Co-developing an institutional improvement plan for quality assurance systems in Afghanistan


Co-developing an institutional improvement plan for quality assurance systems in Afghanistan

Higher education that meets international standards is essential for developing countries, enabling people to empower themselves and in turn strengthen their communities. With support from the Higher Education Development Program, Ministry of Higher Education, Afghanistan, UNESCO and experts from Malaysia hosted an important review meeting online with senior delegates from Afghanistan to jointly develop an institutional improvement plan for the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Directorate (QAAD), Ministry of Higher Education, Afghanistan.

The National Higher Education Strategic Plan (NHESP II) in Afghanistan foresees that the QAAD will eventually take an independent role and become a semi-independent office that will accredit and be responsible for quality assurance of higher education institutions. As the only UN agency with a mandate in higher education, UNESCO and its partners from Malaysia are providing technical assistance to address three objectives:

  • Assess the current organizational structure and management systems of QAAD to achieve its mission and goals in line with Sustainable Development Goal Four (SDG4);
  • Co-develop a realistic institutional development plan to ensure optimal organization and management to assist the QAAD in accomplishing its mission;
  • Support the development of a five-year strategic plan with the help of the institutional development plan.

The consultations will also help to develop strong policy linkages with the Tokyo Convention, underpinned by more effective quality assurance systems. Building on collaborative research and fieldwork in Herat and Kabul, Afghanistan, the webinar was a chance to share progress and begin the final phase of concrete scenario planning together with the QAA Board, key stakeholders and international partners. Given the impacts of COVID-19, an in-person consultation in Bangkok was not feasible. UNESCO and all partners are now co-developing a detailed action plan with policy options for the Ministry’s review.

For questions, please contact: For Malaysia the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility is UNESCO’s lead partner together with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, and Universiti Sains Malaysia, please contact:

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Main photo credit©Shutterstock/Anton_Medvedev