Only happy faces were seen when Professor Eberhard Menzel, the president of the board of AQAS, handed over the certificates for the accreditation of two programmes offered by the University of Ghana.

The Master programme “Seed Science and Technology” and the PhD programme “Plant Breeding” have been founded in cooperation with the World Bank and are part of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project (ACE). The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) started the programmes in 2008 and 2015, respectively and decided to approach AQAS with the request to carry out an accreditation procedure which is based on the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG). AQAS invited a panel of experts consisting of specialists from Germany, Ghana and Spain to assess the programmes on the basis of the internationally recognized criteria.

The panel came to the conclusion for the Master programme that “[t]hrough the excellent combination of seed technology and seed business and management issues, the programme covers a well-chosen area that is scientifically up to date and has a high relevance and attractiveness for the labour market in West Africa, and by extension to the entire African continent”. Furthermore, the experts were impressed by the “outstanding” success of the PhD programme.

The director of WACCI, Professor Eric Danquah, emphasized that the aim of this accreditation procedure was not to gain a certificate of international recognition but to improve the quality of the education for the benefit of the young generation in Ghana. WACCI is striving to be the best centre for crop improvement in Africa and an accreditation is an important step to support this goal.

Professor Menzel pointed out that the cooperation between the University of Ghana and further institutions in the Ghanaian education system should be continued for the benefit of both countries.

Professor Eberhard Menzel (AQAS) hands over the accreditation certificates to the director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, Professor Eric Danquah

Representatives of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement meet with members of AQAS in the head office in Cologne