The East African Quality Assurance Forum which works under the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) is meeting in Kigali to discuss issues of quality in EAC Universities.
The forum was conceived in 2010 to promote sustained dialogue on quality assurance issues, practices and challenges. It is organized in collaboration with the National Commissions and Councils for Higher Education in the five East African countries.
The main goal of this Forum is to continue to build the capacity of quality assurance directors and coordinators and to foster dialogue and networking in quality assurance in higher education in the East African Region
According to organizers, the Kigali meeting is focusing on how to ensure that students in the EAC countries can be equipped to compete on the labour market, but also be able to create their own jobs.
According to Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, the IUCEA chair says that they want to make sure that EAC graduates leave school as answers to their respective countries and the region instead of being problems.
He also says that they are discussing on how to harmonise the universities’ qualification awarding systems since there is a plan to harmonise the EAC curricula.
“We believe that this will solve the issue of qualification papers being accepted in some countries and rejected in others.
Nkunya also says that Universities that will be allowed to operate in the region are those which have all the requirements to be called universities and those that can provide qualitative education.
“We want to work with the region’s private sector to identify jobs that are needed on the job market o that more efforts are put in training students in those particular areas.”
The acting Director of Rwanda Higher Education Council (HEC) Dr Mugisha Innocent, the forum wants to put emphasis in industrial attachment for graduates.
“Students pursuing technical fields like construction currently spend much time in classrooms concentrating on theory and you don’t see them at construction sites practicing what they are supposed to do after school. We want this to change,” said Mugisha.
The IUCEA brings together over 100 universities and Institutions of Higher learning in the East African Region.