The Council on Higher Education (CHE) and its permanent sub-committee, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) on the 7th November 2006 at Kievitskroon Country Estate outside Pretoria.
The MoU was signed by Dr Lis Lange in her capacity as the HEQC Acting Executive Director and Professor Ravi Nayagar in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of ECSA. The signing was witnessed by the HEQC Chairperson Dr Hugh Africa and the HEQC Board members respectively.
The Higher Education Act of 1997 assigns overall responsibility for quality assurance in higher education to the HEQC, including the coordination of quality assurance in higher education. The Engineering Act of 2000 provides ECSA with the responsibility of accrediting engineering programmes offered at undergraduate level.
The signed MoU sets forth the terms of agreement for cooperation and consultation with regard to the agreed upon arrangements in respect of the quality assurance of engineering programmes offered by higher education institutions in South Africa. It also provides for a model of cooperation allowing the HEQC to delegate to ECSA the quality assurance functions with respect to undergraduate engineering programmes. The delegation is provided for by section 7(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1997. It also sets forth the respective responsibilities of both parties in relation to the accreditation arrangements as agreed upon.
Both parties to the MoU have agreed to cooperate accordingly to ensure maximum coherence and consistency of quality assurance activities, and the promotion of the consistency of their respective quality assurance roles, policies and procedures, and sustainability in the long-term.