23 November 2023 | EQAF Paper

Case Study Examples of Undertaking Higher Education Quality Reviews in West Africa

Christopher Bland, Eduardo Ramos

The paper describes the work of the UK Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) International Quality Reviews (IQR) in universities within West Africa. This work was carried out in support of the World Bank’s capacity building project ‘Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE)’. Part of the ACE project supplies funding to institutions to support and encourage them to seek external international accreditation.

Under ACE the QAA has conducted accreditation work, based on the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG), in Nigeria, Lagos, Ghana, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire. Our IQR process has several stages where the institution is encouraged to undertake a gap analysis on their processes against the ESG standards. After successful completion, the institution progresses to a full review of its quality assurance processes and documentation along with meetings with staff, students and stakeholders before being considered for accreditation.

The paper will also explore how ESG review can contribute to the achievement of the ACE project objectives of addressing specific regional development challenges and strengthening the capacities of universities to deliver high quality training and applied research. The paper’s structure will describe:

  • QAA’s IQR accreditation process and its contribution to the ACE project.
  • How this has assisted universities to create and develop policies and supply evidence of their implementation.
  • Its contribution to providing institutions with a greater knowledge of international quality assurance systems.
  • The added benefits of undergoing an external accreditation process
    • Supporting staff development
    • Intercultural interaction
    • Positive spinoff effects: talent retention and community development

This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

ISSN: 1375-3797

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