The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) hosted a six-member panel of experts constituted by the Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programmes (AQAS), Germany, an international accreditation agency for higher education on a 3-day site visit.

WACCI management with the Panel of Experts from AQAS

The site visit of the AQAS Panel of Experts comprising: Mrs. Doris Herrmann, Prof Robert Karl Martin Hänsch, Dr. Dorothe Groeger, Mr. Moreno Herrero Jorge, and Dr. Michael Kruse; was part of the process required for International Accreditation sought by WACCI under the World Bank Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project for its PhD in Plant Breeding and MPhil in Seed Science and Technology programmes to enhance its international credibility and visibility. The panel of experts first paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu to acquaint themselves with the governance structure of the University. The experts then engaged the Associate Faculty of WACCI on programme implementation at the Centre followed by an interaction between the experts and the Management of WACCI as well as the Coordinators of the PhD in Plant Breeding and MPhil in Seed Science and Technology programmes in separate meetings. Representatives from the labour market were invited to interact with the experts.  The panel also interacted with students and graduates to discuss the quality of training offered at WACCI and challenges faced by the students.

The Vice Chancellor, Management of WACCI and the Panel of Experts

The experts further inspected some of the resources and facilities at the Centre and the University such as research and teaching laboratories, libraries, lecture halls, hostels, WACCI demonstration farm, among others. The visit ended with an exit interaction with the Management of WACCI. Speaking on behalf of the panel, Dr. Hänsch, Professor of Seed Science and Technology and former Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Hoheinheim said the team was highly impressed with the quality of the two programmes offered at WACCI. The team gave management of WACCI high praise for the quality of academic staff and external partners that have been engaged for delivering quality post graduate programmes at WACCI. Mrs. Doris Herrmann, the Managing Director of AQAS informed WACCI about the next phase of the accreditation process and hoped that AQAS would complete the process and report to the University of Ghana on the outcome of the Accreditation by mid May 2018 after the Board meeting of the AQAS in Bonn, Germany.

The Experts and WACCI management on the final day of the visit

The Director of WACCI, Professor Eric Danquah in his closing remarks, thanked the AQAS for the transparency and excellence in the accreditation process and hoped that the opinion of the panel of experts as expressed at the exit interview would be reflected in the final report and WACCI would receive international accreditation to take its work to a higher level. The Managing Director of AQAS then said that all the interactions were impressive and she was hopeful that the final report would be very positive. She wished WACCI well in its endeavors.