Training in quality assurance systems for universities

The German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD, held a one-week training programme for 35 quality assurance directors drawn from English speaking higher education institutions in West Africa. The training in Ghana’s capital Accra was part of a project to help design quality assurance systems for tertiary institutions across the region.

Addressing participants drawn from Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, Mahama Duwiejua, executive secretary of Ghana’s National Council for Tertiary Education, said institutions in the region needed to strengthen internal quality assurance systems to enhance the credibility of the qualifications they award graduates.

Duwiejua said quality assurance was essential in the governance, finance and infrastructure development of all tertiary institutions. It was important for countries to pool resources in order to promote quality education for the region’s socio-economic development.

He said language should not be a barrier in the pursuit of quality assurance.

Further, citizens of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States should be able to move without hindrance across national boundaries to pursue higher education or teach and conduct research at African centres of excellence.

The project

An agreement on the project was signed last year between the Association of African Universities, Ghana’s National Accreditation Board, the Nigerian National Universities Commission and the University of Professional Studies in Accra.

Under the agreement, at least 30 participants from universities across the sub-region will benefit from the training, which is expected to last for about a year-and-a-half.

After the training, vice-chancellors of participating universities will visit Germany, to get them prepared to provide the strategic and operational support required for the project. This will help the internal quality assurance officers to effectively implement changes to the higher education service provided by their universities.

The project will focus on connected issues of internal quality assurance, including what it means to do effective quality assurance management in universities, the tools and procedures needed to implement quality assurance structures, and methods of data collection and evaluation. There is also a module on curriculum design and evaluation.

Although the current project is focused on Anglophone Africa, the Association of African Universities said there was another training programme for Francophone Africa.