Developing a framework for agency reviews in Africa

In the coming years, ENQA will support the coordination of external reviews and consultancy visits for African quality assurance agencies for higher education.

In the context of HAQAA3, launched earlier this year, three review options will be offered: full agency reviews, consultancy visits and follow-up visits. The first are aimed at agencies that have been working independently for more than two years, and will assess their compliance with the ASG-QA  – the African equivalent of the ESG. Consultancy visits will offer support to new agencies or ministries that wish to set up an independent agency by providing a review against selected standards of the ASG-QA. Lastly, follow-up visits are aimed at agencies that already underwent a review in previous phases of the HAQAA Initiative to evaluate their progress since then. A call will shortly be launched for agencies and ministries to express their interest in participating.

In order to support development of a continental system for quality assurance in Africa, ENQA will be providing training and ongoing support to a technical unit hosted by the African Association of Universities (AAU), who will coordinate the reviews. Consultation is also ongoing about the concept of introducing overall compliance judgements into the agency review process, in order to support trust in quality assurance agencies both at home and abroad, and first conversations about this were facilitated by ENQA and the AAU during the recent AfriQAN forum in Tanzania. This consultation runs in parallel to ongoing discussions about the creation of the Pan-African Quality Assurance Agency, which may eventually assume functions similar to those of EQAR in the European context.

Those interested in learning more about the contextual differences of conducting agency reviews in Europe and Africa may be interested in the paper “Capacity building in quality assurance through international cooperation,” authored by experts from ENQA member agencies (Hcéres, CTI, AEQES and AAQ) that participated in expert panels for agency reviews in Africa in the previous phase of the HAQAA Initiative. The paper was presented at EQAF in November 2023.

In order to further support information exchange and mutual understanding between the two regions, ENQA is also supporting arrangements for an Africa-EHEA policy dialogue event, co-organised by the HAQAA3 Initiative and the Bologna Process coordination group for global policy dialogue, both of which ENQA is involved in. Outcomes of the event will be published on the EHEA website, together with articles from previous ‘EHEA-Africa Conversations’, which have taken place online during 2023.

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