Accreditation- What is it?

Accreditation is a process of recognizing programmes offered by higher education institutions. World over, accreditation implies  institutional and programme compliance with legislative  requirements for registration; availability of governance and management structures conducive to delivery of quality education (including appropriate delineation between oversight responsibilities and day to day management); and a commitment to the promotion of an environment conducive to pursuit of academic excellence. 

To date the Council has not accredited any higher education institutions. Accreditation of all higher education institution is scheduled for 2016. In readiness for the accreditation of institutions NCHE has developed an accreditation and evaluation framework. The accreditation and evaluation framework operationalizes the provisions for accreditation spelt out in the NCHE Act.  The Act provided for accreditation of institutions and of programmes. NCHE Act makes reference to achievement of acceptable standards in terms of-  

a) Physical, human, financial, teaching and learning resources; 

b) Management and operational procedures; and 

c) An acceptable standard of academic life focusing on teaching, research, community service and expert service.   


Programme accreditation on the other hand would take into account –  

a) The academic qualifications of all members of staff employed by a higher education institution during the period of assessment including those expected to be employed by the higher education institution; 

b) The total number of students enrolled in each programme of instruction offered at a higher education institution and the standards attained by those that have graduated during the period of assessment; 

c) Information and communication technology infrastructure and the provision for training; 

d) The size and quality of the library and other teaching and learning resources; 

e) The financial resources available for the exclusive use by a higher education institution, certified by its auditors; the physical facilities including land , land available for the exclusive use by a higher education institution; 

f) Student-staff ratio of a higher education institution; and  

g) The currency, relevance and frequency of review of the curriculum for each programme for comparability nationally and internationally.



 world Bank has injected about US$46 million to be used for Skills Development Project which will help the country to equip young people with the skills needed for jobs in  high-priority sectors in the country’s steadily  growing economy. These include engineering, natural resources extraction, agriculture, construction, health services, tourism and  hospitality.  Speaking during the signing ceremony of the financial agreements for the projects, the  Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Honourable Goodall Gondwe commended the World Bank for supporting the initiative. 

According to the Minister the Skills  Development Project will increase access to, market relevance and results orientation of supported skills development institutions in the priority areas to be agreed upon with the institutions.  

In her remarks, Malawi’s World Bank  Country Manager Laura Kullenberg   said that skills Development Project will help the country to equip young people with the skills needed for the jobs in the high priority, high sectors in the country’s steadily growing economy. The project will include the following components covering a period from 1st June, 2015 to 30th June, 2019. Component 1: Strengthening Institutional  Performance (US$40 million) This Consists of: University of Malawi- The Polytechnic Carrying out a program of specific activities to improve access and market relevance of engineering programs offered including the following:  a. construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure including workshops, laboratories, b. classrooms, lecture theaters, tutorial and design rooms, library facilities and office space;  c. supply of equipment; d. development of new engineering programs at diploma and undergraduate levels; and e. upgrading staff qualifications to deliver on the new programs all through the provision of results based grants. 


University of Malawi-Chancellor College  

Carrying out a program of specific activities to increase access to science teacher education and enhance capacity for science education delivery including following:  a. constructing lecture theatres, and laboratories and rehabilitation of classrooms;  b. supplying of equipment and installing of information and communication technology facilities; c. developing curriculum for computer science teacher education;  


Mzuzu University  

Carrying out a program of specific activities to increase access to secondary teacher training programs, including inter alia,  a. establishing new satellite learning centers at Karonga, Lilongwe, Mulanje and Balaka; developing curriculum for open and distance learning programs;  b. supplying equipment; strengthening the capacity of staff in the development of open and distance learning materials and upgrading staff skills to deliver on the programs


Increase access, market relevance, sustainability and cost efficiency of hospitality and tourism courses including,  a. establishing a skills development center, b. supplying equipment, and upgrading staff skills to deliver the programs, all through the provision of results based grants. 


Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources 



Carrying out a program of specific activities to increase access, market relevance and gender responsiveness of programs including, inter alia: a. establishing an open and distance learning center in Lilongwe city, at the University campus and two (2) remote satellite centers in Mzuzu and Blantyre;  b. developing open and distance learning programs;  c. expanding library facilities;  d. installing information and communication technology infrastructure; and e. upgrading staff capacity to develop and deliver open and distance learning programs including supporting study tours to relevant institutions; all through the provision of results based grants. 


Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational  

Education and Training Authority (TEVETA)  Carrying out a program of specific activities to improve 

capacity for quality assurance in the TEVET system and 

increase access to and broaden the range of market  ori

ented skills programs including the following: 

a. training of master craftsmen; b. supplying of equipment and training of staff in selected institutions offering informal sector training in rural areas; 


c. developing curriculum for short skills upgrading programs in selected training institutions offering skills training in rural areas; and d. providing equipment and upgrading staff capacity in selected institutions offering technician level programs, all through the provision of results based grants. 


Component 2: Technical Assistance for System 

Strengthening and Policy Reforms (US$4.9million) 

This Consists of: 

Carrying out a program of activities to strengthen the capacity of the National Council for Higher Education for Project implementation, such program of activities to include  


a. training members of the council on their quality assurance and Project implementation roles; b. strengthening the capacity of the secretariat at the National Council for Higher Education in project coordination, reporting and communication, project planning, project monitoring and evaluation and fiduciary management; and  c. provision of equipment. d. Developing and installing a management information system at the National Council for Higher Education and provide associated training. e. Develop a monitoring and evaluation systems and piloting new monitoring tools at the National Council for Higher Education and Participating Skills Development Institutions. f. Provide technical assistance for the development and implementation of a student financing scheme. g. Designing and setting up of verification mechanisms, and conducting verification of outputs and results of the activities supported under the Project. h. Carrying out independent verification of outputs and results of the activities supported under the Project. 


In order to provide oversight role, NCHE established two committees namely: Technical and Steering Committees.  The Technical Committee provides guidance and tech

nical support to all Participating Institutions, oversees im

plementation through verification exercises and receives 

reports from the implementing partners and makes rec

ommendation to the Steering Committee for approvals.


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Accreditation- What is it?




His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Installed as Champion for Higher Education in Africa.


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