Directorate of Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance, USL
The University of Sierra Leone established the Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance Directorate in January 2019 and is headed by a Director who reports to the Vice Chancellor. The Directorate is staffed organised into three teams:
Strategic Planning – this is staffed with a Deputy Registrar serving as Panning Manager, a Planning Administrator, a Web Master and a Public Relations Officer Confidential Secretary and two Office assistants. The Planning team has responsibility for developing long-term plans by examining internal capabilities and laying out strategies for how these capabilities be used to improve performance.
Quality Assurance – this team is staffed with three Quality Assurance Officers attached to each Campus at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Fourah Bay College (FBC) and the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM). The QA team will work with all departments to increase stakeholder confidence and the University’s credibility, while also improving work processes and efficiency.
Internal Audit – The team is made up of 6 staff University’s Quality Control arm for financial activities.
Efforts to promote and embed QA practices in the University has in the past been are either one-off or at best ad-hoc and there is no QA training programme currently being offered in any of the higher education institutions. As at 2014, a Quality Assurance structure at University of Sierra Leone did not exist. Notwithstanding, selected quality elements have been employed in ensuring quality and the University maintained academic standards by carrying out the following key functions such as:
- Admission panel using precise entry requirements for freshmen as approved by its Senate
- Curriculum review committee
- Staff appraisal, appointments and development processes
- Student assessment regulations and mechanisms
- External moderation of examinations for final year students
- Internal and External assessment for academic promotion for professorial rank
- Faculty and Departmental board of examiners
It is in recognition of the need for urgent action to promote the highest level of academic standard, that the Vice Chancellor re-constituted the then Directorate of Planning and Development to establish the Directorate of Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance.
In May, the Directorate held consultations with student leaders, academic and administrative staff across all campuses to build an accurate picture of the challenges facing the university around quality so as to map a solution road map and identify key drivers for successful implementation. The plan includes the review of the University’s processes and procedures to assure the quality of learning and teaching. The University is commitment to the continuous enhancement of the quality of its provision. The immediate priority of the QA directorate is to make improvements in student and staff access to information, teaching and assessments, publishing of examination results and overall administrative processes.