Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government established the Higher Education and Relevance Quality Agency (HERQA) to monitor the quality of education provided in higher education institutions. The government appoints HERQA's director and the chairman of the board is an MoE representative. Western consultants helped develop HERQA guidelines and provided initial training for quality assurance. HERQA's responsibility is limited to providing reports and recommendations to the institutions involved and the MoE. HERQA accredits private institutions but only conducts an institutional audit for public institutions. Public institutions do not need to act on HERQA recommendations.

HERQA recommended that university staff should be about 30% Ph.Ds, 50% Masters and less than 20% first degree holders. Excluding medical and veterinary degrees, in 2012/13, qualifications for all government universities were 13% Ph.Ds, 54.7% Masters and 32.2% first degrees. AAU was approaching the recommendation with 27.6% Ph.Ds, 55.3% Masters and 17.1% first degrees.

There was some doubt about HERQA's competence to fulfill its mission since the majority of members were from agriculture and would thus not be able to insure quality and relevance throughout the higher education sector.

Business process re-engineering has recently been introduced across the public sector to improve effectiveness and efficiency from "scratch" but this has received only limited support from universities. HERQA has recently changed its name to Education Training Quality Assurance Agency (ETQAA)