In the last twenty-thirty years, quality assurance (QA) has emerged as an essential factor for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to facilitate comparability and readability of academic achievements and degrees, enhanced cooperation and mobility. In Europe, QA is embedded in the Bologna Process, which is seen as a good practice to follow in many regions willing to improve performance in this domain. Indeed, as a crucial element to an internationally competitive HE, QA is of most importance for countries immersed in HE reform and wishing to adapt and conform to global/regional trends. This would be the case of Cambodia, which thanks to enormous efforts has turned in the last two decades from one of the world’s poorest countries to a lower middle-income country today.
Cambodia has formulated an ambitious policy for HE reform, the HE Vision 2030, and QA is an integral part of the same. Main strategies of the Policy include ensuring that HEIs develop QA systems/specific units to meet national accreditation standards and allow full participation in the global system of quality-assured HE. Action lines to implement the abovementioned objective imply establishing internal QA mechanisms, fostering capacities & skills, as well as infrastructures, and conducting regular internal self-assessment of the management and programmes, amongst others.
Within this framework, SICA proposes a sound scheme of activities and actions to contribute to Cambodian Higher Education Vision 2030 through the improvement of internal Quality Assurance in Cambodian HEIs. Capacity building for professional development; exchange of good practices EU-Cambodia; set-up of internal QA units; and embedding quality assurance processes are some of the priority lines of the project.