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Higher education quality assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa: status, challenges, opportunities and promising practices

Materu, Peter

The report describes and assesses higher education quality assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It centers on quality assurance in degree-granting tertiary institutions, but also incorporates, where available, information on other types of tertiary education.  It also includes a brief commentary on regional afforts.  The authors discuss the challenges and opportunities for capacity enhancement and identifies examples of promising practices that could be emulated. The report is divided into seven chapters with suggestions and recommendations contained in the final chapter.  Chapter 2 builds the case for quality higher education and explains why it is necessary and urgent for Africa to pay more attention to quality assurance.  The state of quality assurance in Africa is discussed in chapter 3 which includes a brief assessment of ongoing efforts to foster regional collaboration in higher education quality assurance on the Continent.  Chapter 4 explores the cost implications of implementing quality assurance systems and identifies the key cost drivers.  Chapter 5 analyzes the challenges confronting quality assurance systems in the continent and highlights opportunities for reform.   Chapter 6 seeks to distill some of what could be termed promising practices; that is, practices that successfully address some of the challenges cited in previous chapters and/or appear worth emulating.  Chapter 7 summarizes the main conclusions and options recommended for consideration by institutions, governments, the World Bank and other development partners in their efforts to improve of higher education in Africa.

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Document Title: Higher education quality assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa: status, challenges, opportunities and promising practices
Institution: Africa Region Human Development Department, World Bank
City and Country: Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Document Type:Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Quality Assurance, Higher Education, Sub Saharan Africa, Higher Education Systems, Higher Education Reform

File Size:435 KB
Rights:The material in this publication is copyrighted by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law.
Additional information:For permission to photocopy or reprint any part of this work, please send a request with complete information to
Date Added:25 February 2008

Materu, Peter (2007). Higher education quality assurance in Sub-Saharan Africa The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ The World Bank, U.S.A.