Quality tertiary education framework developed

Mr. Kwame Dattey, Executive Secretary, NABThe National Quality Working Group (N- WG) for quality enhancement has developed a National Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Ghana.

It is aimed at reducing ambiguity, creating stakeholder confidence and efficiency of performance and supporting HEIs to deliver quality educational services in the country.

The Framework is the product of a study into the factors that promote and constrain quality assurance practices in higher education in Ghana undertaken by the NWG under the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA)’s Higher Education Leadership Programme (HELP).

Started in November 2012, the project was a collaborative initiative among the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), the National Accreditation Board (NAB), the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Speaking at a validation conference held in Accra to discuss the outcome of the study and to introduce the framework for stakeholder comment and input, Prof Goski Alabi, the Technical Team Leader for the project, said it sought to document the evolution of the Quality Assurance (QA) practices in HEIs in Ghana.

It would analyse how the current national accreditation structures had impacted on higher education, identify factors that promote and constrain the practice of quality assurance and also develop a framework for enhancing QA practices in HEIs.

Quality, she said, had two parts made up of external quality assurance which comprises accreditation, affiliation and academic audits, and internal quality comprising a management aspect and a cultural part.

Prof Alabi said the study also found factors promoting quality culture in the country such as strong leadership commitment, strong vision and communication of the need for quality, training, affiliation, professional bodies’ standards and evaluation among others.

It also identified some factors which constrained the culture of quality including low capacity of quality management, centralisation of the NAB, lack of information management, quality of academic staff, absence of quality assurance framework or guidelines, funding for quality and the work load on staff.

The team, in its recommendations, stressed the need for a benchmark for the assessment of students from HEIs to determine the level of quality education given them, through outbound examinations or Tracer Studies.

Mr. Kwame Darteh, executive secretary of the NAB, noted that quality assurance, especially external QA, was important for HEIs because it helped them to go beyond the minimum requirements, adding that two key indicators of the level of QA in institutions were the level of their academic staff and governance structure.

Such institutions should have proper governance structure for decision making and staff able to award the qualification after the course.—GNA

 

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