Quality assurance for public higher education: context, strategies and challenges in Kenya

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Quality assurance (QA) mechanisms used to be highly dependent on national administrative traditions but nowadays there is a convergence of mechanisms. Compared to more developed higher education (HE) systems in the world, QA systems in Africa are still at an infant stage and thus confronted by many challenges. The purpose of this article is to present some of the findings derived from a study analysing the crucial issues and unique challenges facing Kenya's public HE as it struggles to develop QA mechanisms. Using purposive sampling, the researcher chose two public universities who indicated their willingness to participate and a national QA Agency (QAA). The study was done through in-depth interviews and a review of historical materials and records. Overall, respondents strongly emphasised the need for Kenyan universities to have compulsory and effective external and internal QA mechanisms. They indicated that the trends facing HE make it necessary for HE in Kenya to review their traditional QA structures and to create new systems of external QA. The numerous comments in this research indicate deficiency not only in the QAA focus and work but also in the internal QA frameworks within public universities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-991
Number of pages14
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 26 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • higher education
  • Kenya
  • quality assurance
  • quality assurance agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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