HAQAA3 Initiative Launched to Strengthen African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Integration

The HAQAA3 Initiative, a continuation and expansion of the successful HAQAA1 and HAQAA2 phases, has been launched as a response to African and international development objectives. This ambitious initiative is framed within the context of the European Union’s Youth Mobility Flagship of the Global Gateway package which promotes youth exchanges and mobility within Africa and between Africa and Europe and contributes to the strengthening of the African Higher Education Space

With a focus on enhancing quality assurance and promoting regional integration in higher education, HAQAA3 aims to achieve several specific objectives over the course of its five-year contract. The key areas of focus include strengthening the culture of quality assurance in higher education institutions, enhancing the capacities of quality assurance agencies and authorities, promoting mutual recognition of qualifications and accreditation, supporting the set-up of a Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency, policy advocacy and piloting an African Credit Transfer System and supporting evidence-based policy making and regional integration.

To ensure the success of HAQAA3, a dedicated “HAQAA3 Implementing Team” has been formed, consisting of OBREAL Global, the Association of African Universities (AAU), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), along with support from nine strategic partners: Southern Africa Regional Universities Association (SARUA), Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), Conseil Africain et Malgache de l’Enseignement Superieur (CAMES), National Council for Quality Assurance  (CNAQ), National Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Egypt (NAQAAE), National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Senegal (ANAQ – Sup), Réseau Africain Francophone des Agences Nationales d’Assurance Qualité (RAFANAQ), Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), All-Africa Students Union (AASU), European University Association (EUA) and UNESCO Liaison Office Addis Ababa.

These partners, who also form a Steering Committee, will be actively involved in the implementation of the initiative.

The core principles of HAQAA3 include building understanding for regional and continental higher education integration, promoting multilingualism, recognizing Africa’s position in a global context, empowering female leaders in academia, embracing digitalization, and focusing on environmental sustainability.

HAQAA3 is structured around three transversal methodological components: policy development, training and capacity building, and implementation. These components will be implemented across four work areas: Internal and External Quality Assurance (IQA/EQA), the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (PAQAA), the African Credit Transfer System (ACTS), and Higher Education Data for policy analysis. Additionally, a transversal work area called Policy Dialogue and support for Higher Education Regional Integration will facilitate discussions and collaborations.

The initiative has set out specific deliverables for each work area. These include training HEI professionals and university vice chancellors, capacity building for staff of quality assurance agencies and authorities, expanding the pool of African QA evaluators, developing the PAQAA Technical Unit, piloting the ACTS in selected degree programs, establishing regional Higher Education Data Units, and organizing policy dialogues and online courses for African continental and regional integration in higher education.

HAQAA3 aims to strengthen the higher education sector in Africa and contribute to regional and continental integration. By building African capacity to lead, promoting quality assurance, and fostering collaboration among institutions and authorities, the initiative seeks to enhance the sector’s responsiveness to socio-economic challenges and support the revision/extension of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025.

As HAQAA3 embarks on its journey, it is expected to play a vital role in shaping the future of higher education in Africa, fostering partnerships, and empowering the continent’s educational institutions and leaders to thrive in a globalized world.