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International Co-operation for
Building Capacity in Quality
Assurance in African Higher
Education

               Mala Singh
  Centre for Higher Education Research
             and Information
           Open University, UK
QA in African Higher Education
 Continuing challenges of sustainable
 development in Africa-both local/regional
 initiatives and international co-operation
 needed, same for QA capacity development
 GIQAC African QA project facilitates this
 Great expectations that revitalisation of
 African HE will allow it contribute to
 knowledge needs and high level human
 resources for social and economic
 development
                QACapDevIAU MS170708          2
QA in African Higher Education
 Need for efficient, effective, responsive
 HEIs producing credible graduates and
 useful knowledge-quality as key
 Quality concerns around transnational
 and private HE, increased demand and
 limited supply, new modes of delivery,
 student mobility, emergence of NQFs
 and RQFs, etc.
               QACapDevIAU MS170708          3
QA in African Higher Education
 Quality/QA as necessary but not
 sufficient condition for successful
 revitalisation-sufficient conditions
 include social and political stability,
 enabling policy, effective governance
 and management, funding,
 infrastructure renewal


               QACapDevIAU MS170708        4
QA in African Higher Education
 7 capacity development priorities
 identified in discussion with African
 Univ(HED 2007)-faculty development;
 curriculum and teaching; institutional
 leadership and management; research,
 technology and problem-solving;
 financial diversification and resource
 mobilisation; improvement of T and R
 facilities, linkages.
              QACapDevIAU MS170708        5
QA in African Higher Education
 QA-priority in international HE arena
 (UNESCO,OECD,WB)
 QA also identified at Africa wide, sub-
 continental, national, institutional levels as HE
 priority. Flurry of QA planning, dev. and
 implementation activities-several workshops
 and conferences including 3rd UNESCO
 Global Forum on Internat QA, Accred. and the
 Recognition of Qualif(Sept 2007 Tanzania)
                 QACapDevIAU MS170708            6
QA in African Higher Education
 In place already:Arusha Convention(1981,
 revised 2002), Crossborder recog of qualif
 and joint accred of qualif by Inter-Univ
 Council in East Africa, SADC technical
 committee in Southern Africa and CAMES in
 Francophone Africa
 Recognition of need for more systematic
 attention to quality at national and
 institutional levels
                QACapDevIAU MS170708          7
QA in African Higher Education
 Promotion, development and assurance of Quality
 flagged as ministerial priority area in Plan of Action
 for Second Decade of Education for Africa(2006-
 2015)
 AU-projects on harmonisation of qualifications and
 ratings mechanism(2007)
 SADC framework for improvement of national QA
 systems(2007)




                    QACapDevIAU MS170708                  8
QA in African Higher Education
 Development of external QA systems in many
 countries e.g.11 of 14 SADC countries have QA
 systems in place- different stages of implementation
 QA still in government departments in many
 countries
  Institutional QA frameworks under construction both
 in response to requirements of external QA systems
 and in their absence
 Several regional and continental workshops, study
 visits and exchange of information-local, regional
 and international dimensions

                   QACapDevIAU MS170708             9
QA in African Higher Education
 AAU identified QA as priority in 1997
 emphasising strengthening of institut and
 regional level QA- stressed assistance to
 African HEIs in developing benchmarks and
 processes to assess and upgrade quality in T
 and R(keeping international context in mind)




                QACapDevIAU MS170708            10
QA in African Higher Education
 First phase QA programme launched in 1999
  Survey of institut needs-focus on institutional
 self-eval-6 institut completed self eval, site
 visits by audit panels, validation of self eval.
 Finding at the time-few institutions with
 credible QA systems or culture of
 quality.Need for more workshops for info
 sharing-funding and capacity a problem

                 QACapDevIAU MS170708          11
QA in African Higher Education
 Second phase AAU QA prog(2006)-funding
 from WB/GIQAC
 Context required 3 levels for QA attention-
 building similar and different capacities
 Strengthening of institutional systems
 (internal QA)
 Support for national systems (external QA)
 Regional recognition of qualifications
 (strengthening of Arusha Convention)
                QACapDevIAU MS170708           12
Progress to date
 AAU QA Prog-advisory committee of
 African and international expertise
 Needs assessments completed for
 different regions
 3 regional ‘train the trainer’ workshops
 held in SA, Nigeria and Burkina Faso-
 21 Countries, 93 participants and over
 50 HEIs. Use of regional expertise.

               QACapDevIAU MS170708         13
Progress to date
 African QA Network launched 17 Sept 2007
 with CAMES, NUC and HEQC as founding
 members-membership drive
 Workshop materials into training manual
 March 08 workshop on harmonisation of
 qualifications-AUC, AAU and UNESCO
 QA in other AAU prog. e.g. leadership
 development training workshops for senior
 admin and acad staff have substantial QA
 module
                QACapDevIAU MS170708         14
Progress to date
 Is proliferation of QA development and
 training activities improving QA and building
 sustainable QA-is it building Quality?
 Scale of challenge-53 African countries, +300
 universities, 5 members of African Network, 8
 countries full members of INQAAHE, 14 SSA
 countries with agencies, 20 countries ratified
 Arusha Convention.


                QACapDevIAU MS170708          15
Progress to date
 Slow process started of building African
 QA community, access to QA info,
 training, increased networking, policy
 messages back to institutions and
 systems about QA importance (power
 of accreditation status), practical
 information about interventions.
 Many tasks ahead-need for effective
 coordinating capacity
                QACapDevIAU MS170708     16
Types of QA capacity
  Technique, Contextualisation and Approach
  Technique:QA planning and policy dev;
  developing benchmarks and criteria for
  quality/equivalence/comparability; from
  policy to implementation; self-eval;
  external/peer review; gathering/evaluating
  evidence; developing improvement plans;
  monitoring; sharing good practices


               QACapDevIAU MS170708        17
Types of QA capacity
  Context analysis, establishing
  purposes of QA, and choosing
  appropriate methodologies
  Customising QA from outside,
  consistent and fair implementation,
  continuous learning and asking about
  QA value add to HE, research on QA

             QACapDevIAU MS170708        18
Scope of QA-Capacity
Implications
 Comprehensive needs-QA cannot have
 narrow focus
 Governance and Management
 T and L-including curriculum, pedagogy
 Research Management
 Comparability, Equivalence across
 institutions, across borders

              QACapDevIAU MS170708    19
Opportunities, Limits, Risks
 QA capacity development structured on
 regional/subregional lines is effective
 way of strengthening QA
 professionalism-common contextual
 challenges, info exchange,
 benchmarking, mutual learnings for
 existing, new and planned QA initiatives
 Vast scope of challenge-sustainability of
 initiatives/funding is MS170708
                QACapDevIAU
                            key          20
Opportunities, Limits, Risks
 Targeting individuals, building systems,
 strengthening institutions-individual and team
 approaches necessary
 Avoiding international/regional transfer of QA
 policy and practice and customising QA to
 context and purpose




                QACapDevIAU MS170708          21
Opportunities, Limits, Risks
 First wave of formal QA from developed
 world, next phase is
 insertion/strengthening of QA in
 developing world.
 Opportunity for innovation in next
 generation QA-what is fit for purpose
 QA in the developing world and how
 will this enrich global thinking about QA
 for higher education MS170708
                 QACapDevIAU              22

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QA Capacity Building in African Higher Education

  • 1. International Co-operation for Building Capacity in Quality Assurance in African Higher Education Mala Singh Centre for Higher Education Research and Information Open University, UK
  • 2. QA in African Higher Education Continuing challenges of sustainable development in Africa-both local/regional initiatives and international co-operation needed, same for QA capacity development GIQAC African QA project facilitates this Great expectations that revitalisation of African HE will allow it contribute to knowledge needs and high level human resources for social and economic development QACapDevIAU MS170708 2
  • 3. QA in African Higher Education Need for efficient, effective, responsive HEIs producing credible graduates and useful knowledge-quality as key Quality concerns around transnational and private HE, increased demand and limited supply, new modes of delivery, student mobility, emergence of NQFs and RQFs, etc. QACapDevIAU MS170708 3
  • 4. QA in African Higher Education Quality/QA as necessary but not sufficient condition for successful revitalisation-sufficient conditions include social and political stability, enabling policy, effective governance and management, funding, infrastructure renewal QACapDevIAU MS170708 4
  • 5. QA in African Higher Education 7 capacity development priorities identified in discussion with African Univ(HED 2007)-faculty development; curriculum and teaching; institutional leadership and management; research, technology and problem-solving; financial diversification and resource mobilisation; improvement of T and R facilities, linkages. QACapDevIAU MS170708 5
  • 6. QA in African Higher Education QA-priority in international HE arena (UNESCO,OECD,WB) QA also identified at Africa wide, sub- continental, national, institutional levels as HE priority. Flurry of QA planning, dev. and implementation activities-several workshops and conferences including 3rd UNESCO Global Forum on Internat QA, Accred. and the Recognition of Qualif(Sept 2007 Tanzania) QACapDevIAU MS170708 6
  • 7. QA in African Higher Education In place already:Arusha Convention(1981, revised 2002), Crossborder recog of qualif and joint accred of qualif by Inter-Univ Council in East Africa, SADC technical committee in Southern Africa and CAMES in Francophone Africa Recognition of need for more systematic attention to quality at national and institutional levels QACapDevIAU MS170708 7
  • 8. QA in African Higher Education Promotion, development and assurance of Quality flagged as ministerial priority area in Plan of Action for Second Decade of Education for Africa(2006- 2015) AU-projects on harmonisation of qualifications and ratings mechanism(2007) SADC framework for improvement of national QA systems(2007) QACapDevIAU MS170708 8
  • 9. QA in African Higher Education Development of external QA systems in many countries e.g.11 of 14 SADC countries have QA systems in place- different stages of implementation QA still in government departments in many countries Institutional QA frameworks under construction both in response to requirements of external QA systems and in their absence Several regional and continental workshops, study visits and exchange of information-local, regional and international dimensions QACapDevIAU MS170708 9
  • 10. QA in African Higher Education AAU identified QA as priority in 1997 emphasising strengthening of institut and regional level QA- stressed assistance to African HEIs in developing benchmarks and processes to assess and upgrade quality in T and R(keeping international context in mind) QACapDevIAU MS170708 10
  • 11. QA in African Higher Education First phase QA programme launched in 1999 Survey of institut needs-focus on institutional self-eval-6 institut completed self eval, site visits by audit panels, validation of self eval. Finding at the time-few institutions with credible QA systems or culture of quality.Need for more workshops for info sharing-funding and capacity a problem QACapDevIAU MS170708 11
  • 12. QA in African Higher Education Second phase AAU QA prog(2006)-funding from WB/GIQAC Context required 3 levels for QA attention- building similar and different capacities Strengthening of institutional systems (internal QA) Support for national systems (external QA) Regional recognition of qualifications (strengthening of Arusha Convention) QACapDevIAU MS170708 12
  • 13. Progress to date AAU QA Prog-advisory committee of African and international expertise Needs assessments completed for different regions 3 regional ‘train the trainer’ workshops held in SA, Nigeria and Burkina Faso- 21 Countries, 93 participants and over 50 HEIs. Use of regional expertise. QACapDevIAU MS170708 13
  • 14. Progress to date African QA Network launched 17 Sept 2007 with CAMES, NUC and HEQC as founding members-membership drive Workshop materials into training manual March 08 workshop on harmonisation of qualifications-AUC, AAU and UNESCO QA in other AAU prog. e.g. leadership development training workshops for senior admin and acad staff have substantial QA module QACapDevIAU MS170708 14
  • 15. Progress to date Is proliferation of QA development and training activities improving QA and building sustainable QA-is it building Quality? Scale of challenge-53 African countries, +300 universities, 5 members of African Network, 8 countries full members of INQAAHE, 14 SSA countries with agencies, 20 countries ratified Arusha Convention. QACapDevIAU MS170708 15
  • 16. Progress to date Slow process started of building African QA community, access to QA info, training, increased networking, policy messages back to institutions and systems about QA importance (power of accreditation status), practical information about interventions. Many tasks ahead-need for effective coordinating capacity QACapDevIAU MS170708 16
  • 17. Types of QA capacity Technique, Contextualisation and Approach Technique:QA planning and policy dev; developing benchmarks and criteria for quality/equivalence/comparability; from policy to implementation; self-eval; external/peer review; gathering/evaluating evidence; developing improvement plans; monitoring; sharing good practices QACapDevIAU MS170708 17
  • 18. Types of QA capacity Context analysis, establishing purposes of QA, and choosing appropriate methodologies Customising QA from outside, consistent and fair implementation, continuous learning and asking about QA value add to HE, research on QA QACapDevIAU MS170708 18
  • 19. Scope of QA-Capacity Implications Comprehensive needs-QA cannot have narrow focus Governance and Management T and L-including curriculum, pedagogy Research Management Comparability, Equivalence across institutions, across borders QACapDevIAU MS170708 19
  • 20. Opportunities, Limits, Risks QA capacity development structured on regional/subregional lines is effective way of strengthening QA professionalism-common contextual challenges, info exchange, benchmarking, mutual learnings for existing, new and planned QA initiatives Vast scope of challenge-sustainability of initiatives/funding is MS170708 QACapDevIAU key 20
  • 21. Opportunities, Limits, Risks Targeting individuals, building systems, strengthening institutions-individual and team approaches necessary Avoiding international/regional transfer of QA policy and practice and customising QA to context and purpose QACapDevIAU MS170708 21
  • 22. Opportunities, Limits, Risks First wave of formal QA from developed world, next phase is insertion/strengthening of QA in developing world. Opportunity for innovation in next generation QA-what is fit for purpose QA in the developing world and how will this enrich global thinking about QA for higher education MS170708 QACapDevIAU 22