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Client Service Charter

Introduction


This charter outlines our services, the costs of those services, our service commitment to you and how you can help us to provide you with the best service possible.

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) is dedicated to the provision of a high level of service to our clients in the higher education sector. As a regulatory body of the high education sector in Malaŵi, we offer services for the benefit of both the providers and the consumers of higher education services.

NCHE was established by an Act of Parliament No. 15 of 2011 with the primary purpose of providing accreditation and quality assurance services in higher education in the country.

Our Mandate

Our mandates in line with our constituting legislation are:

  • to promote and coordinate education provided by higher education institutions;
  • to register and de-register higher education institutions;
  • to determine a framework for funding public higher education institutions;
  • to harmonise selection of students to all public universities;
  • to regulate, determine and maintain standards of teaching, examinations, academic qualifications, academic facilities;
  • to develop a national qualification framework which is compatible with regional and international standards;
  • to determine criteria and procedures for registration and de-registration of higher education institutions;
  • to accredit both public and private higher education institutions;
  • to design and recommend an institutional quality assurance system for higher education;
  • to recommend to the Minister institutional quality assurance standards for the establishment, standardisation and accreditation of higher education institutions including standards of:
  1. teaching and learning,
  2. infrastructure, physical plant and equipment,
  3. the development of curricula,
  4. libraries and learning resource centres,
  5. safety of teaching and learning facilities, and
  6. student-transfer between programmes and higher education institutions.
  1. to provide guidance for terms and conditions for awarding grants and scholarships to students of public higher education institutions;
  2. to ensure that higher education institutions have high calibre of members of staff by:
  1. prescribing standards and maintaining minimum requirements for engagement of members of staff to all levels of higher education institutions;
  2. advising on conditions of employment;
  3. overseeing continuous professional development for members of staff of higher education institutions; and
  4. from time to time, prescribing, maintaining and reviewing a code of conduct of professional ethics for members of staff of higher education institutions.
  1. to assess, evaluate and recognise qualifications attained at a foreign higher education institution;
  2. to represent interests of the Malawian higher education regionally and internationally;
  3. to monitor the implementation of international agreements concerning higher education;
  4. to promote international cooperation and facilitate exchanges of higher education; and
  5. to advise the Minister on all matters of higher education.

Vision

Towards a culture of quality and excellence in higher education.

Mission

To champion quality, accessible and relevant higher education in Malaŵi.

Core values

As an institution, our core values are:

  • integrity,
  • transparency,
  • accountability,
  • efficiency,
  • team spirit,
  • service-centred.

Standard of service

In providing our services, you can expect that:

  1. We will act on your requests promptly:
  1. Letters will be responded to within two (2) weeks of receiving them;
  2. Your issues will be logged and tracked until they are resolved;
  3. We will make follow ups to ensure that you are well supported.

  1. We will make your contact with NCHE a useful experience:
  1. Friendly and supportive staff will attend to you;
  2. We will treat you with dignity;
  3. You will meet courteous staff;
  4. You will receive support to advise and point you in the right direction where NCHE does not have the required information;
  5. NCHE will always have time to talk to you;
  6. We will ensure consistency;
  7. Staff will always be available to help you;
  8. We pledge to ensure NCHE is a hub for higher education information in the country.

  1. We will keep you well informed:
  1. We will work closely with our partners to ensure a good knowledge base;
  2. We will keep accurate and updated information;
  3. We will keep you in the picture of any changes;
  4. We will make use of all forms of communication such as print media, telephone and social media.

  1. We will never compromise on quality and standards:
  1. Ensure minimum standards are adhered to;
  2. Ensure institutions are audited annually;
  3. Put information on registered institutions in the public domain;
  4. Ensure applicable regulations are adhered to;
  5. Ensure NCHE operates using best practices, which are based on value adding and designed to achieve efficiency and productivity.

  1. NCHE will be receptive to suggestions and comments:
  1. We are keen to know where we could improve;
  2. We are keen to hear when you are happy;
  3. We will publish stakeholder surveys sharing how we are doing;
  4. We will acknowledge feedback within 2 weeks;
  5. You can leave feedback by:
  • Phone,
  • On the website,
  • Follow us on twitter,
  • SMS,
  • Feedback cards at NCHE building ,
  • Suggestion box at NCHE building.


What you need to access our services

As outlined in the mandate above, our services and clientele are varied and because of that varied nature of our services, it is impossible for us to prescribe general requirements for one to access our services. We therefore encourage you to contact us for specific services and we shall provide you with what you need to provide to us for us to provide the service that you require.


The cost and timeline of service delivery

Due to the complex nature of our services, it is not always possible to put specific charges and timelines on how long it will take to provide a particular service. However, the following are indicative costs and timeframes of our client-oriented services. Please note that the time for services whose decisions have to be made by the Council is up to six months because the feedback can only be provided after the Council has met.

NCHE is not a profit-making organisation and as such its fees are based solely on cost recovery for the cost of provision of the services. The charges are shown in Table 2 below.

 Table 2. Charges for NCHE services

 

Service

Requirements

Fees

Timeframe

Application fee (registration + accreditation)*

To be advised

Actual cost + 20% administration fee

1 week

Institutional provisional registration fee*

To be advised

2-3 weeks

Institutional registration fee

To be advised

3-6 months

Institutional accreditation fee

To be advised

3-6 months

Accreditation of each additional college or campus

To be advised

Aligned to above

Programme accreditation fee

To be advised

3-6 months

Accreditation of additional programmes

To be advised

Aligned to above

Institutional reassessment fee

To be advised

3-6 months

Failure to submit annual report (each day in default)

Not applicable

K20,000/US$50

No. of default days

Issuing of a Charter

A charter

K500,000/US$1,500

3-6 months

Amendment of a Charter

Revised charter

K100,000/US$300

3-6 months

Annual subscription on registered institutions

To be advised

K250,000/US$650

Annual

Inspection of database of higher education institutions

Request

K2,000/US$10

1 day

Authentication of academic qualifications

Qualifications details

K15,000/US$50

2-4 weeks

Non-refundable. Other fees are only refundable where the application to access the service is withdrawn before work on the provision of the service has commences. Any refunds are net of 20% administration fees.

United States dollar amounts are payable by foreign individuals or institutions.

Service quality improvement

While no effort will be spared to ensure that we provide you with a high quality service, the service delivery is dependent on how you assist us. Therefore, in order for us to give you our best you can help us by:

  1. informing yourself of the regulatory framework in which we operate by making sure you are familiar with the NCHE Act;
  2. complying with the NCHE Act.
  3. understanding our mandate and responsibilities under the law;
  4. assisting our members of staff and those hired by ourselves to assist us in discharging our mandate to understand your needs clearly;
  5. providing us with feedback on how we may improve our services, or how we can help to resolve specific issues that you may have;
  6. participating in the stakeholder consultations to ensure that we are constantly responsive to your needs;
  7. ensuring that our work at your premises is not disrupted by deliberate actions of you or your members of staff or students.

Contact details

If you have any compliments or complaints after getting a service from us, please feel free to contact us at the following address. Please provide as much information as you possibly can so that we are able to resolve any complaints that you have within reasonable time:

The Chief Executive Officer
National Council for Higher Education
Private Bag B371
LILONGWE 3
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 01 755 884

If after contacting our Secretariat you are still not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, you are free to escalate the matter by contacting our Council as follows:

The Chairperson
National Council for Higher Education
Private Bag B371
LILONGWE 3

 

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