The objective of the project is to lay a foundation for institutionalized quality assurance mechanisms within tertiary institutions, national quality assurance and accreditation agencies, and an eventual regional network for coordination of cross-border protocols and specialized capacity building in quality assurance (QA). The programmes provides support to: 

  (1) member universities of the AAU which are establishing or evaluating internal quality assurance systems;
  (2) national assurance/accreditation agencies in developing professional capacities for external evaluation and monitoring systems; and 

  (3) AAU to update and negotiate with partners, a regional framework on the recognition of studies, certificates, degrees and other academic qualifications in higher education. 

Main Components 

The main components of the programme are: strengthening member institutions’ internal quality assurance systems through training, seminars and learning events; supporting established and emerging quality assurance/accreditation agencies in developing strong external evaluation and monitoring systems within national higher education systems in Africa; the development of a QA database to facilitate knowledge sharing; and the updating and renegotiation, with partners, of a Regional Framework on the recognition of studies, certificates, diplomas degrees and other academic qualifications in higher education in Africa, based on the Arusha Convention.

Progress and achievements

A preliminary survey of the status of Quality Assurance in African institutions was undertaken by the AAU in 1999. The results are posted on the institution’s website.

The AAU commissioned the writing of a study on the needs of African higher education, including an assessment of Quality Assurance in Higher Education, which includes an assessment of practices in Southern, Anglophone West African, Eastern, and Francophone areas on the continent. This study will be published in 2010.

The AAU launched, in 2009, the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN), a network of Quality Assurance practitioners in African Higher Education. An Executive Board of the network was elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Board includes institutional members from different sub-regions on the continent.


Partners of the AAU in this programme include Ford Foundation, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the European Universities Association.


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