Ahead of the opening of the 2018/2019 academic year, there are reports of a proliferation of tertiary and higher institutions of learning in the country.
Against this background, authorities of the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) yesterday, September 11, released a list of 38 accredited higher education institutions (HEIs).
The Commission therefore warned students of enrolling into “fake or impersonating institutions” that are “illegally operating without permit from the NCHE.”
NCHE’s Deputy Director for Quality Assurance Andrew Lablah said that of those accredited institutions, 10 are government or public HEIs, with 19 being faith-based, while nine are privately-owned.
Larblah said since 2017, there has been no new accreditation, warning higher education institutions that are operating “illegally to close their doors and seek permit from NCHE before registering students to avoid being embarrassed.”
Further, the NCHE has announced that as of October 2018, it will begin to standardize quality assessment, and institutions that do not meet the minimum standard will be recommended for closure.
The NCHE is responsible for regulating, evaluating, accrediting, and establishing institutions of higher learning in the country.
The higher education sector plays a pivotal role in the process of developing the country’s economy and supporting the pro-poor goal. The output and impact of the HEIs, both individually and collectively, is central to attaining national and regional economic growth as well as building a fair and compassionate society.
“We need to ensure that our institutions offer programs that are sound, relevant and of quality,” Mr. Larblah said.
NCHE’s Department of Quality Assurance is responsible to facilitate the establishment of appropriate quality assurance processes within accredited tertiary institutions. It sets the scene for practical guidance through quality assurance within the HEIs. It also provides guidelines for undertaking self-assessments by institutions, to assemble their portfolio in preparation for an external quality audit to institute quality audit procedures that form the basis for quality provision.
10 Public Accredited Higher Education Institutions
University of Liberia offers various programs including Master’s degree; three others offer diverse programs including Bachelor’s degree. These are the William V.S. Tubman University, Bong County Technical College and Harbel College. Six institutions offer programs that include Associate’s degree. These include Bomi County Community College, Grand Bassa Community College, Nimba County Community College, Lofa County Community College, Grand Gedeh County Community College and Sinoe County Community College.
19 Faith-based Higher Education Institutions
Cuttington University; Stella Maris Polytechnic; United Methodist University, and African Methodist Episcopal University. A.M.E. Zion University College; Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary; African Bible College University; Liberia Assemblies of God Bible College; Monrovia Bible College, and the Adventist University of West Africa.
Others are Trinity Bible College; Jake Memorial Baptist College; Christian Theological Seminary; Baptist College of Missionary Physician Assistants; Wesleyan College of Liberia; Vision International Christian College of Liberia; Liberia International Christian College; Free Pentecostal College; and Salvation Army Technical Institute.
9 Private Higher Accredited Institutions
Starz College Of Technology; Bluecrest University College; Bushrod Institute of Technology; Smythe Institute of Management and Technology, and St. Clements University College.
Others are Leigh-Sherman Community College; Lincoln College of Professional Studies; Liberia Dujar Technical College, and Licosses.
Meanwhile, NCHE has issued a 40-day ultimatum to accredited institutions, that have not paid their annual service fee of US$500 to the Liberia Revenue Authority ( LRA), to do so or else face the consequences.