Short Research Report

Exploring internal quality assurance for nursing education in the State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania: A preliminary needs analysis

M Bilal, D Manning


Background. A quality assurance (QA) process is acknowledged as important to ensure good higher education outcomes and graduate competence. Complaints about the quality of recent nursing graduates in the Department of General Nursing and Midwifery at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), Tanzania, suggested that current QA concepts and processes may be inadequate and should be investigated prior to making recommendations for improvements.

Objectives. To explore the awareness of QA in higher education among nurse educators and students at SUZA, and the extent to which the Department of General Nursing and Midwifery currently monitors and evaluates teaching and learning.

Methods. Six nursing educators and 20 third-year nursing students were interviewed regarding their understanding of the concept of internal quality assurance (IQA) and procedures and their awareness of the internal processes that are currently in place in the department.

Results. All the nurse educators had heard of IQA, but only 2 (33%) had detailed knowledge of the processes involved. None of the students knew what IQA entails. Most of the educators identified the monitoring of test scores and pass rates as part of an evaluation process. They were also aware of course evaluations by students, but believed these to be untrustworthy. The students did not understand that course evaluations were part of IQA and did not recognise the potential value of these evaluations. There was an understanding by 35% of students of continuous assessment to monitor individual progress, and 20% identified occasional meetings with the head of department to provide feedback on the course.

Conclusions. A comprehensive programme of education around QA is suggested for educators and students of nursing at SUZA as a first step in the introduction of a well-planned and supported IQA process.

Authors' affiliations

M Bilal, Department of General Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Medical Sciences, State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania

D Manning, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2020;12(4):166-168. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2020.v12i4.1385

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-12-01
Date published: 2020-12-01

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