Strengthening quality assurance in higher education in Africa

UNESCO-Shenzhen Municipality Government Funds-in-Trust Project

Further development of higher education in Africa hinges on building on the momentum surrounding quality assurance by establishing systems at national, sub-regional and regional levels. The primary challenges lie in funding and technical expertise to conduct quality assurance activities for evaluation, accreditation, and recognition of higher education programmes and institutions. To address these critical issues, UNESCO and the Shenzhen Municipal Government in China initiated the project “Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa”.

About the project

With support from the People’s of Republic of China and financial contribution from the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the project is being implemented from 2017 to 2019 in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Multi Sectoral Regional Offices for West Africa in Abuja and Dakar, Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, and the UNESCO Office in Cairo. The project has been launched in 10 African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and Zambia.

The overall objective is to strengthen higher education systems at the institutional, national and regional levels in African countries by developing quality assurance mechanisms. The project will also complement UNESCO’s efforts to facilitate the internationalization of higher education and the implementation of the Addis Convention.

Key components

  • Support the establishment of new quality assurance agencies in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Togo, and Zambia by facilitating access to good practices, developing capacities and supporting networking with existing QA agencies
  • Institutional capacity-building of recently established QA agencies in Egypt, Gambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Senegal by reinforcing capacities of QA professionals, knowledge sharing and the development of QA tools
  • Consolidate existing Quality Assurance Networks in Africa, including the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) and the East African Quality Assurance Network (EAQAN) through cross-fertilization of ideas, sharing of best practices and development of mutual recognition tools