The 10th International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa (ICQAHEA 10) with the theme: "Quality assurance of higher education and the promotion of synergies between science, technology and the humanities: towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa " was held on September 17-22, 2018 in Yaoundé, Cameroon with financial support from the European Union Commission. The conference was designed as an integrated package made up of plenary and parallel sessions; four parallel practical and hands-on capacity building workshops; special sessions; the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) General Assembly; and a Symposium of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and President of African Universities.
The conference took stock of the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the 9th ICQAHEA and identified the strategies required in order to consolidate the results achieved in enhancing quality, accelerating regional harmonization and promoting synergies between science, technology and the humanities. The conference was therefore a follow up to the 9th ICQAHEA It also addressed the role of the African Union-EU harmonisation initiatives in higher education in attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The 11th ICQAHEA will be held on October 7-11 in Abuja, Nigeria under the theme: “Towards Sustainability of Continental Harmonisation Agenda of Higher Education in Africa”
This conference is a follow-up to the 10th ICQAHEA and the 20th Conference of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents (COREVIP) of African Universities held on 8-11 July, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt, under the theme: “The Role of Higher Education Institutions in Promoting Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25)”. Through the CESA that is the first 10-year implementation plan of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 the AU calls for mechanisms for harmonisation and quality assurance to ensure comparable higher education in Africa, and for the establishment of a continental Accreditation and Quality Agency across the continent.
Harmonization of higher education in Africa is implemented mainly through the Tuning-Africa project and the Harmonization of Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education in Africa initiative (HAQAA). Harmonization is closely related to quality assurance and recognition of qualifications: harmonization facilitates transparency, recognition facilitates mobility and cooperation and quality assurance creates trust. Harmonisation is also linked to the development of the African Continental qualifications framework that will contribute to the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area launched in July 2019 in Niamey, Niger.
At the 5th Africa-EU Summit held in November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, under the general theme: "Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development", the EU and the AU committed to pursue in 2019 and beyond their partnerships on the Tuning Africa and HAQAA initiatives. These initiatives support (a) the implementation of the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF); (b) the African Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance in higher education; (c) the Addis Ababa Regional Convention on Mutual Recognition of Qualifications in Africa; (d) the development of a Credit Transfer and Accumulation System in Africa. (e) the Erasmus+ programme; (f) the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Programme; (g) the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and the Jean Monnet projects; and (h) the Continental Strategy for Education for Africa 2015-2025 (CESA).
The continental harmonization initiative also builds on the efforts deployed at national and regional levels, particularly through the Inter University Council for East African, the African and Malagasy Council for higher education (CAMES) and the Southern African Development Community. However, despite these achievements, African Universities are still challenged to revise and harmonize their curricula in order to promote mobility.
The conference will review recent progress made in implementing harmonisation initiatives in Africa and discuss future prospects for the continental harmonization initiatives, particularly with respect to strategies required in order to sustain these initiatives.
This conference will serve as a platform for the launch of the Virtual Institute for capacity building in Africa that is conceived as part of the implementation strategies of the activities of the CESA Quality Assurance sub-cluster.
The conference expects to receive a financial support from the European Union commission and the Peregrine Academic Services. Gillette, WY, USA.
The objectives of the 11th ICQAHEA and Workshops are to:
Review recent developments/achievements in implementing the continental harmonisation agenda of higher education in Africa;
Promote awareness among the African higher education community of recent developments in enhancing quality assurance and accelerating regional harmonization under the Africa – EU partnership, including the continental strategy for Education for Africa 2015-2025 (CESA); the Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative; Tuning and Erasmus +; the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Schemes; the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions; and Jean Monnet projects;
Document best practices from other regions of the world on implementing the regional harmonisation agenda of higher education and draw lessons for the African region;
Foster the acquisition of skills in (a) the implementation of the Addis Ababa Convention on mutual recognition of qualifications in Africa; (b) measurement and modelling of quality in higher education; (c) quality assurance of open and distance learning delivery systems; (d) strengthening effective implementation of LMD reforms; (f) setting up and running effective quality assurance units at the institutional level; (g) Tuning and Credit Transfer; and (h) developing project proposals for the Erasmus+ and intra-African academic mobility programs.
1 Recent regional developments in implementing the regional harmonisation agenda of higher education in Africa: lessons from other region;
2 Regional Quality assurance and harmonization Initiatives in Africa : the continental strategy for Education for Africa 2015-2025 (CESA); the Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative; Tuning and Erasmus +; the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Schemes; the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions; and Jean Monnet projects.
3 New techniques in the use of ICT to deliver and quality assure higher education at the institutional and national levels.
4 Best Practices In Developing a Quality Culture at The Institutional and National Levels and Tackling Academic Corruption;
The following are the expected outcomes of the conference:
- Participants would have updated their knowledge on contemporary issues in higher education in Africa especially the continental harmonisation agenda;
- Participants would have contributed to the development of strategies for sustaining the continental harmonisation initiatives;
- Through the workshop sessions, participants would have learned new skills and share good practices in quality assuring institutional and national higher education systems including programme and institutional accreditation;
- Participants would have learned new techniques in the use of ICT to deliver and quality assure higher education at the institutional and national levels.
- Through the symposium of Rectors, Vice-chancellors and presidents, participants would have learned best practices in higher education governance for fostering quality.
- Participants’ skills would have been strengthened and networking opportunities established to enable them to implement effectively quality assurance practices at the institutional, national and continental levels;
- Documentation available on the role of quality assurance, harmonisation and recognition of qualifications in higher education would have been enriched and expanded; and
- Communiqué reflecting the conclusions and action plan arising from the debates and deliberations of the conference.