Challenges and opportunities for Higher Education Institutions: from digitalization to AI

OBREAL Global takes part in the 12th Annual East African Higher Education Quality Assurance Forum in Bujumbura, Burundi

The forum has achieved its main goal: identify and reflect on the emerging trends in Higher Education and share experiences on how to nurture them through Quality Assurance systems. In this topic, the Director of International Projects at OBREAL Global, Elizabeth Colucci, has stated that “we should take QA out of its traditional box and ask ourselves how can QA ultimately respond and adapt to the changes in the higher education sector”.

Which are these changes?

According to Colucci, the changes the Higher Education sector faces at this moment are many. From harnessing digitalization to cultivating global citizens or providing for lifelong learning. The one that may pose the greatest challenge, though, it’s the transformation of learning and teaching through the use of AI.

And on top of it all, the need to meet the standards that demonstrate that Higher Education Institutions are doing all this and are doing it correctly. And here is where QA comes in.

“We must have standards and guidelines, but they need to accommodate change” – Elizabeth Colucci

But Quality Assurance standards, while important for generating a common language, are not the panacea. That’s why the Director of International Projects at OBREAL Global, Elizabeth Colucci, stated that we need to have standards and guidelines that accommodate this change.

The HAQAA initiative

And here is where the HAQAA3 initiative has a relevant role, that’s why the project was discussed in the Forum. Apiyo Okwiri, Project Manager at OBREAL Global, explained that the goal of the HAQAA3 project is to provide African countries with the skilled workers, managers and administrators that they need to foster sustainable development to enhance citizenship and democratic values.

Okwiri stated that this goal is being chased with the principles of respect towards African diversity and regional dynamics, building understanding of regional integration, multilingualism, empowerment of female leaders, sustainability or digitalization amongst others.