Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA)
This article sets out the role of the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA). In recognition of the importance of education in ensuring Ethiopia's poverty reduction program and sustainable development, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is in the process of implementing a higher education and capacity building program aimed at reforming and expanding the country's higher education sector. Critical to meeting the objectives of this reform program is the establishment of an effective national quality and relevance assurance organization to ensure relevance and quality standards in a massified system.
To this end the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA) has been established through the Higher Education Proclamation (351/2003) as one of the key agencies responsible for guiding and regulating the sector along with the Higher Education Strategy Center(HESC) and the National Pedagogic Resource Center (NPRC). HERQA has been established to help ensure a high quality and relevant higher education system in the country. One of the central roles of HERQA is to encourage and assist the growth of an organizational culture in Ethiopian higher education that values quality and is committed to continuous improvement.
HERQA's operational objectives have been derived from its mission statement. These are:
- Assessing the relevance and quality of higher education offered by higher education institutions (HEI's)
- Ensuring that the higher education curriculum supports the country's development needs;
- Providing an efficient and transparent accreditation system;
- Disseminating information regarding standards and programs offered by both Ethiopian and foreign HEI's.