Following the Higher Education Proclamation (351/2003), the Higher Education Strategy Center (HESC), the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Assurance Agency (HERQA) and Institutional Quality Assurance and Enhancement (IQAE) have been established to give strategic direction and to ensure quality in the growing system of higher education in Ethiopia. This in turn necessitated that a quality assurance system be in place at the university level to meet the challenges related to rapid expansion and the ever increasing customer expectation.
The Ethiopian Higher Education Proclamation (650/2009) urges the establishment of internal system of quality in universities which shall provide clear and comprehensive measures of quality covering professional development of academic staff, course contents, teaching-learning processes, student evaluation, assessment and grading systems, which shall also include student evaluation of course contents together with the methods and systems of delivery, assessment, examination and grading. In recent years, the Ethiopian higher education system has been demonstrating unprecedented increase in students’ enrolment rate which has brought about the issues of quality as the major areas of concern.
As quality improvements is an unfolding process, continuing with the building of local database, development of capacity in quality assurance, building the structure that supports assurance of quality education together with roles and responsibilities in the university is mandatory.
Roles and responsibilities of Institutional Quality Assurance and Enhancement Directorate
- The Institutional Quality Assurance and Enhancement Directorate has operational responsibility for quality assurance of the university.
- Liaises with HERQA.
- Reports to Senate on External Quality Audits carried out by HERQA.
- Provides guidance to College/Faculty/Institute/School/Campus and Departments on QA matters.
- Designs procedures and instruments for program/course/ module approval.
- Designs procedures, guidelines and instruments for program/ module review/feedback system.
- Receives, considers, and if appropriate, approves from Department QA Committees their recommendations for new programs/courses/modules and program/course/module changes, and passes to Senate for endorsement.
- Designs format and focus areas for Annual Program Reviews.
- Receives, considers and provides feedback to Departments on Annual program Reviews.
- Designs format for Annual College/Faculty/Institute/School/Campus Reviews.
- Receives, considers and provides feedback to College/Faculty/Institute/Campus/School on Annual Reviews.
- Carries out and reports on College/Faculty/Institute/Campus/School, Department and Academic Support Units visits.
- Seeks to enhance quality by identifying and disseminating good practice.
- Initiates university wide local professional development trainings.
- Initiates and leads internal quality audit.
- Prepares Self Evaluation Document/Report.
- Prepares an Annual Quality Assurance Report for Senate.
- Reports its work to each statutory meeting of Senate.
Quality Assurance and Enhancement Coordination Office
- Quality Assurance and Enhancement Coordination office has operational responsibility for QA at campus level.
- Receives and considers recommendations for new programs/courses/modules and program/course/ module changes from Department QA Committee.
- Staff Receives and considers Annual program Reviews from Departments and passes comments to the Institutional Academic Quality Assurance and Enhancement Office.
- Takes care of the overall needs and deeds assessment process for the professional development of academic, research and technical support.
- Prepares working plan/time schedule for trainings.
- Identify good practices at College/faculty/Institute/ campus level.
- Participates in the internal quality audit as a member of internal quality audit team.
- Reports its tasks to the college/faculty dean/s and the institutional Academic Quality Assurance and Enhancement Center.
College/Faculty/Institute/School/Campus Quality Assurance Committee
- The College/faculty/institute QA Committee is the focus of QA activity and responsibility at the College/faculty/institute level.
- Compiles data on feedback on all programs.
- Considers recommendation for new programs/ modules and program/course module changes and forwards recommendations to college/faculty/institute/campus council.
- Interprets data on such as student admissions, progression, attainment, and graduation destinations at program level in line with the requirements for the preparation of an Annual College/faculty/institute/campus level program Review.
- Works with Department Quality Assurance Committees to prepare an Annual program Review for all programs offered by the College/faculty / institute/campus and forwards to the college/faculty council.
- Participates in the internal quality audit as a member of internal quality audit team.
- Identifies good practices at College/faculty/institute level and reports to the College/faculty/institute dean.
Department Quality Assurance Committee
- The Department QA Committee is the focus of QA activity and responsibility at the Department Level.
- Collects student feedback on all courses/ modules.
- Collects student feedback on all programs.
- Receives Tutor Reflective Reports on courses/ modules.
- Receives and considers recommendations for new programs/ courses / modules and program/ course/ module changes and forwards recommendations facultyl Quality Assurance and Enhancement Coordination Office.
- Collects and analyses systematic data on such as student admissions, progression, attainment, and graduation destinations at program level in line with the requirements for the preparation of an Annual Program Review.
- Works with program Committees to prepare an Annual Program Review for all programs offered by the Department and forwards to faculty Quality Assurance and Enhancement Coordination Office.
- Participates in the internal quality audit as a member of internal quality audit team
- Identifies good practices at department level and reports to Campus Quality Assurance and Enhancement Coordination Office and the department head.
Duties and Responsibilities of Academic Advisor/Mentor Teachers
- Orient students on the university’s rules and regulations
- Help students in decision making pertinent to their study (withdrawal, add, drop, readmission etc cases.
- Orient/create awareness among students regarding the concept, importance and implementation of peer learning
- Organize students in to peer groups as per the university’s guideline
- Help students in dividing responsibilities among themselves(leaders, note takers, reporters etc
- Communicate peer groups and their respective leaders to the head of the department
- Follow that all teachers recognize and use peer groups in teaching and assessment
- Monitor that peer groups are active both in and outside the classrooms
- Assist students in planning weekly study schedule
- Check that all peer groups have weekly plan
- Check that all peer group have weekly report(compilation of daily report)
- Collect, assess and give feedback on peer groups portfolio(documentation of weekly plans and report) ; each peer group is supposed to have its own portfolio
- Supervise students as per their schedule
- Serve as liaison person among peer groups and between peer groups and the head of department in any matter pertinent to teaching, learning, assessment, resources etc
- Follow the progress of individual students in each peer group by analyzing their grades in each course
- Identify poorly performing students from each group and report to the department head so that the students can take part in remedial programs as per the university’s academic remedial action guideline
- Identify best performing peer group when requested by the department/college
- Provide students to take responsibility for their academic success
- Assist students when they face problems in accessing university facilities such as library, computer labs etc
- Communicate his/her permanent address to the students
- Communicate consultation hours to the students
- Being accessible to the students as per the schedule, provide the necessary consultation on any issue pertinent to students learning
- Undertake additional activities assigned to him/her by the head of the department or quality assurance and reform focal person/vice dean of the college
Institutional Quality Audit Team
- The audit team members are the institutional quality Assurance and Enhancement coordinators and Quality Assurance committee members from senate to department.
- The appointment of additional member of the Audit Team shall be made by the Director for Institutional Quality Assurance and Enhancement Directorate in consultation with Deans/Directors of the Institutes/ college/faculty.
- Academic Audit team is an ad-hoc team which shall undertake Audit activity on part-time basis.
Duties and Responsibilities Institutional Quality Audit Team
Selects programmers for sample review, using criteria set by HERQA and audits the selected programs.
- Examine how an institution’s/program’s in each focus area contribute to student learning quality;
- Evaluates the process of learning-teaching and assessment methods and techniques;
- Assesses the interaction between teachers and students;
- Evaluates supervision and support services to students and instructors etc;
- Evaluates knowledge, skills and attitudes possessed by the graduates;
- Assesses employers’ and graduates’ satisfaction;
- Assesses employability and entrepreneurial ability of MEU graduates; and
- Suggests the kind of person that the external audit panel wishes to interview;
- Gathers all the necessary data from stakeholders and prepares an institutional audit report to be finally compiled by the IQAEC;
- Organizes the audit reports.
Accountable and reports to president and HERQA.
Quality Assessment Points
The quality assessment tools are designed around these focus areas of Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (there will be an Annex):
- Vision, Mission and Educational Goals
- Governance and Management System
- Infrastructure and Learning Resources
- Academic and Support Staff
- Student Admission and Support Services
- Program Relevance and Curriculum
- Teaching, Learning and Assessment
- Student Progression and Graduate Outcomes
- Research and Outreach Activities
- Internal Quality Assurance
- Best Practices, Strengths, Shortcomings, Suggestions, and Recommendations for the Future