, Cameroun, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe Activities differ, ranging from simple licensing of institutions to program accreditation 9 African Union Commission

10 QA and Accreditation at National Levels Many of the QA Agencies lack the capacity needed to implement their mandates effectively  capacity building is crucial National QA agencies also lack trained staff and capacity for implementing evaluation process Several countries changed their laws to make accreditation of public institutions mandatory as it has been limited only to private institutions Accreditation for selected programs is carried out by the professional bodies in some countries 10 African Union Commission

11 QA and Accreditation at National Levels There is convergence in methodology across countries  institutional audits, institutional accreditation, and program accreditation The standards being applied by national QA agencies are input-based with little attention being paid to process, outputs and outcomes Mainly to ensure minimum input standards are being met (physical facilities, learning resources, adequacy of teaching staff, and curriculum) Lack of experience in monitoring Open Distance Learning and Cross Boarder Higher Education 11 African Union Commission

12 12 Regional Collaborations in Quality Assurance The need for regional collaboration in QA is progressively being recognized CAMES is carrying out several activities to support QA development in 19 Francophone countries (Accreditation, LMD Reform) The Association of Arab Universities (AArU) sets up QA & Accreditation Council (QAAC) to assist its members institutions in QA The Arab Network for QA in HE (ANQAHE) is established to assist in creation of QA agencies & develop standards African Union Commission

13 Regional Collaborations in Quality Assurance Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) embarks on promoting QA systems in public & private HEIs in 5 East African countries The SADC Regional Qualification Framework include guidelines which set minimum standards for quality assurance in the SADC region The Higher Education Quality Management Initiative for Southern Africa (HEQMISA) supports the development of QA and promotes regional cooperation with universities in the SADC region  SARUA 13 African Union Commission

14 African Quality Assurance Framework The Goal is to catalyse improvement in quality in higher education in Africa Africa to be under one umbrella in QA in higher education in terms of minimum standards Situation analysis of quality assurance practices in different countries and sub-regions in Africa Establish regional benchmarks and minimum standards  Develop African QA framework 14 African Union Commission

15 African QA Peer Review Mechanism To share experiences on structures, functions, management, legal frameworks To highlight strengths and weaknesses of quality assurance agencies for the purpose of early remediation of deficiencies To identify best practices in quality assurance that can be modelled continental wide To promote partnerships and collaboration among quality assurance agencies in Africa 15 African Union Commission

16 QA Initiatives at Continental Level The Association of African Universities (AAU) has initiated several QA activities African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) was constituted in 2009 to foster collaboration and linkages among QA bodies within Africa Standards and quality assurance mechanisms for ODL are developed by ACDE-QAAA The AU Commission initiated the establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency for HE 16 African Union Commission

17 AU Policy Framework Second Decade of Education for Africa Gender and culture Education management information systems Teacher development Higher education Technical-vocational education & training Curriculum development, and teaching & learning materials Quality management Early Childhood Development 17 African Union Commission

18 Mandate Spearheading the development & harmonization of education policies and programmes on the continent, towards achievement of the AU vision of prosperity, peace and integration Contributing to development of revitalized, quality, relevant, harmonized education systems through intra African networking Facilitate the contribution of education and research to African renaissance & empowerment of its people to generate Africa-led solutions 18 African Union Commission

19 Political Decisions Decisions of AU Summits of Heads of States and Governments (2 nd Decade of Education ) Recommendations from Conference of Ministers of Education of African Union (COMEDAF) The AU Executive Council decision of January 2012 on the establishment of the PAU requested the AUC to develop an African Accreditation Agency for higher education in collaboration with relevant stakeholders 19 African Union Commission

20 Link with the Pan African University The establishment of a Continental Accreditation Agency is vital to guarantee high quality of education provision in the Pan African University and to ensure its international recognition One major requirement for the PAU is ensuring excellence through internal quality assurance mechanisms and external accreditation But institutions that form the PAU are located in several different countries. Currently, there is no continental mechanism for accreditation 20 African Union Commission

21 African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) In its endeavor to contribute to QA, the AUC spearheaded the development of AQRM The AQRM was developed through extensive dialogue with the African HE community It was adopted by the COMEDAF III in 2007 Pilot Self-Rating of AQRM was conducted in 2010 and 32 institutions from 11 countries participated Full-scale of AQRM will be implemented African HEIs should take ownership of AQRM and use it as one means for quality improvement 21 African Union Commission

22 Concluding Remarks African countries and universities need to work to improve the quality of their educational programs and to establish coherent systems of equivalence and accreditation Continental Mechanism  From diversity to harmonisation while maintaining institutional and national identities and autonomy Ensuring quality of higher education is crucial to promote African integration through mutual recognition of qualifications and mobility of students and academics THANK YOU 22 African Union Commission


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