The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has stressed the need for the establishment and functioning of quality assurance units in all higher education institutions (HEIs).
NCHE Deputy Chief Executive Officer Professor Dixie Maluwa-Banda, made the observation at the launch of the 3 year United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Shenzen Project for needs assessment on quality assurance units in HEIs.
The launch, which drew participants from both public and private HEIs, took place recently at the Malawi Assemblies of God University (MAGU) in Lilongwe.
The project, being spearheaded by NCHE, was launched under the theme ‘Strengthening Quality Assurance in Higher Education’.
Professor Maluwa-Banda said this project is important as it will promote quality higher education in the country.
“Quality assurance in higher education is gaining momentum in Africa hence as Malawi we must not be left behind. This project is an opportunity for us to ensure that we produce quality candidates for the job market,” he said.
Representing the Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Chief Education Officer (Higher Education) in the Ministry Dr. Valentino Zimpita, said the project is important especially looking at the theme.
Dr. Zimpita noted that increased demand for higher education has led to the diversification and massification of higher education in the country.
“It is pleasing to note that apart from government, key stakeholders are concerned in quality so that graduates from all HEIs are recognizable internationally. It is imperative that HEIs themselves shoulder the responsibility of ensuring quality assurance at all levels,” said Dr. Zimpita.
He said government will continue to provide policy direction in the higher education sector but that higher education institutions need to adhere to policy as set by government including the setting up of regulatory bodies like NCHE.
The 3 year UNESCO- Shenzen project runs from 2017-2020. It is also being implemented in 9 other African countries.