International Centre for Higher Education Innovation
under the auspices of UNESCO

ICHEI attended ‘Launching of the Component 3 of the UNESCO-Shenzhen FIT Project: Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa for Implementation of the Addis Convention’

December 7, 2018
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In 20 November 2018, ICHEI was invited to participate in ‘Launching of the Component 3 of the UNESCO-Shenzhen FIT Project: Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa for Implementation of the Addis Convention: Consolidate Existing Quality Assurance Networks and Develop Mutual Recognition Tools for External Quality Assurance in Higher Education’. The Meeting was jointly organzied by UNESCO headquater and UNESCO Harare Office and aimed to launch the component 3 of the UNESCO-Shenzhen Funds-in-Trust Project and discuss the institutional set up and operational diversities of Quality Assurance and accreditation bodies or institutions in Africa, develop Terms of Reference and operationalization strategies for mutual recognition tools for external quality assurance agencies in Africa.

scene of the meeting

UNESCO-Shenzhen FIT Project was co-established by UNESCO and Shenzhen Municipal Government in 2015. Shenzhen Municipal Government donated 2 million dollars to support Higher Education in Africa and Asia, and 25% of the funds would be used for countries in Asia-Pacific region and 75% of the funds would be used for African countries.

There are three key components of the African Project which are: (1) Support the establishment of new quality assurance agencies in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Togo; (2) Strengthen institutional capacity-building of recently established Quality Assurance agencies in Egypt, Gambia, Senegal, Malawi, Zambia and Namibia; (3) Consolidate existing Quality Assurance Networks in Africa and develop mutual recognition tools. Since the ‘Inception Meeting on the Implementation of UNESCO-Shenzhen Municipality Government Funds-in-Trust Project’ in Paris in 2017, the component 1 and component 2 of the Project has been under good implementation.

Participants of the meeting are focal points of 10 Project beneficiary countries, representaives of Quality Assurance Agencies and Quality Assurance Networks in Africa, there are around 60 participants.

ICHEI has been acting as the supervisor and coordinator of the Project and was invited to participate in the Meeting. Professor LI Ming, director of ICHEI delivered speeches at the opening and closing ceremony.

Professor LI Ming, Director of ICHEI delivered a speech

In his speech, Professor LI Ming said that Shenzhen valued greatly its cooperation with African countries in higher education. And the Project is an important initiative of Shenzhen Municipal Government to participate in and promote higher education development in Africa. Shenzhen Municipal Government hopes that project countries could develop and consolidate their higher education Quality Assurance Agencies and strengthen the institutional development and improve higher education quality assurance level. ICHEI appreciated the work that each project country had conducted since the Project Inception meeting and was willing to work together with Shenzhen Municipal Government to further promote higher education and quality assurance in Africa. Professor ZHAO Jianhua chaired the launching of component 3 of the Project.

ICHEI delegation with Director a.i. of Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO
Professor ZHAO Jianhua chaired a meeting session

10 Project countries and Quality Assurance Networks in Africa expressed appreciation to Shenzhen Municipal Government and ICHEI, and would like to strengthen their higher education quality assurance capacity under the framework of the Project.

Group Photo

Besides, UNESCO held the Project Mid-Term Review Meeting and focal points from 10 countries presented implementation of the Project respectively. The focal points discussed with UNESCO representatives, quality assurance experts about the best practices, challenges and work plan for the implementation of the Project. In order to further follow up and promote implementation of the Project, UNESCO is intended to organize a UNESCO-Shenzhen FIT Project Meeting in Paris next year.

Group photo of Mid-Term Review Meeting

At the same time, UNESCO together with South African Qualification Authority organized the ‘UNESCO Regional Consultation Meeting for Anglophone and Lusophone Countries in Africa: The Role of Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Challenges, Developments and Trends’ and ICHEI was invited to participate. This meeting will work as a preparation for the organization of an International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education.