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Academic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Regional and Inter- Regional Issues and Implications. Presented by Prof. Clifford N.B. Tagoe Vice-Chancellor University of Ghana. At the International Workshop on Quality and Equivalence: Issues in Education Abroad

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academic quality assurance and accreditation regional and inter regional issues and implications

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

Presented by

Prof. Clifford N.B. Tagoe

Vice-Chancellor University of Ghana

At the International Workshop on

Quality and Equivalence: Issues in Education Abroad

Facilitated by The University of the West Indies in collaboration with University of Ghana

June 19 – 21, 2008 Mona Campus University of West Indies

the balme library university of ghana legon
The Balme Library, University of Ghana, Legon

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

what is quality higher education
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:

  • society’s 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.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

definition of accreditation
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 institution’s performance and relevance in accomplishing its mission”

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

growth of higher education in africa and the labour market requirements
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: 17–19 September 2007.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

purpose of quality assurance and accreditation
Purpose of Quality Assurance and Accreditation

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

the need for quality assurance and accreditation in africa
The need for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Africa
  • Demand for efficiency, competitiveness, Increased Transparency and Accountability in Higher Education
  • Increasing Mobility, Globalization, the Cross–Border Recognition and Harmonization of Qualifications and Awards
  • Rising Private Contributions and interests in HE
  • 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 Brain–Drain: Quality HE in Africa could Improve Retention of Skilled Human Capital

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

university of ghana legon ca 4 2km by 4km 1990 8 000 students 2007 28 000 students
University of Ghana: Legon (ca. 4.2km by 4km) 1990 - 8,000 Students 2007 - 28,000 Students

Sports Area

Staff Housing

Student Halls

Administration

Library and Departments

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

weaknesses and threats in quality assurance
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

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

quality assurance accreditation initiatives in africa
Quality Assurance & Accreditation Initiatives in Africa
  • 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

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

ict centre university of ghana legon
ICT Centre,: University of Ghana, Legon

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

promoting regional quality assurance and accreditation
Promoting Regional Quality Assurance and Accreditation
  • UNESCO
    • UNESCO Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications,
    • 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.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

the association of african universities
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://www.aau.org/qa/index.htm

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

international network of quality assurance agencies in higher education inqaahe
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 countries.

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 GATS.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

global and regional networks of heqa agencies

NOQA

CEENet

ENQA

ASPA

ANQAHE

CANQATE

AfriQAn

APQN

RIACES

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

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

african quality assurance network for higher education afriqan
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 assurance
    • Cooperation in quality assessment and procedures’ improvements;
    • Development of compatible methodologies of national quality assurance systems and mutual recognition of decisions;
    • Collective promotion of higher education.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

cross border higher education and distance learning
Cross-Border Higher Education and Distance Learning

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 certification.

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.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

conclusions
Conclusions

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.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

university avenue university of ghana legon
University Avenue, University of Ghana, Legon

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

recommendations i
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?);

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

recommendations ii
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 faculty;
  • 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/ approaches.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

the way forward
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.

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

slide23

Centre for African Wetlands: University of Ghana, Legon

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona

slide24

Discussion

Tagoe 2008: Regional Academic Quality Assurance CUSAC UoWI Mona