The Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance the objectives of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act 101 of 1997) and the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008).
The two statutory bodies will jointly cooperate in performing quality assurance functions relating to engineering qualifications. This includes the accreditation of engineering programmes as well as monitoring and evaluation of engineering education at higher education institutions.
Through the MoU, ECSA and the CHE have established a framework for cooperation to promote a coherent and effective quality assurance system for higher education institutions’ engineering programmes at NQF levels five to eight that form part of the requirements for designations in the engineering profession.
ECSA will co-operate with the CHE in the development of standards for engineering higher education qualifications. This partnership will ensure that engineering programmes offered at higher education institutions are of premium quality standards.
In his statement Mr Ahmed Essop CEO of the CHE remarked, “This close collaboration between ECSA and the CHE bodes well for the country in the interest of enhancing quality higher education in South Africa.”
Dr Oswald Franks, ECSA CEO said, “Effective systems to accredit and monitor engineering education are essential. ECSA, as the professional body that serves the engineering sector, is committed to working with the CHE to advance engineering education in South Africa. Through this partnership we aim to ensure the continuation of quality improvement of engineering education.”
The signatories to the MoU were Dr Oswald Franks (CEO of ECSA) and Mr Ahmed Essop (CEO of the CHE). As official witnesses to the signing of the MoU were Dr Mark Hay and Dr Luke Mlilo (for the CHE), and Mr Edgar Sabela and Dr Faroon Goolam (for ECSA). Other officials at the signing ceremony were Dr Diane Grayson (CHE), Ms Olivia Mokgatle (CHE), Prof Francis Faller (CHE), Ms Samantha Naidoo (ECSA) and Ms Lillian Mlambo (ECSA). of its effectiveness will be undertaken every three years. The collaboration between CHE-South Africa and CHE-Lesotho formalised a commitment by both Councils to the provision of quality higher education on the African continent in general, and in the SADC region in particular.