Internal and External Quality Assurance

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    African Quality Assurance Mechanisms (AQRM)
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2022) Oyewole, Olusola
    The African Quality Rating Mechanisms (AQRM) is a tool that higher education institutions in Africa can employ to ensure the quality of their programs and processes. It was adopted by the Conference of the African Union Ministers of Education in 2007. In 2018, the African Union Commission handed over the AQRM questionnaire to the AAU, but it was realized that an overhaul of the whole instrument was inevitable. The instrument was re-developed by the AAU and the launch of the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) for institutional improvement was done on Friday June 3rd 2022, with an overwhelming response from the whole world. The AQRM was promoted as part of the Harmonization of African Quality Assurance Programs 1 and 2, during which its contents were improved to take care of emerging issues in higher education, post-COVID. The HAQAA2 program was able to develop an 0n-line version of the AQRM so that institutions can complete the questionnaires on their own for online analysis. This tool has been found to be a useful tool for driving institutional internal quality assurance processes. Issues about the validations of institutional self-analysis have been raised. However, institutions are challenged to raise up internal validation teams to check on themselves. The AQRM tool can be used by any institution or by a unit, department or college in an institution. Its current version is to ensure that institutions can promote it to a wider use in their environment.
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    Report African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance awareness in Africa
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2023-01-30) HAQAA Initiative
    As a follow-up to the development of the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) under the HAQAA initiative (Harmonisation, Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Africa), initiated by the European Union in the context of the Africa-EU Partnership, many activities were carried out by the implementing consortium of HAQAA and stakeholders, to promote and implement the ASG-QA. For example, evaluations of quality assurance agencies and ‘consultancy visits’ to emergent agencies were organised in some African countries to test the relevance of the ASG-QA and to give the structures of the countries concerned the opportunity to position themselves in relation to them. To further facilitate the use of the ASG-QA, a Guide on how to use the ASG-QA in higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies was developed. And, as the first collective initiative across linguistic lines, a dissemination activity of three organisations from different African regions was launched in the last year of the second phase of the HAQAA Initiative, to assess the widespread use of the ASG-QA in Africa. This project, hereafter called the ‘QA Network dissemination project’, was implemented by two QA networks and one national QA Agency, namely the Francophone African Network of National Quality Assurance Agencies (RAFANAQ), the East African Quality Assurance Network (EAQAN) and the National Quality Assurance Council of Mozambique (CNAQ).
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    Report on the dissemination Projects of HAQAA2
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2023) Naidoo, Kethamonie; Assembe, Emile
    There were 14 projects funded that were aimed at disseminating the knowledge and skills of quality assurance (QA) in higher education gained during the HAQAA training program more widely in the countries of the participants. A brief overview of the diverse projects from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Uganda and Zambia are provided in this report. It is important upon conclusion of such a continental capacity development initiative to consider whether the project has achieved its aims. By having each project coordinator reflect on the completed project in a final report and an interview, it was possible to determine whether the objectives set for each project were achieved. The coordinators provided information on the outcomes achieved against the objectives set, the organisation of the intervention, and the challenges experienced and the manner in which the risks were managed, the sustainability considerations and their recommendations for future such projects. The main target group for the majority of the projects was the quality managers in the higher education institutions (HEIs), but many also included other stakeholders such as members of the regulatory bodies, executive management members of the HEIs and students. The most common focus was on the African Standards and Guidelines (ASGs) and other topics included were the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM), the Pan African Quality Assurance Framework (PAQAF) and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA). Many projects included a focus on the tools and templates used for external and internal quality assurance. Countries are at different levels of maturity in terms of their regulatory frameworks, infrastructure and implementation of quality assurance. The COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty during the planning phase of the project, and the six-month window period for the completion of the projects was reported to be too tight. The HAQAA Initiative has had a significant impact on building the capacity of QA professionals, and the dissemination has increased the reach of some institutions. However, it is evident that there is a need for more such training, as well as more in-depth training on specific aspects for those already trained.
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    Summary report of QA agency reviews and support and advisory visits
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2023) Allal, Amine
    This report is part of the Phase Two of the HAQAA Initiative. It synthesizes and analyzes the results of these exercises with a view to informing future use of the review methodology and identifying additional guidance needed for the use of ASG-QA by quality assurance agencies. It attempts, when available, to highlight case examples (among the agencies visited) that can inspire other agencies/departments in the development of their quality assurance policies and methodologies and to give visibility to good practices. This document is based on the analysis of the external review reports (evaluations or consultancy) produced by the experts, which include the analysis of the self-evaluation reports, the results of the surveys and the interviews conducted with the identified stakeholders.
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    Users’ Guide for the African Standard and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ASG-QA)
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2020) HAQAA Initiative
    The African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ASG-QA) were developed in 2018 as part of the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF), which provides a continental framework to harmonise higher education quality assurance systems and promote compatible methodologies, endorsed by the African Union. The ASG-QA were developed following a mapping of existing standards at national and regional levels, a comparison with other existing international standards and guidelines as well as a broad stakeholder consultation. This was done with the support of the HAQAA Initiative – Harmonisation, Accreditation and Quality Assurance in African Higher Education, funded by the European Union in support of its partnership with the African Union. The aim of this Users’ Guide is to further support the implementation of the ASG-QA by providing practical guidance and explanation, including:
    • clarifications to improve the understanding and interpretation of the ASG-QA, particularly related to aspects of individual standards that have proved challenging in the first years of their use;
    • guidance on the implementation of the standards for HEIs and QAAs in the early stages of development;
    • examples of how HEIs and QAAs can demonstrate that they are meeting the commitments of the ASG-QA when undergoing internal or external reviews.
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    African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ASG-QA)
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2017) HAQAA Initiative
    Harmonisation seeks a shared view on quality criteria and standards and an equivalent way of assessing the quality. It is crucial to harmonise the standards and criteria so that all universities will be regulated according to comparable standards. Indeed, harmonisation does not mean that every institution or country is forced into a uniform system. It rather means that the basic framework for quality assessment is equivalent. A key milestone for fostering harmony within the diverse African higher education system is the establishment of a continental quality assurance framework. The AUC, therefore, initiated the development of the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF) to provide a continental platform for enhancing the provision of higher education quality and promoting compatible methodologies. One of the necessary instruments for the appropriate functioning of PAQAF is the development of the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ASG-QA). Proper implementation of the ASG-QA can contribute to the provision of quality higher education and ensure that the qualifications obtained by students and their experience of higher education remain consonant with programme requirements, institutional vision and mission, and the objectives of higher education. In order to optimally achieve this, a fundamental prerequisite is that HEIs inculcate a culture of evidence-based quality in all their activities. The AUC believes that the ASG-QA provides an overarching framework for quality assurance and that its implementation will be supported by the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM).
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    Références et lignes directrices pour l’assurance qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur africain (ASG-QA)
    (HAQAA Initiative, 2017) HAQAA Initiative
    L’harmonisation de l’assurance qualité et de l’accréditation, couplée à une coopération continentale étroite, contribuera à promouvoir l’internationalisation de l’enseignement supérieur et à faciliter la mobilité des étudiants et du personnel académique. La Commission de l’Union africaine (CUA) collabore avec les établissements d’enseignement supérieur africains pour promouvoir l’harmonisation et l’assurance qualité en partenariat avec l’Union européenne (UE) et les institutions européennes. L’Association des universités africaines (AUA) a été désignée comme principale agence de l’UA en charge de la mise en œuvre de cette harmonisation dans l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique. L’harmonisation vise à avoir une vue partagée sur les critères et les références de qualité et une méthode équivalente d’évaluation de la qualité. Il est crucial d’harmoniser les références et les critères, de façon à ce que toutes les universités soient réglementées en fonction de références comparables. En effet, l’harmonisation n’implique pas que chaque établissement ou chaque pays soit contraint d’adopter un système uniforme. Cela signifie plutôt que le cadre de base pour l’évaluation de la qualité est équivalent. Une étape importante dans la promotion de l’harmonie au sein du système d’enseignement supérieur africain diversifié est l’établissement d’un cadre d’assurance qualité continental. La CUA a par conséquent initié le développement d’un Cadre panafricain d’assurance qualité et d’accréditation (Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework, PAQAF) afin d’offrir une plateforme continentale en vue d’améliorer la qualité de l’enseignement supérieur et de promouvoir des méthodologies compatibles.