Europe-Africa Quality Connect final conference endorses future institutional evaluations in Africa
July 05, 2012
The final dissemination conference of the Erasmus Mundus-supported project ‘Europe-Africa Quality Connect’ was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the capital of the African Union, from 21 to 22 June. Presenting the project results to 80 African vice-chancellors, quality assurance agencies and local NGOs, the event presented a series of conclusions and recommendations on how to take forward an institutional evaluation programme in Africa, similar to that of the EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP), on which the pilot project was based.
The event included testimonials from leaders of the five African pilot universities that were selected to be evaluated in the context of the project (University of Namibia, Kenyatta University, Kenya, University Omar Bongo, Gabon, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, and the Institute of Professional Studies, Ghana) as well as commentary from relevant African regional QA organisations, such as the Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES) in francophone Africa and the Higher Education Quality Management Initiative for Southern Africa (HEQMISA).
In general, the project’s objectives were praised and the need for future practice sharing in both external and internal QA processes both within Africa and between regions was clear. In addition, the Association of African Universities (AAU), the main African project partner, was deemed the appropriate actor to take forward institutional evaluations in Africa similar to those of the IEP.
EUA and AAU expressed the will to continue to work together in the future, though AAU would drive the programme and also look for external funding support. In addition to a fruitful discussion on the pilot project recommendations, the African Union and European Union Commissions provided information sessions on present higher education initiatives supported under the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership, such as the Nyerere programme for intra-African mobility, the Pan-African University, the African University Rating Mechanism, and the Tuning Africa project.
QA Connect is a joint initiative of EUA and AAU that is also supported by project partners the Irish Universities Quality Board and the University of Aveiro. It officially concludes in September 2012 with a project publication that will be released at that time. More information: www.qaconnect-africa.eu.