Perspectives and Practices of Quality Assurance in Public and Private Host Universities at Work with Cross-border Higher Education Providers in Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




This research set out with the aim of exploring perspectives on quality and practices of quality assurance, and enhancement of host institutions at Work with CBHE in Ethiopian. The research has collected essential data from internal participants who are involved in quality assurance. These participants of private and public higher education institutions intended to pinpoint some of the major problems and challenges faced and has forwarded some mitigating implications for the challenges. To meet these objectives, extensive reviews of the literature were made and as well, theoretical and conceptual frameworks were formulated. Two host university cases, one public, and one private were operating in collaboration with CBHE. The selection was based on the participants’ lived experience with CBHE. An in-depth exploration of the problem was conducted through a comparative case study approach using a qualitative research design. This design was selected because it enables us to see through “a wide-and deep-angle lens” and explore the quality assurance systems in the case study universities. The research has involved, twenty-two participants from two selected host universities, (6) quality assurance officers, (6) academic staff, (4) supporting staff, and (6) students. The selection is purposely done from the two case study universities. The data were gathered through using carefully prepared interview protocols, semi structured interviews, document reviews, and observation field notes. To complement the interviews, a review of essential documents and site-visit of host universities, particularly, resource centres were seen. Within case analysis data followed by the cross-case analysis were undertaken. Thus, The findings of the study revealed the fact that there are diverse quality conceptions among participants, both in public and private cases, and this implies that quality conceptions are not conclusive. Some of the internal university challenges, for case-1, that influence quality assurance and enhancement practices, pinpointed by the research were: lack of writing skill, plagiarism, centralized QA structure. While, for case-2, student absenteeism in tutorial sessions, a decline in reading culture, and resource constrictions are identified. Concerning the external environment, many of the participants in case-1, do not have awareness about the CBHE guideline of HERQA, whereas, in case-2, participants are aware of the guidelines. Additionally, the CBHE partner of case-2 is accredited conversely, the CBHE partner of case-1 works without accreditation. Thus, lack of awareness and doing in favour of one may affect the quality assurance practices in case-1, than case-2. Therefore, it should be implied that both case study universities revisit their academic support services, quality assurance structure, and HERQA needs to treat both private and public partner CBHE equally, in the accreditation process. Moreover, MoSHE should provide facilities and financial support to case-2.



Cross-Border Higher Education, Quality assurance, Host-universities & Quality enhancement, Quality, Contingency theory and Institutional theory.