Workshop on capacity building needs for quality assurance in the SQDC

As reported to the Executive Committee meeting of November 2017, SARUA collaborated with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the South African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN) to present a workshop on capacity building needs for quality assurance in the SQDC on 9-10 October 2017.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Raise awareness and facilitate a better understanding of the benefits of regional cooperation on quality assurance;
  • Take stock of divergences and communalities between national systems within a regional cooperation framework;
  • Analyse the existing internal quality assurance structures at institutional level and external quality assurance structures at national level against the backdrop of the draft African Standards and Guidelines;
  • Develop a common understanding on the interrelationship between internal and external quality assurance; and
  • Identify current needs and challenges in terms of capacity development for different target groups, and develop strategies to respond to these challenges.

The workshop identified a range of internal and external QA needs were identified. A general agreement has arrived at that firstly, SAQAN, SARUA and the SADC Technical Committee on Accreditation will liaise after the workshop report and the commissioned research findings are available. Secondly, there is a broad consensus that SARUA will be responsible for Internal QA capacity building while SAQAN will be responsible for external QA capacity building.

The following key reports have been developed in association with the workshop:

  • A general conference report by A Sursock of the European Union
  • A report on the State of Play in Regional Quality Assurance in Southern Africa was commissioned by DAAD to assist the key partners in determining the Internal ( ie for universities) and External ( for QA regulatory agencies ) needs that can inform a regional capacity building programme for the SADC region.

As a follow-up to the 2017 workshop, the Executive Director arranged to meet with the Chairperson of SAQAN on 15 February 2018 in order to discuss the preparation of a joint funding proposal. Unfortunately, the Chair of SAQAN, Prof Narend Baijnath, had to cancel this meeting at short notice. However, the Executive Director received confirmation at the HAQAA Advisory Board meeting that DAAD is committed to supporting the quality assurance project in the SADC. The Executive Director will meet with Prof Baijnath during May 2018, in order to discuss the development of the funding proposal to DAAD.

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