EVALUATION OF THE IQA STRUCTURES AND MECHANISMS EMPLOYED BY UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA

Harriet Wambui Njui

Abstract


Higher education institutions are today experiencing constant changes due to the rapid expansion of the institutions in student numbers which has not been matched by expansion of infrastructure, facilities and resources. This situation has raised concerns about the quality of higher education institutions (HEIs) and their programmes among stakeholders. While the quality of universities was unquestionable when they were serving a small elite, the institutions in today’s diversified and privatized higher education systems worldwide are under pressure to change and adapt. Quality and graduate employability has for quite a while attracted the debate among employers and other education stakeholders on the quality of university graduates. In response to the challenges, external quality assurance (EQA) mechanisms have been developed in higher education in various parts of the world in an effort to assure quality and standards. Governments have also seen the need to engage EQA bodies in the quality control of HEIs through periodic external assessments of the quality of the institutions through programme evaluation, accreditation and quality audit. While quality assurance was initially externally driven, individual HEIs have today set up internal quality assurance (IQA) mechanisms to help them monitor and manage the quality of education as they also align their IQA with external policies and frameworks governing education. This paper reviews literature on the IQA structures and mechanisms used by universities with a view to making recommendations on how the institutions can effectively employ IQA structures and mechanisms in order to offer quality education that is responsive to the needs of the industry.

 

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quality assurance, higher education institutions, internal quality assurance, external quality assurance, employability skills

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