The practice, challenges and prospects of internal quality Assessment in ethiopian higher learning institutions: The case of arba minch university

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Addis ababa univeresty


This st udy attempted at examining the practi ce of internal quality assessment and its chall enges and prospects in Ethiopian HErs wi th pal1icular reference to Arba Minch Un iversity. To thi s end, 'Mixed Research Design' was employed to grasp the general picture of the situati on. Qualitative data were obtained via ten (10) interviews with the management of the Un iversity and H ERQA and two (2) FGDs with instructors and students representatives. Questionnaires were used to gather data fi'om 238 participants. These pal1icipants were composed of 128 prospective grad uates, 76 instructors, and 34 university management. Qualitative descripti ons were pursued to anal yze data from in-depth interviews and FGDs. Descriptive and inferential statistics were run to analyze quantitative data obtained from questionnaires. The result of the study revealed that important preconditions to effective internal quality assessment were either missing or not properl y functioning. Limited aspects ofIQA strategies were practiced by the University. Exam review practi ce, internship programs, and instructors ' performance evaluations were common traditions. Program rev iew and external examiner system were occasionally used to make sure that programs are up-to-the standard. No formal survey of graduate employment and employers and students sati sfaction has ever been undertaken . Educational research practice, teaching observat ion s, peer reviews of programs and assessment of resource adequacy were quite scanty. Neglecting external constituencies, involvements in institutional quality assessments were limited to internal stakehold ers. The use of quality assessment results to improve academic quality fa lls short of the desired level. HERQA has contributed a lot towards the development of institutional culture of quality and quality assessment. Notwithstanding this fact , a good number of challenges were encountered during the quality audit process. The University was not well-prepared to the audit in term s of human, material and financial resources. There was insuffici ent understanding of the audit procedures due to lack of experiences and inadequacy of the training offered to interna l quality auditors. HERQA' s quality audit did not consider the prevailing condition of the uni versity when it used the quality audit procedure of developed countries. Lack of qualified and competent staff due to unbridled staff turn-over was intensifi ed by invo lvement of MOE in staffrecruitm ent and appo intment policy of the University. This study recommends the diversi ficati on of quali ty assessment strategies by the University and provisions of adequate support by HERQA and MOE to the qua lity assurance efforts of the University. Moreover, the University has to design strategies to recruit and retain qualified and competent staffby arrangin g incenti ve mechanisms. Finally, HERQA has to revisit the audit methodology by gathering feedback from HEls and drawi ng lesson from the first audit trial.



Ethiopian higher learning