Quality Assurance

Since its inception in 1992, Saide has been committed to broadening access to education through open and distance learning strategies. In its endeavour to achieve this goal, Saide works across the whole spectrum of education, ranging from Foundation phase (Early Child Education and Development) to tertiary education and training. In all its support and facilitation activities in all the education sectors it works, the organisation is guided by the key principle of quality provision of education as an important condition for enhancing the socio-economic well-being of the majority in society. Thus, quality assurance is one of the key dimensions of Saide's work, whether it is programme development, materials development, capacity building, or policy implementation support.

  • Quality assurance is about operationalising the notion of quality an institution holds, and ensuring that there is continual improvement in service delivery for the benefit of students. This requires a clear statement about the concept of quality an institution goes by and shared understanding of that concept amongst institutional stakeholders.
  • Quality assurance refers to all those attitudes, objects, actions and procedures which, through their existence and use, and together with the quality control activities, ensure that appropriate academic standards are being maintained and enhanced in and by each program.
  • Quality assurance extends to making the process and standards explicit enough to be known to the educational community and the public at large. 
  • Saide believes in a quality assurance system that is well institutionalised, that permeates every facet of institutional business, and that becomes a culture of the institution that guides and regulates the activities of new members that join an organisation. 

Examples of some of our work in quality assurance:

  • Active involvement in the development of quality assurance criteria for distance education in South Africa. These criteria are now widely used not only in South Africa but also in the wider Southern African region.
  • Active involvement in the development of the ACDE quality criteria for DE higher education institutions in Africa.
  • Supporting UCM College of Distance Education in developing sound quality assurance system for distance education provision.
  • Supporting INED develop quality monitoring system for distance education provision in the country.
  • Support Lesotho Council on Higher Education enhance quality assurance system for higher education system in the country.
  • Support CHE in enhancing interpretation of accreditation criteria for distance education.
  • Support Umalusi in developing a quality assurance model and criteria for distance education providers at the GEFET level.
  • Facilitation of a one week quality assurance workshop for people working in open schools in Commonwealth countries in 2008, and
  • Development of a quality assurance toolkit for use in open schools in Commonwealth countries. 
  • Involvement in the accreditation of the Milpark Business School Master’s in Business Administration programme by distance education in 2007.