In every country, higher education contributes to socio-economic development and catalyses economic growth through the supply of skilled graduates.
Building on that idea, the action aims at improving quality and relevance of higher education in Africa, through increased harmonisation and stronger quality assurance mechanisms. It also seeks to ensure recognition and transparency of qualifications and to promote the inputs of students and alumni in educational processes.
By contributing to the development of human capacities, higher education plays a critical role in driving economic and social development.
In most African countries however, a mismatch exists between the skills that young people receive through higher education and those needed for their life and in particular their working life.
Higher education institutions therefore need to modernise their education offer and innovate to meet quality standards and be relevant to the needs of the societies and of the labour market.
One way this can be achieved is through increased cooperation with their peers. However, collaboration requires higher education institutions to speak a common "language" which necessitates the development of common norms and increased harmonisation of qualifications. It also needs to be built on mutual trust, which requires strengthened quality assurance and accreditation mechanisms. Once in place, such processes contribute to improve the recognition and portability of qualifications and, thereby, the mobility of people.
In addition, the involvement of young people, students and alumni increasingly appears important in improving the relevance of academic programmes and proposing innovative practices as they can provide inputs that reflect the challenges they face in their education and market insertion.
The overall objective of the action is to enhance human capital development in Africa.
Its three components pursue complementary specific objectives:
- "Tuning Africa 3" seeks to improve the quality and harmonisation of African higher education and support students' employability and mobility across the continent;
- "Harmonisation, Quality Assurance and Accreditation 2” (HAQAA 2) aims at improving the quality standards of higher education systems and programmes, the transparency and recognition of qualifications in Africa;
- "African Students and Alumni Association" aims at promoting young people's insights into educational processes and policies and innovative practices.
Under the three components of the action, the following main activities will be implemented:
- For “Tuning Africa 3”, the activities will involve the strengthening of academia and students’ capacities for the development and acquisition of generic competencies, the training on the Tuning Methodology and the establishment of a network of experts that provides support for the harmonisation process in Africa.
- For “HAQAA 2”, the activities will focus on enhancing the quality assurance culture in higher education and the strengthening of capacities of quality assurance agencies to implement African Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance and of the African Union to implement the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework
- For the “African Students and Alumni” component, activities will focus on strengthening participatory and leadership skills of young people, facilitating the inputs of student and alumni associations in educational processes in universities and raising awareness on EU mobility programmes.