DIES projects each focus on one particular thematic area. They combine the DIES programme components dialogue events and training courses. This merge of tools is the key attribute of the DIES projects, along with the long-term cooperation with regional partners. Here, the DAAD and the HRK themselves are usually engaged as cooperation partners.
DIES projects aim at improving the institutional higher education management as well as aligning the higher education systems with the national and regional development goals, so as to contribute to stronger and more international universities in developing countries in the long run.
DIES Project in West-Africa (EWAQAS):
Since 2013, the DAAD has implemented a DIES project on quality assurance in West and Central Africa in collaboration with African partner organisations (AAU, CAMES and UEMOA) and UNESCO. Training courses and dialogue events are offered for different target groups in both English- and French-speaking countries in West and Central Africa. On behalf of the DAAD, the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP UNESCO) offers a distance education course on external quality assurance. The University of Duisburg-Essen is responsible for coordinating a multi-component training course on internal quality assurance for quality assurance coordinators at universities.
DIES Project in South-East Asia (ASEAN-QA):
From 2011 to 2019, the DAAD and the HRK worked together in South-East Asia with the ASEAN University Network (AUN), the regional network of quality assurance agencies (AQAN) and the office of the South-East Asian education ministries responsible for regional university development (SEAMEO RIHED). The aim of ASEAN-QA was to develop skills and structures in the area of quality assurance in South-East Asia. The project was coordinated by the University of Potsdam. A further partner at a European level is the agencies’ umbrella organisation, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
Cooperation with the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC):
The collaboration between SAQAN and the DAAD in the field of regional Quality Assurance (QA) was initiated by a regional DIES seminar on “Identifying Capacity Building Needs for the Improvement of Internal (IQA) and External Quality Assurance (EQA) in Higher Education in Southern Africa (SADC)”, conducted 9-10 October 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. The presentation of a state of play report and subsequent discussion during this workshop unveiled the demand for setting up and further strengthening QA structures in the region via increased regional dialogue, sharing of good practices and capacity development. Hence, in the frame of a Memorandum of Understanding with SAQAN and in partnership with IIEP-UNESCO two blended learning courses on External Quality Assurance in higher education are going to be held during 2019 and 2020.
In the long run, the DIES projects contribute to creating quality assurance structures and to supporting harmonisation processes in the higher education system in the participating regions. DIES projects typically link various measures and include multiple stakeholders from higher education, politics, and international organisations, thus achieving a sustainable impact in the target regions.
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