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The African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) have now been published under the ‘Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA)’ Initiative in the context of a wider EU - African Union Commission (AUC) partnership and funded by the EU “Harmonisation, Quality and Accreditation” initiative (EC EAC/37/2014). The Guidelines are the result of Africa’s long-term commitment to an “harmonised higher education system” for promoting the mobility of highly-skilled students and staff within and across national borders in Europe and Africa. The ASG-QA represents the necessary instrument to implement the already existing AUC’s Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF), a platform for improving higher education quality.
Various EU and African experts were involved in the finalisation of the ASG-QA, e.g. HEIs, quality assurance agencies, African ministries, regional bodies, student associations and other key stakeholders, including the Association of African Universities (AAU) which is the African Union’s main implementing agency in higher education. Collaboration and sharing of resources and good practices among key partners and stakeholders, at regional, national and international levels, is fundamental in order to take up the current and future challenges concerning legal frameworks, governance, funding and research capacity within the African higher education systems and institutions.
The ASG-QA are divided into three main parts, as shown in figure 1 above: Part A, on Internal Quality Assurance of HEIs, which also includes the quality provision of Open and Distance Learning (ODL); Part B, on External Quality Assurance standards and methodologies used by quality assurance agencies (QAAs) towards HEIs; and Part C, on Internal Quality Assurance of QAAs.