The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) and the University of Potsdam (UP) are jointly offering the DIES Course “Training on Internal Quality Assurance – TrainIQA” in the SADC region. TrainIQA is part of the DIES programme (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) which aims at strengthening higher education management structures in developing countries. DIES is jointly coordinated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and supported by funds of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
TrainIQA Course in the SADC region - Background and Objectives
Higher education systems in Southern Africa are characterized by dynamic changes in the last years. These changes relate in particular to an increasing demand for educational services and increasing student enrolment rates. Such developments as well as quickly changing environments and disruptions are a major challenge for maintaining quality in higher education. Effective internal and external quality assurance (QA) systems are needed in order to assure and develop the quality of
higher education and to create trust and transparency for stakeholders. In this light, Southern African countries are harmonizing their higher education systems in line with continental and regional frameworks such as the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF) or the Southern African Development Community Qualifications Framework (SADCQF). In the SADC integration process, regional QA plays a crucial role concerning the harmonization of higher education, especially with regards to the comparability of student performance and degrees, the promotion of recognition and the mobility of students and academics between different SADC countries and the regional collaboration in educational delivery and cross-border education systems. Another aim of strengthening QA systems in the SADC region is
to promote international competitiveness of Southern Africa’s higher education systems. Against this background, the TrainIQA course not only strengthens national capacities in the field of QA, it also promotes exchange and networking among higher education institutions (HEIs) and various stakeholders. At the same time, the course offers the opportunity for exchange and dialogue both within the SADC region and between European and African partners and institutions. More specifically, TrainIQA aims at professionalising quality managers at HEIs (see course target group below) who will have a multiplier effect by contributing to further capacity development in the field of internal quality assurance (IQA) at their home institutions as well as within their countries.