As a follow up to the Harmonization of the African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative activities, the scheduled Advisory Board meeting took place in Brussels from the 26th to the 27th of April 2016. All the Advisory Board members, as well as members of the consortium attended the meeting (see pictures within the article)
The main objectives of the meeting which included clarification of the African Union Commission and the European Commission’s strategic partnership in the HAQAA Initiative, an overview of the HAQAA Initiative work plan and the available synergies, the role of the Advisory Board in the HAQAA Initiative and the way forward were discussed.
The approaches and methodologies for the HAQAA Initiative training course by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) whose call is to be released on the 12th of May 2016 on the following address: http://www.aau.org/haqaa/tag/daad/ were discussed and refined. The training course is currently targeting English speaking representatives from Ministries of Higher Education in Africa. The call for the French version of the same training course will be made later in the year.
It was good to note that there was a lot of progress in terms of the HAQAA Initiative database development and web portal that is being carried out by the AAU. The website is meant to provide information on quality assurance activities, organization and agencies, experts in Quality Assurance and Accreditation as well as an interactive platform for the exchange of knowledge and information on Quality Assurance.
Members also endorsed the idea of having the official Launch of the HAQAA Initiative in Windhoek, Namibia in September 2016 during the International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa (ICQAHEA). Meetings of the Advisory Board and the Technical Working Group for the Initiative are also planned for this period.
The HAQAA Initiative complements PAQAF and other Quality Assurance initiatives
All the lined-up activities for the HAQAA Initiative including nurturing the quality culture in African universities through awareness campaigns are meant to promote the Pan African Quality Assurance Framework (PAQAF) through the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) and other quality assurance tools such as the Quality Connect Institutional Evaluation Programme which are ongoing quality assurance activities that are coordinated by the Association of African Universities (AAU) as the “Voice of Higher Education in Africa” on behalf of the African Union Commission (AUC).
The 5 HAQAA Initiative partners, comprising the University of Barcelona (UB) which is the leader; the Association of African Universities (AAU); European Universities Association (EUA); the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), are very thankful to the European Commission (EC) for funding the HAQAA Initiative.
Submitted by: Dr Violet Makuku (Project Officer – HAQAA Initiative)