The Challenges of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Afghanistan: A Policy Implementation Analysis


  • Sayed Ahmad Javid Mussawy PhD Candidate



Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Higher Education, International Higher Education, Sensemaking and Sensegiving, Policy Implementation Analysis


The quest for quality has evolved as a major concern for higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing world. A majority of these countries have adopted quality assurance and accreditation (QAA) policies in order to improve the quality of higher education services. However, implementation of QAA has generated diverse responses among different types of HEIs as their mission and scope of work vary from one another. As a result, implementing a QAA in a public HEI is not a straightforward process.  The current research examines the challenges faced by public universities in Afghanistan as they implement a QAA system. More specifically, the study investigates how sensemaking and sensegiving occur as QAA is implemented at teaching vs. research universities, and ways that key-informants at various institutions make use of sensemaking and sensegiving as a tool to interpret the policy.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Sayed Ahmad Javid Mussawy, PhD Candidate

Javid Mussawy is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He comes from Afghanistan where he worked at Baghlan University from 2006-2015. At Baghlan he served as the vice-chancellor for academic affairs from 2010-2015. Previously he was the chair of the English department and taught research and English linguistics. He also worked as a consultant providing teaching services to the Baghlan Public Health Institution, Aga Khan Foundation, GIZ, and private universities.  In 2011, he established the Naw-Andishan Educational Center (NAEC) for youth, aged 12-19 years.

Javid's research interests include higher education quality, quality assurance and accreditation, policy development and analysis, and leadership and management in higher education


Altbach, Philip G., and Jane Knight. "The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities." Journal of studies in international education 11, no. 3-4 (2007): 290-305.
Blanco-Ramírez, Gerardo, and Joseph B. Berger. "Rankings, accreditation, and the international quest for quality: Organizing an approach to value in higher education." Quality Assurance in Education 22, no. 1 (2014): 88-104.
Creswell, John W. A concise introduction to mixed methods research. SAGE publications, 2014.
Degn, Lise. "Sensemaking, sensegiving and strategic management in Danish higher education." Higher Education 69, no. 6 (2015): 901-913.
Gioia, Dennis A., and James B. Thomas. "Identity, image, and issue interpretation: Sensemaking during strategic change in academia." Administrative science quarterly (1996): 370-403.
Gioia, Dennis A., and Kumar Chittipeddi. "Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation." Strategic management journal 12, no. 6 (1991): 433-448.
Kapur, Devesh, and Megan Crowley. "Beyond the ABCs: Higher education and developing countries." Center for Global Development Working Paper 139 (2008).
Kezar, Adrianna. "Understanding sensemaking/sensegiving in transformational change processes from the bottom up." Higher Education 65, no. 6 (2013): 761-780.
Maitlis, Sally, and Thomas B. Lawrence. "Triggers and enablers of sensegiving in organizations." Academy of management Journal 50, no. 1 (2007): 57-84.
Marshall, Catherine, and Gretchen B. Rossman. "Designing qualitative research . Loss Angeles." (2016).
MoHE. “Quality assurance and accreditation.” 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2019,
Mussawy, Sayed Ahmad Javid, and Gretchen B. Rossman. "Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Afghanistan: Faculty Members' Perceptions from Selected Universities." Higher Learning Research Communications 8, no. 2 (2018):
Rossman, Gretchen B., and Sharon F. Rallis. An introduction to qualitative research: Learning in the field. Sage Publications, 2016.
Schon, D. A. "1983, The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books." (1983).
Shotter, John. Conversational realities: Constructing life through language. Vol. 11. Sage, 1993.
Skolnik, Michael L. "Quality assurance in higher education as a political process." Higher Education Management and Policy 22, no. 1 (2010): 1-20.
Srikanthan, Gitachari, and John F. Dalrymple. "A conceptual overview of a holistic model for quality in higher education." International Journal of Educational Management 21, no. 3 (2007): 173-193.
Stensaker, Bjørn. "Quality as fashion: Exploring the translation of a management idea into higher education." In Quality assurance in higher education, pp. 99-118. Springer, Dordrecht, 2007.
Weick, Karl E. Sensemaking in organizations. Vol. 3. Sage, 1995.
Weick, Karl E., Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, and David Obstfeld. "Organizing and the process of sensemaking." Organization science 16, no. 4 (2005): 409-421.
Williams, James. "Quality assurance and quality enhancement: Is there a relationship?" (2016): 97-102.




How to Cite

Mussawy, S. A. J. (2020). The Challenges of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Afghanistan: A Policy Implementation Analysis . Journal of Comparative &Amp; International Higher Education, 11(Winter), 72–76.



Graduate Student Research-in-Progress