By Dr. KellenKiambati and Dr. Anne Kariuki
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 on quality education is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The goal highlights the knowledge and skills that are needed to promote a more sustainable future:‘By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence,global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”.
One of the major Covid- 19 pandemic responses fromhigher education institutions was to shift learning activities to fully virtual or blended learning. This shift caused the education sector stakeholders to increasing demand for greater focus on quality. Some argued that blended learning entailed a blend of online and face to face instruction without including the concept of learning at all. This has resulted to an ongoing debate as to whether facilitators of learning should be focusing on instructional design or learning experience design. If so, is it time to look and have real examination of the intrinsic nature of quality assurance across all the three functions of higher education mandate?
Quality assurance is a holistic approach covering all the processes in higher education institutions, in order to serve the students and other stakeholders in expected quality standards and also make meaningful contributions towards sustainable development. Given the peculiar characteristics of different contexts such as limited funding, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate staffing, relatively low research outputs and limited graduate employable skills, there is need to conceptualize context specific quality assurance frameworks rather than copy what exists and considered universally acceptable.
A pragmatic approach would be more appropriate so as to ensure no function is left out and all stakeholders are involved. It will also help to improve low employability skills, improve research quality and redefine community outreach.
Citation: Kiambati K. & Kariuki A (2021). End to End Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Government of Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya
The above model presents a holistic model that will allow higher education institutions consider all their functions and contribute to producing employable graduates who can effectively contribute to economic growth and sustainable development