The activities that provide Quality Assurance in the University of Nairobi are as old as the University itself. Universities globally, by their nature, have always had autonomy over quality standards. Like most other universities, The University of Nairobi has had team structures prescribed in its operating statute that carried out activities with intended outcomes of providing quality assurance for its programmes and setting the quality standards. The team structures that carried out these quality activities include the Senate, Deans Committee, Board of Postgraduate Studies, College Academic Boards, Faculty Boards, and other academic sub-committees.
What has changed, and which has informed decisions of Institutions of Higher Learning, both locally and globally, is clarity on what quality is. As the institutions gain clarity on what quality is, it becomes clear that there are internally and externally focused viewpoints on quality. While the committee structures that assured quality by providing inspection points were sufficient in assuring internally focused quality as based on conformance to specifications, achieving objectives in the externally focused quality required more than this. A University-wide quality culture spearheaded by the University’s top management is one key additional requirement. The establishment of an internal Quality Infrastructure dedicated to quality, in both internally and externally focused viewpoints, was meant to achieve this objective.
The Internal Quality Infrastructure established consists of:|
- A Quality Assurance Board comprising one member from each college, the university librarian and two students’ representatives. The members of the Quality Assurance Board are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to serve for a term of three years;
- Directorate of Quality Assurance headed by a Director appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The Director shall, by virtue of his or her position as Director of Quality Assurance, is a member and chair of the Quality Assurance Board.
The Quality Assurance Board is, in respect of quality issues, answerable to the Senate, and receives, considers reports on Quality Management activities and tables the same before the Deans Committee and the Senate.