Centre for Quality Assurance and Management | UNAM

Centre for Quality Assurance and Management – University of Namibia (UNAM)



Quality Assurance in Higher Education is becoming more and more pivotal in its academic and administrative domain. Massification, globalization and internationalization have necessitated the creation and recognition of Quality Assurance systems to enhance both academic and administrative processes in Higher Education Institutions. Concepts such as standards, recognition, accreditation, fitness for and of purpose, value for money, relevance etc., have become key in the operations of Quality Assurance Centers of Universities. These Centers for Quality Assurance, the world over, have become instrumental in designing and implementing new Quality Assurance mechanisms and systems in order to ensure that students receive high quality and relevant education, and that the academic qualifications are widely recognized. Such recognition is seen to be essential not only by national governments and employers but also by other universities and employers on a global scale. It is against this background that on 1 January 2010, the University of Namibia established the Centre for Quality Assurance and Management (CEQUAM).

CEQUAM aims at developing the University’s capabilities in the area of Quality Assurance in order to improve and update academic and managerial activities. It is also responsible for administering and facilitating the operationalization of UNAM’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement Policy and Procedures.

Quality Assurance activities at UNAM are regulated by its own Quality Assurance Policy as well as the National Quality Assurance System for Higher Education under the auspices of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and some provisions of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) statute.


CEQUAM’s main objectives are:

  • Ensuring a good Quality Culture within the University;
  • Improving the Quality standards of academic, research, community engagement and support services activities within the University. This entails participation by all stakeholders;
  • Building capacity within the University in terms of Quality Assurance tenets and practices, and
  • Implementing quality standards that are benchmarked with local, regional and international best practices, whilst taking into consideration the specific needs and conditions of the University of Namibia.

Through Quality Assurance interventions, we strive to guarantee our clientele:

  • Value for money;
  • Fitness for and of purpose;
  • Relevance of programmes
  • Customer satisfaction; and
  • Transformation.

In so doing, we provide Assurance to our stakeholders that the time students spend at UNAM is used effectively to transform and prepare them to live, work and contribute meaningfully to national socio-economic development.

Anticipated outcomes

  • Improved student performance and success in learning
  • Improved work performance of academic and support staff
  • Enhanced transparency and stakeholder confidence
  • Enhanced capacity to compete with other higher learning institutions nationally, regionally and globally

Our core values

The Centre for Quality Assurance and Management is mindful of maintaining and reinforcing its core values of:

  • Holistic approach to QA in all aspects of the institution’s activities;
  • Collaboration and team work;
  • Focus on excellence and continuous improvement based on self-evaluation;
  • Quality culture where everyone understands, uses and feels ownership of QA systems within the institution;
  • Benchmarking with international best practices and evidence-based approaches.


Some of our main activities:

  • Providing Quality standards and measures for all programs, centres, and departments
  • Coordinating the internal and External Review processes for the university itself, all divisions (both academic and administrative) and programmes
  • Monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of internal and external reviews
  • Organizing seminars and capacity building training workshops in the area of Quality Assurance for the University’s staff and students
  • Promoting a culture of Quality in every aspect of the University
  • Coordinating registration of qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and Programme Accreditation
  • Linking UNAM with external Quality Assurance agencies


UNAM has adopted the following Quality Assurance process, which is based on the Deming Cycle:

As illustrated in the diagram, the Quality cycle is an interactive four-step problem-solving process. The Quality cycle includes the sequential phases, namely planning, implementation, evaluation and assessment and review (feedback and procedures for change).

  • Planning refers to the setting up of clear, appropriate and measurable goals and objectives in terms of policies, procedures, tasks and resources. In addition, this phase involves defining indicators to facilitate monitoring the attainment of these goals and objectives.
  • The essential aspect of implementation is the establishment of procedures to ensure the attainment of the goals and objectives. These procedures may vary considerably at an institutional level, for example, in terms of the development of the operational system and the organisational structure, resource collection, involvement of stakeholders, or development of partnerships.
  • Evaluation and assessment encompass the evaluation of the higher education provided and the assessment of the achievement of outcomes at both system and individual levels. In general, the evaluation and assessment phase comprises two parts − firstly, the collection and processing of data and discussions and, secondly, the evaluation mechanism. This second part involves defining the scope of the evaluation as well as providing information on the results of the evaluation.
  • Review (feedback and procedures for change) forms part of a systematic and goal-oriented process which is used to amend plans and to develop operations in order to achieve the targeted outcomes and set new objectives. The aim of this review phase is to learn from the information acquired, such as discussing and analysing the results with key stakeholders.

Interaction is the basic principle for ‘closing the Quality loop’ and repeating the cycle can bring about continuous quality improvement as every next cycle translates into better quality. This is done through cyclic Quality reviews. The reviews are guided by for key questions, which are based on a ‘fitness for (and of) purpose’ approach, namely:

  • What is the University trying to do?
  • How is the University trying to do it?
  • How does it know it works?
  • How does the University change in order to improve?


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