Quality Assurance Policy
The University of Sierra Leone (USL) over the years has faced a series of challenges. Starting from the continuous increase in student enrolment coupled with lack of expansion of physical facilities, dwindling number of senior academic staff (a situation which was exacerbated by the rebel war years), which resulted in poor staff to student ratio amongst others, with attendant serious quality implications in the University. In addition, changing stakeholders’ needs as a result of current technological advances, competition by higher education institutions, state regulations, as well as the necessity for the institution to meet its mission and vision require that our universities put modalities in place to ensure and maintain quality of its programmes. In a bid to address the foregoing, higher education institutions have put in place quality assurance procedures in order to assess whether they meet the objectives from policy level to programme and course level. Quality assurance is not identical to quality, but it checks the quality of processes and outcomes against international benchmarks with the aim of enhancing standards.
In 2012, the University of Sierra Leone (with other tertiary institutions in the country) was subjected to an annual Performance Management Contract by the government, an exercise that requires universities to set up annual quantifiable targets that the government would use to assess a university’s achievement, and relevance to society’s needs during the year under review. The University of Sierra Leone responded to these challenges by establishing a Performance Management Contract unit which comprises a Performance Contract Coordinator assisted by Focal Point officers at each of the three Campuses of the University. This unit in collaboration with other key personnel in the University has been working to put together systems that will enable the University to meet agreed targets whilst at the same time performing tasks of monitoring and evaluation with the view to regain stakeholders’ confidence. The role of the Performance Management Contract committee to some extent however hinges on quality.