The availability and accessibility of quality and timely higher education data on the African continent is minimal and is crippling policy and development discourse. In recognition of this, one of the strategic objectives of CESA is to ‘improve management of education systems as well (as) build and enhance capacity for data collection, management, analysis, communication, and use’. Numerous attempts have been made to remedy the problem of HE data availability and accessibility in Africa, albeit with very limited success.

The problem lies at the level of political coordination and capacity, but also at the level of higher education institutions themselves.

Under the Policy Component of HAQAA2, and in support of CESA, a ‘Policy-Data Unit (PDU)’ Development Team was constituted to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive mapping of existing African data sources and initiatives related to HE, including one-off studies and more longitudinal data collection, at different levels. The report is available here.
  • Building contacts with the relevant stakeholders (ADEA, UNESCO, RECs, African Union agencies, etc) and ensuring complementarity: Identifying gaps, challenges, opportunities.
  • Specifically study regional frameworks and initiatives for HE data collection and the opportunities afforded.
  • Propose a Road Map for the next stages of coordinated and coherent African HE data collection and the needed capacity building

The PDU Development Team has conducted desk research, focus groups with stakeholders in 5 African regions and conducted consultations, via an AAU hosted webinar (October 2022) and the HAQAA2 Final Conference (9 December, 2022 Accra Ghana).

A Road Map and Policy Brief argue for capacity development and building African data capacity through regional approaches and HEMIS systems where they exist, and connecting the regions centrally, in line with African Union data assessment.