Title: Internal Quality Assurance Practices for Open Education in Two East African Universities: Proposed Innovative Mechanisms
Author(s): Niyonzima Eliezer and Kimwise Alone
Year 2020
Publisher: Rwanda Journal of Social & Applied Sciences RJSAS, ISSN: 2310-3205 (VOL 6, ISSUE 1)
File: PDF
Keywords: Quality assurance system open education university stakeholder

Internal quality assurance (IQA) systems and processes in universities should be sufficiently operational, well oriented and committed to guarantee the fitness for purpose of an educational programme. In this context, this mixed explanatory and hermeneutic paradigm model of empirical investigation was undertaken to elicit evidence based quantitative and qualitative data collected in East African Universities. The study was guided by the following research questions: (1) were existing practices synchronizing with national and international agendas

on open education? (2) Were there flexible structured systems for students’ open access, progress, mobility and institutional core activities, and (3) did the universities have mechanisms to collect feedback from alumni, stakeholders and labour market? This study focused on two uncontrolled types of research environments, University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB) and Kampala International University (KIU) in Rwanda and Uganda, respectively. Three sets of research tools tested for validity and reliability were utilized namely: (1) a checklist,

(2) an interview schedule and (3) a questionnaire. Through purposive sampling, the data were gathered from managers and staff of quality assurance directorates. Relevant information on structures and mechanisms of monitoring and feedback were also retrieved from randomly selected representatives from students’ organizations, alumni associations and academic staff. To analyse the data, frequency tables and content analysis were used for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. The following were the major findings: (1) both universities had necessary policies generally synchronizing with international agendas on open education though in practice there were rooms for improvement; (2) in both universities, there were systems

with mechanisms for students’ open access, progress, mobility, aligned with teaching and learning activities but some inadequacies were noted in support to students’ learning; (3) comments from alumni were limited in one university. Within the context of these findings, proposed innovative mechanisms were suggested in view of the relevant trends in

improving open access to quality education, to promote students’ learning experiences.


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