In September 2020, the HAQAA2 Initiative held three focus groups to explore the experiences from the external reviews of quality assurance agencies and consultancy visits to ministries of higher education, which took place in 2018 under HAQAA1. The reviews and consultancy visits served to support the implementation of the ASG-QA in African external quality assurance frameworks.

14 representatives from 7 different countries attended the focus groups for agencies/ministries conducted in English and in French. While the focus group for experts had 8 participants from 8 different countries. Participants of the focus groups were representatives of the participating agencies and ministries, as well as the experts that conducted the reviews and visits.

The focus groups were organised by the HAQAA2 Task Force for the ASG-QA, which is coordinated by ENQA.

The participants discussed how the methodology of the agency reviews could be improved, including aspects such as training for agencies and experts, clarification and interpretation of the ASG-QA, and support for follow-up actions. The outcomes will be used to refine the methodology for the next round of agency reviews taking place in 2021, and to identify topics to be addressed in the forthcoming Users’ Guide for the ASG-QA.

The focus groups also served as an opportunity for African agencies and ministries to exchange information and experiences on recent developments and current challenges in external quality assurance in their respective countries, including financial sustainability and dealing with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications for agencies and ministries to participate in the HAQAA2 external reviews and consultancy visits in 2021 are still being accepted. Further information is available here. For questions, please contact Anna Gover

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