Between 2004 and 2011 all public HEIs and 11 private HEIs underwent institutional audits. The last institutional audit reports were completed in 2011.
It has taken several years to close off all of the audits owing to specific circumstances at some institutions, but it is hoped that the first cycle of audits will be completed by the end of 2017.
Reports from the first cycle of audits, together with a detailed analysis of student throughput rates, showed that a system-wide focus on teaching and learning at higher education institutions was needed. In 2014 the CHE launched the Quality Enhancement Project in order to improve student success across the higher education system through both individual institutional and collaborative activities and interventions across the sector and with the Department of Higher Education and Training.
As the QEP is drawing to a close, in 2016 the Institutional Audits Review Working Group was created to conceptualise a new approach to assessing institutional quality assurance. The Working Group is drawing on what has been learnt from the first audit cycle and the QEP and taking cognisance of the current context of higher education in South Africa, as well as global developments in quality assurance. It is envisaged that the new approach will be piloted in 2017 and rolled out in 2018.