The Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance Directorate
Welcome to the University Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance (SPQA) Directorate. The office reports directly to the Vice Chancellor and Principal. The office has three core portfolio areas: strategic planning, project management and quality assurance. The directorate was set up in 2019 as an off-shoot of the then Planning and Research Directorate. The Office is situated on the Second Floor of the University Building at Fourah Bay College. The core responsibilities of the directorate are as follows:
- Planning – preparation, monitoring and assessment of the University’s strategic plan. It also conducts institutional research in order to inform operational and strategic planning efforts.
- Project management – working closely with administrative and academic departments to better streamline their business processes to create greater efficiencies across the university and reduce/eliminate waste.
- Quality Assurance – ensuring that all activities in the university are achieving the outcomes. The Quality Assurance framework informs the development of policies and procedures for maintaining administrative and academic standards, quality and shaping the student experience at the University.
The next few years promises to be an exciting time at the USL as we roll out the Re-Engineering Project, I therefore invite you to be a regular visitor to our website, to follow the developments as we move to become more accessible, aligned and agile in our operations.
The Re-Engineering Programme
- Harmonisation of admissions and assessment processes – The University has reviewed its admissions/entry requirements and has also harmonized the students’ promotion criteria and exams verification processes.
- Centralized Coordination of Extramural Courses with the setting up of an Institute of Extramural Studies (Community College – The University has also established an Institute of Extramural Studies (i.e. Community College) to focus on certificate and diploma programmes for the benefit of candidates who could not get the normal university/departmental entry requirement to train in areas that would provide them with skills for employment and subsequent university admissions. The Institute already has branches in all provincial and some district headquarters.
- Splitting, merging and creation of new faculties/departments – The University carried out an academic workload audit and it was discovered that some faculties/departments were too large whereas others were comparatively too small. This project is having significant impact on the quality of learning in terms of class sizes and Lecturer-Student ratios. We now have 9 new faculties across the three colleges of FBC, IPAM and COMAHS
- e-Learning Rollout – The University has made significant progress with the customization of the New Learning Management (LMS) System provide by the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE) to HEIs. This will be ready as a learning and academic administration platform as of 2021/22 academic year. A framework for establishing virtual learning resource centers, training of staff and development of eLearning materials has been mapped out. We will begin with online masters’ programmes.
- Review of Administrative Functions – It has been deemed necessary to review some of the University’s administrative functions with the aim of ensuring best practice. The main focus is:
- the monitoring of affiliated institutions for compliance with our policy relating to academic excellence,
- the review of staff supervision and appraisal processes to provide the opportunity to recognize and reward employees fairly and to ensure they feel valued for the work that they do,
- ensure the effective monitoring of performance and progress as against objectives/targets.
David C M Gbao
Director, Strategy Planning and Quality Assurance
Emal: David.Gbao@usl.edu.sl Tel: +232 76 276217