The Higher Education Authority (HEA) held a two (2) day UNESCO-Shenzhen Municipality Government Funds-in-Trust Project” funded Quality Assurance Workshop on Enhancing the Quality of Higher Education in Zambia.
The workshop, which was held from 19th – 20th July, 2018, at Radisson Blu Hotel Lusaka, aimed at helping participants understand quality assurance concepts as applied in higher education through facilitating the understanding of international trends in quality assurance in higher education and familiarising them with quality assurance approaches in higher education.
Speaking during the workshop’s opening, Acting Director General, Dr. Vitalicy Chifwepa, stated that the essence of the workshop was strengthen internal quality assurance in Higher Education Institution in order to ensure that the qualifications that are awarded in Zambia are of quality that meet international standards.
“Our mission (as HEA) is to ensure that our graduates have internationally recognised qualifications, hence the importance of ensuring that there is quality in our institutions, as well as, our Learning Programmes,” Dr. Chifwepa said.
The Acting Director General, who is the Director – Quality Assurance, emphasised that the totality of quality management should start and sit squarely in our institutions, as opposed to the past measure that stressed quality control of inspections.
“The modern approach to quality management is a 2 way process that involves internal quality management, as well as, external, which compounded with continuous review gives us total quality management. Therefore, it is important that institutions are not just externally quality assured but that internal quality management is implemented,” he said.
Dr. Chifwepa called upon private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to establish internal quality management systems, urging that this will allow the whole institution to be involved in the awarding of a qualification rather than a situation where only one lecturer knows the course outline and the only who decides what questions to ask for continuous assessments and examinations.
The Acting Director General stated that it was HEA’s intention to invite all HEIs, both public and private, but offered the Authority’s apologies for not doing so due to limited resources. He, however, mentioned that the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions were represented and, as such, tasked them to host subsequent workshops with private HEIs out of what was learnt at the workshop.
All public HEIs were represented.
The workshop further aims at enhancing the capacity of participants to institute continuous quality improvement in their institutions by laying foundations for the development of a robust quality assurance system for higher education in Zambia.
The represented HEIs and institutions were Cavendish University Zambia, Chalimbana University, Evelyn Hone College, Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ), Kwame Nkrumah University, Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (LIUTEBM), Lusaka APEX Medical University, Mukuba University, Mulungushi University, Northern Technical College (Nortec), Rusangu University (RU), Southern University, Technical and Vocational Teachers' College (TVTC), Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), The Copperbelt University (CBU), The Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ), UNESCO Zambia, University of Barotseland, University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambia Open University, and the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA).
The workshop is the first activity being executed under the “Strengthening Quality Assurance and Recognition Tools and Mechanisms in Higher Education in Africa: Institutional capacity building of recently established QA agencies – Zambia” project that is being implemented in Zambia through HEA.
HEA launched this Project when it held an inception meeting on 5th June, 2018, at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia.
The project “Strengthening Quality Assurance and Recognition Tools and Mechanisms in Higher Education in Africa” is aimed at assisting African higher education systems at the institutional, national and regional levels to further develop their quality assurance mechanisms, putting in place the necessary quality assessment tools to facilitate the recognition of higher education certificates degrees, study programmes and qualifications, and thus contribute to the enhancement of trans-national mobility of students.
Zambia is, thus, participating in the Project under Component 2: Institutional capacity building of recently established Quality Assurance agencies, which will support the capacities of existing Quality Assurances agencies in five (5) countries, namely, Egypt, Gambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Senegal. Under this project, Zambia has been allocated a total budget of USD 44,530.69 over three (3) years.
HEA will be the Country Focal Point and Lead of the Project which will include representation from Zambia qualification Authority (ZAQA), Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ), two (2) representatives from private and public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Health Professionals Council of Zambia (HPCZ), and the Zambian Government representative.
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This article was written on 20th July, 2018, by Birbal Boniface Musoba, Corporate Communications Officer.