Last week, Botho University—Maseru, in partnership with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) Lesotho hosted the 4th Southern African Quality Assurance Network Conference (SAQAN) under the theme ‘’Quality Assurance is Higher Education: Theories, Perspectives and Practices geared towards attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Southern African Region and beyond.” SAQAN is a voluntary association of quality assurance bodies and higher education institutions, which are united by their commitment towards entrenching a strong culture of quality in higher education across the region.
SAQAN holds an annual workshop with the objective of promoting and bringing together quality assurance practitioners and researchers in the SADC region and beyond to share experiences, best practices and approaches towards promoting the culture of quality assurance in higher education. In addition, the event is also intended as a platform for exchanging research findings pertaining to quality assurance. Quality assurance professionals from Southern Africa and other regions on the continent are invited to submit paper abstracts and/or poster abstracts with a view to presenting at the conference. Authors of abstracts which meet the standards proceed to develop full papers.
During the workshop, the Vice Chancellor of Botho University, Dr Sheela Raja Ram chaired two sessions in Naleli Hall. The first presentation was by T. Mokuku of the National University of Lesotho on ‘’Education for Sustainable Development as an Organising Framework for Quality Programmes in Teacher Education at NUL’’; the second, was a presentation of a paper by T.Z Maqutu of the Cape Peninsula University, RSA; titled “Quality Assurance in an African Developing World Context: Is it an enabler or a hindrance towards attainment of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The Maseru campus Dean Dr Abhishek Ranjan presented in the plenary session a paper titled ‘’Quality Assurance in Higher Education with a focus on Internal Quality Assurance: The case of Botho University.
Botho University staff continued to impress with Mr M. Maqutu from the Faculty of Health & Education showcasing ‘’What Performance Indicators Reveal about whether Quality Assurance in Higher Education yields expected outcomes’’
Furthermore, two members from the Faculty of Computing; Ms. Mukai Turugare and Mr. Robert Nyabawa were engaged by the Council of Higher Education as Rapporteurs together with others from other higher education institutions, with the responsibilities;
- To ensure that proceedings and outcomes of the conference are clearly recorded;
- To prepare and present recaps during plenary sessions of key issues covered in the conference;
- To prepare a communique covering salient issues to be presented at the end of the conference; and
- To prepare a conference proceedings report that will be submitted to CHE within two weeks after the conference.
On the second day of the workshop, all delegates were entertained with dinner at the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village where culture & tradition was the theme of the evening while the final day was filled with fun activities such as the boat riding and pony trekking.