Joint-QA Project : University experts and partners from Africa and Europe chart a course


Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire will soon have a harmonized quality assurance system that will govern university education in these countries and beyond.

University experts, quality assurance officials from these  countries, Europe and technical and financial partners met in Yaounde to outline  details of the project, known as the Joint-QA project.

University experts and regional quality assurance experts met in Yaounde from 14-17th May to discuss regional integration of higher education via the adoption of a quality assurance model. 

The project is co-coordinated by OBREAL, an organization of Universities in Africa and Europe, and the Malagasy Council for Higher Education, known in French as CAMES.

“The quality of training and research in our universities is fast degrading. This is why it important to have a harmonized evaluation system for quality assurance that governs the 19- CAMES member states,” Prof. Souleymane KONATÉ, Secretary General of CAMES said.

Among participants of the conference that held from 14th May -17 in Yaounde were quality assurance experts from two universities in the Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. Cameroon was represented  by  quality assurance officials from the Universities of Dschang and Douala.

Chancellor of Academic Orders, Prof. Jacques Fames Ndongo was represented at the opening ceremony of the joint-QA summit by Prof. Marcel Fouda Ndjodo, Inspector General of Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Higher Education.

“ Last year the Head of State enacted a law on Higher Education in Cameroon. It created a commission for accreditation and quality assurance in the higher education sector. This conference is an important milestone and international benchmark for us. It will give us ideas and insights for the setting up of our national agency for quality assurance in higher education,” Prof. Ndjodo said.

The Joint-QA project is a three-year project that is sponsored by the European Union and with technical support from OBREAL and other partners from Europe . It will be executed in the three shortlisted countries, and later become a model for quality assurance in universities within the sub region.

“ We are here to passionately contribute to the development of the quality assurance plan and we expect that it will go beyond Francophone Africa and other countries targeted by the Joint-QA project,” Marina Larrea, Senior Coordinator for Higher Education Policy at OBREAL said.

The sub region is getting ready for this landmark shift in the university system. University officials from Chad and Ghana have been invited to take part in deliberations, although the plan will be  implemented in their countries much later.

Stakeholders say the model for quality assurance in the countries concerned will be flexible and respect the national culture of each  country where it will be implemented.

The  QA-project is being designed to ultimately improve the quality of training and research, as well as mobility of students within the sub region and in other parts of the Africa.

Kathy Neba Sina

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