NCHE trains Reviewers for registration and accreditation of higher education institutions
Chief Executive Officer for the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Dr. Ignasio Jimu, has underscored the need for well-trained Reviewers who conduct assessments of all higher education institutions and the programmes they offer.
Dr. Jimu was speaking at the 3-day training of NCHE Reviewers held recently in Mangochi.
The training drew participants from different areas of specialization from both public and private higher education institutions.
The training was funded by the World Bank through the Skills Development Project which NCHE has been coordinating since 2015.
According to Dr. Jimu, the training was deliberately structured to prepare potential Reviewers for a particular work context- that of the NCHE Reviewer, hence, much of the time on the training schedule was allocated to sessions that focused on how one can become an effective Reviewer.
“The Council is of the view that besides expertise in an area of specialization, for example being a natural scientist or a social scientist or an engineer; just to mention some fields of specialization, Reviewers should be familiar with the legal framework of NCHE, which covers the functions, powers and related provisions as defined in NCHE Act. Reviewers should be conversant with the methods and methodology of NCHE,” he explained.
Topics at the training workshop included a keynote presentation by Professor Jonathan Makuwira, Vice Chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) titled: “Trends in higher education: implications on the tertiary education sector in Malawi.”
In his presentation, Professor Makuwira talked about the value and utility of education; Open, Distance and E-Learning (ODeL); competency based education; curriculum reform and decolonizing of content among other trends in higher education globally and locally.
Other presentations were on powers and functions of NCHE; internal and external quality assurance; NCHE Minimum Standards, which are used in the assessment of institutions and their programmes; the registration process; the accreditation process; reviewer guidelines; the peer review process as well as inquiries, audits and spot checks.
Dr. Lucy Kukulanga, Quality Assurance Director for Kamuzu College of Nursing said the training for Reviewers is very crucial as it has put them all at the same footing by acquainting them with the NCHE Minimum Standards and all the tools necessary for assessment of higher education institutions.
“This training is important as it has equipped us with the necessary information and tools we need for registration and accreditation assessment of institutions. We are all from different institutions, but the training will ensure there is consistency in how we conduct ourselves and do the actual assessments,” Dr. Kululanga said.
The participants were able to do mock assessment of academic programmes for purposes of registration among others.
This is the second set of NCHE Reviewers training following the first set which was done in 2016.
NCHE was established by Act of Parliament No. 15 of 2011 with the mandate to regulate the higher education sector.
One of its mandates is to register and accredit higher education institutions.