Rethinking quality assurance in curriculum development and implementation for higher education in Africa.

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Mulenga, Innocent Mutale
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Far-reaching advances and change in technology, climate and global economic integration are transforming the way we live today in ways that we do not yet fully understand. In sub-Saharan Africa, these uncertainties make a dramatic increase in population and a rapid expansion and demand in higher education. This creates challenges especially where higher education curriculum development and quality assurance are concerned since higher education has to provide the much needed appropriate work force. In this paper, the author explores the opportunities that quality assurance in higher education curriculum development can ride on using the thinking behind 21st century competencies. The chronicle of this discussion combines clear academic definitions of curriculum, curriculum development and then an analysis of how 21st century competencies may bench mark quality assurance in curriculum development for higher education. The final section of the paper brings together some challenges that are real threats and impediments to quality assurance in curriculum development in most African tertiary institutions. In the conclusion, the author feels that there are no reasons why African countries cannot transform challenges into stepping stones through quality assurance and improvement of their higher education sector so as to make it vibrant and productive. This will require a mind-set transformation.
Higher education. Curriculum development. Quality assurance. 21st century skills. Competencies.