The Executive Director attended the meeting of the Advisory Board for the Harmonisation of African Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative in Maputo, Mozambique, hosted by CNAQ, on 21-22 March 2018.
The African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) are now almost in their final form. The specific purpose of the ASG-QA is to support higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies in Africa to:
- have a common framework and understanding of quality assurance systems for teaching and learning among all stakeholders at continental, regional and national level;
- develop mutual trust thus facilitate recognition and mobility of students and human resources within and across national borders of the continent;
- ensure quality improvement/ enhancement in higher education in the continent through self-assessment, external peer review and continuous monitoring and evaluation;
- promote transparency and accountability by providing appropriate information on quality assurance to the public;
- support higher education institutions to develop a sustainable quality culture; and
- promote international competitiveness of the African higher education system.
The ASG-QA will be presented to the next Science and Technology Committee (STC) of the African Union in 2019. Once approved by this committee, it will go to the Heads of State Summit.
Information resources and a communication strategy need to be developed in order to demonstrate the relationship between the HAQAA Initiative and the Pan African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF).
The development of the ASG-QA forms one of the focus areas of the PAQAF, while the others are:
- Facilitate collaboration and networking between national and regional QA/accreditation agencies;
- Initiate organizational set-up and legal framework of a Continental Accreditation Agency;
- Initiate the development of an African Continental Qualifications Framework based on existing national and regional qualifications frameworks; and
- Advance the development of an African Credit Transfer System
The HAQAA Initiative will issue a call for external quality assurance agencies to participate in pilot reviews according to the ASG-QA during 2018. 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. Interested agencies will be invited to apply during 2018.
The HAQAA Initiative provides the framework within which SARUA should take the project for the development of internal quality assurance or management systems forward.