Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA), Ethiopia
In recognition of the importance of education in ensuring Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is implementing a higher education capacity building program aimed at reforming the sector. Central to meeting the objectives of the social, economic and political development of the nation is assuring and enhancing the quality and relevance of the higher education in the country. To assure quality the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA) was established by proclamation (351/2003) in 2003 as one of the key agencies responsible for guiding and regulating the higher education sector. One of the central roles of HERQA is to encourage and assist the growth of an organizational culture in Ethiopian higher education that values quality and is committed to continuous improvement.
- to be a nationally and internationally recognized center of excellence in the safeguarding and enhancement of quality and standards in higher education.
- HERQA’s mission is to ensure a high quality and relevant higher education system in Ethiopia. To this end, the Agency will assure stakeholders that accredited HEIs are of an appropriate standard and that programs of study offered by these HEIs are of an appropriate quality and relevance to the world of work and the development needs of the country.
- HERQA’s operational objectives have been derived from its mission statement. These are: Assessing the relevance and quality of higher education offered by higher education institutions (HEI’s); Ensuring that the higher education curriculum supports the country’s development needs; Providing an efficient and transparent accreditation system; Disseminating information regarding standards and programs offered by both Ethiopian and foreign HEI’s.
Accreditation of HEIs
- HERQA is responsible for assuring quality in HEIs in Ethiopia. To this end, the Agency has been providing accreditation to PHEIs and conducting an institutional quality audit at both the private and public HEIs.
- The process of accreditation by HERQA involves procedures ranging from an application request made by an HEI to the issuance of a letter describing the accreditation status of the program/s for which the institution is granted or denied accreditation permit.
- Currently, in Ethiopia, public HEIs are established and accredited by proclamation for all degrees programs they are awarding.
- Assessing the relevance and quality of higher education offered by higher education institutions
- Ensuring that the higher education curriculum supports the country’s development needs
- Providing an efficient and transparent accreditation system
- Disseminating information regarding standards and programs offered by both Ethiopian and foreign HEIs
An accreditation status of an HEI indicates:
- the duration of the accreditation permit granted,
- the campus where the accredited program is found,
- whether it is an undergraduate or graduate study,
- the mode of delivery endorsed, and
- Allowable number of students (when appropriate).
- A “pre-accreditation permit” refers to the type of license which had been given to PHEIs to register students and start training for only a period of one year.
- “Accreditation permit” refers to the type of license given to PHEIs which was pre-accredited for one year. This license will be given to PHEIs to offer training for an additional three years.
Re-accreditation (renewal of accreditation) permit
- “Reaccreditation permit” refers to the type of licensing which was/will be granted to a higher education institution to continue the previously accredited program/s. In proclamation 351/2003 it was effective for three years beginning from the day the institution received the reaccreditation permit. However, in proclamation 650/2009 such permit will be effective for five years beginning from the day the institution received the reaccreditation permit.
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