Standardisation and Accreditation Standardisation and Accreditation

Since its establishment in 2003, among the most important work of the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA) has been the conduct of external institutional quality audits. One of the outcomes of audits is the finding that, despite the efforts of HERQA and others, higher education institutions have made only modest progress in establishing robust and comprehensive quality assurance systems. While higher education institutions have embraced the quality concept, many have yet to develop quality assurance policies and strategies and establish efficient structures that can systematically assure quality. A number of quality-related problems persist. Paramount among these is human capacity. There is a general lack of expertise in quality-related processes in higher education institutions. This also impacts on the work of HERQA as it seeks to recruit credible academics with the necessary combination of awareness and experience to assist it in undertaking external quality audits. While helping to bring quality to the top of the agenda by carrying out quality audits and accreditations, HERQA has learned much in the interval since its establishment. 

Among the foremost responsibilities of HERQA are pre-accreditation, accreditation and re-accreditation of private higher education institutions and some other nongovernmental institutions. What this entails is described above. 

Pre-accreditation, accreditation and reaccreditation of private higher education institutions is coordinated and conducted by the accreditation team of the Agency. The team is composed of 5 senior experts and 2 experts. From 2006 up to the end of 2008, 185 programs were granted pre-accreditation permits and 190 programs were accredited. As the experts' number is not compatible with the number of private HEIs offering education and training at undergraduate and graduate level in the country, experts from QAECT and instructors from private and public HEIs are invited on a regular basis specifically to assist in evaluating curricula and facilities that private higher education institutions have put in place.

Number of pre-accredited and accredited Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) from 2006-2008

Year

Pre-accreditation

Accreditation

Granted

Denied

Granted

Denied

P

I

P

I

P

I

P

I

2006

87

30

32

13

64

21

---

---

2007

63

19

74

17

36

12

37

8

2008

35

18

62

18

90

31

31

12

Total

185

67

168

48

190

64

68

20

P = Number of programs I = Number of Private HEIs

Education Sector Education Sector