Confronting the Challenges of the Quality Assurance Process in Private Higher Education: The Ghanaian Experience
Volume III, 2019, No 2, Pages: 34-62
Linda Tsevi, PhD. School of Continuing and Distance Education. College of Education, University of Ghana, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Quality assurance agencies in Sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa were established in the 1990s to ensure quality in higher education delivery by institutions providing access to qualified post-secondary students. Their establishment was also to ensure standardization among private higher education institutions. However, the implementation of this trajectory at country level has had its challenges. Using the theoretical framework of legitimacy, this qualitative study explores the challenges of the quality assurance process in Ghana and their implications for policy. Open-ended interviews were held with sixteen participants consisting of higher education specialists, administrators of private higher education institutions, retired faculty members of public higher education institutions and officials of the National Accreditation Board (NAB). Findings showed evidence of challenges of the quality assurance process such as conflicting requirements from the NAB and mentor institutions, duplication of activities, the perception that public higher education institutions were favored over private ones, non-compliance of institutions to the time-frame given for program and institutional accreditation and lack of regular communication about an institution’s charter request. The study has noteworthy implications for developing further policies that will guide the accreditation process of private higher education institutions in Ghana and other Sub-Saharan African countries having comparable quality assurance challenges.
Keywords: quality assurance, private higher education, Ghana, legitimacy, National Accreditation Board.