Institutional Evaluation Program (IEP) as a Governance Tool in Public Higher Education Institutions in Ghana: A Case of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS)
Tertiary education in Ghana has gone through series of reforms in the last 20 years affecting governance and funding. As a result key principles of governance being emphasized in the higher education sector in Ghana today are autonomy and accountability. This paper examines the use of the European Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) Model as a governance tool for Quality Assurance and accountability in Higher Institutions of Learning in Ghana. It uses an action research methodology based on a case of the Institute of Professional Studies to describe how the Institute applied the IEP as a Quality Assurance and accountability tool. Conclusions on the analysis of the IEP tool are inductively drawn from the IPS experience. The analysis were structured along the 3-subsystems of a conceptual model developed for this study and was based on the four key questions of the IEP model. Results show that the IEP is a suitable tool for improving governance, accountability and Quality Assurance. However, Quality Assurance and accountability go beyond a one-off Institutional Evaluation Programme, where peers follow up on institutional self-assessment and report observations. It requires commitment to follow- through with the recommendations, Institutional management systems, resources and a quality culture and mindset. If the systems and support to develop an institutional culture for accountability are not available then the IEP will be limiting.
Keywords: higher education, quality assurance, governance, institutional evaluation programme