Quality Assurance and Accreditation
Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAA) is a recent development in the Afghan academic landscape. The high higher education sector has been relatively isolated, and universities have not been subject to levels of quality observed internationally. It is thus difficult for Afghan universities to demonstrate that their quality assurance standards are of adequate rigor and substance.
After supporting establishment of Quality Assurance and Accreditation Directorate (QAAD) under the auspices of Ministry of Higher Education, HEDP will support the directorate to obtain membership of an international accreditation network such as the Asia pacific Quality Assurance Network (APQN).
At the institutional level, HEDP supports public universities to establish a functional internal quality assurance system by establishing International Quality Assurance Unit (IQAU). So far, 18 public universities have such a Unit in their overall organizational structure, dealing with matters ranging from internal teaching and academic program assessment to IQAU’s five-year strategic plan to annual institutional monitoring. Three more IQAUs will soon be established at Wardak, ANASTU and Helmand higher education institutes.
The overall objectives of the IQAU is to improve quality of the education that the university provides and to promote culture of quality assurance within that institution. Specifically, the Unit serves the following objectives:
• Promote and institutionalize the quality assurance culture in accordance with national quality assurance and accreditation framework
• Ensure that the university’s quality assurance procedures are designed following the
QAAD guidelines and national requirements;
• Build an image of the university with have the confidence of the stakeholders ensuring transparency, accountability, and good practices in all aspects of management; and
• Prepare the University for the External Peer Review to meet the quality assurance assessment and accreditation standards.
• Facilitate and conduct workshops and trainings for university academic and
Administrative staff on quality assurance and accreditation
In addition, the HEDP also supports accreditation services provided by QAAD through External Peer Reviewers (EPRs). In collaboration with HEDP, the quality assurance and accreditation directorate assess and accredit both public and private universities on a regular basis to ensure quality educational services are provided to the Afghan public.
Accreditation is a rigorous process aimed at ensuring whether or not universities are in compliance with 11 major and 49 ancillary criteria. In terms of compliance, they are graded as Grade A, Grade B or Grade C “accredited”, with Grade A having received the highest numbers. So far, as many as 35 universities have been accredited for different grade levels.
For more detail on the criteria, please click here.