AAU Webinar on Quality Assurance and the New Normal Higher Education

AAU TV Goes Live Online
June 12, 2020
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June 28, 2020

Thursday 2nd July, 2020 (11.00am-1.00pm) GMT

The Association of African Universities (AAU) invites all Higher Education Stakeholders to the above-mentioned Webinar on quality assurance which will combine presentations and insights from renowned speakers. The Webinar will be graced by the AAU Secretary General, Prof Etienne E. Ehile and Her Excellency, Prof Sarah Agbor Anyang, who is the current Commissioner of the African Union’s Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST) Department. Details of the Coordinator and the 5 panelists are provided in the flyer above. Kindly use the following link to register for the event: https://bit.ly/2N7z1BI (please ensure your e-mail address is correct for further communication and to receive resource materials).

Invited participants include, but are not limited to;
• Regional and National Regulatory and Quality Assurance Agencies,
• Quality Assurance Personnel,
• Institutional Leaders and Administrators,
• Deans and Directors,
• Heads of Department and Chairpersons,
• Lecturers,
• Programme and Course Designers,
• Information and Communication Technologies Personnel,
• Educational Technologists
• Support Staff,
• Students and
• Parents

Background Information

The Association of African Universities (AAU) lined up a number of activities including Webinars and workshops to support the African Higher and Tertiary Education institutions since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the associated lockdowns which led to the subsequent closure of most academic institutions, the AAU relentlessly encouraged and supported these institutions so that they could continue to have their doors open, through contingent measures to facilitate Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). Some organizations and other stakeholders in Higher and Tertiary Education across the globe, were also offered support and advice on alternative ways of teaching and learning during the lockdown periods.

Due to the important and central role of  Quality Assurance (QA) in Higher and Tertiary education, there is the need to remind stakeholders to integrate QA in all aspects of their institutional operations and services in the digitized “New Normal” that academic institutions are drifting into. Even for those who are already doing this, it is good to hear different perspectives from experts on other approaches they can adopt in ensuring that QA is always prioritized in their institution’s operations.

In Africa, some of the major challenges in the traditional academic institutions, have to do with the lack of capacity and trained personnel because fewer Higher and Tertiary Education staff have the knowledge and technical skills to effectively drive QA systems in these institutions, among other issues.

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a move towards alternative ways of institutional operations which is highly digitized and ICT driven – including changing the mode of teaching and learning to Online and Open and Distance Learning (ODeL). Online learning and ODeL have long been disputed and rejected by many traditional universities even before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, with regards to its levels of credibility. This therefore, compelled the AAU to hold this Webinar so that quality assurance becomes the centre of everything in the academic institutions more than ever before. This will help to build and increase the levels of stakeholders’ trust and confidence that the Online and Open and Distance Learning systems can yield credible results through transparency and accountability, among other aspects. Higher and Tertiary education stakeholders need to be reminded that QA should continue to play a critical role, even more than before, in this NEW NORMAL of the digitized academic space. The Webinar will give room to the presenter and panellists to discuss the continued need for a universal approach to quality assurance and the need to cover both the academic and academic support aspects. It is against this background that this Webinar is being organized.

During the event, the African Standards and Guideline on Quality Assurance (ASG-QA), one of the products of the Harmonization of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Initiative (HAQAA1), will be disseminated to the audience with a special mention of the ODeL part that can help guide both institutions and quality assurance agencies with regards to the quality assurance, accreditation, audits and general management of a digitized academic institution. If all attendees and institutions are to adopt them, the impact could be great in terms of harmonizing African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation in ODeL and the digitized higher education terraine. The HAQAA Initiative is a brainchild of the African Union funded by the European Union under their political partnership. It is implemented by 4 partners in a Consortium (Obreal Global-Coordinator, Association of African Universities (AAU), the Germany Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)). The second phase of the project, HAQAA2, is currently running and will end in 2022 (2019-2022).

For Further Information, kindly contact:

Dr. Violet Makuku, the coordinator of this webinar and the Quality Assurance Specialist, AAU  –  vmakuku@aau.org

Institutional Information:

Website: https://www.aau.org/
Email: info@aau.org; secgen@aau.org;
Twitter: @AAU_67
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AAU67