The Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR), University of Cape Coast has obtained international accreditation for four postgraduate programmes being run with – and hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (DFAS).
The accreditation with a validity period of six years was received from the prestigious Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programmes (AQAS), based in Cologne, Germany.
AQAS is an internationally recognised organisation that provides accreditation for academic programmes in higher education institutions in Europe and other countries. The internationally accredited programmes ACECoR presented to AQAS were Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated Coastal Zone Management); Doctor of Philosophy (Fisheries Science); Master of Philosophy (Integrated Coastal Zone Management); and Master of Philosophy (Fisheries Science).
The presentation of the certificates follows a rigorous assessment of the programmes by AQAS evaluation team in November 2022.
The ACECoR delegation in a meeting with the Commissioner for International Affairs of AQAS, Patrick Heinzer
According to AQAS, ACECoR's “study programmes comply with the requirements defined by the criteria and thus the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) in their current version.”
Presenting the certificate at a short ceremony in Accra, Commissioner for International Affairs of AQAS, Patrick Heinzer, commended the Director and his team at ACECoR for sailing through the rigorous academic evaluation exercise.
“Not many institutions across the world succeed in securing international accreditation from us” he revealed.
He noted that ACECoR had shown a strong commitment towards delivering quality education and urged them to implement the recommendation of AQAS to further improve its programmes.
He said the international accreditation was for an initial period of six years (2023-2029).
He entreated ACECoR to maintain its academic and professional standards to provide quality tertiary education not only to Africans but to the world.
Receiving the certificate, the Director of ACECoR, Prof. Denis W. Aheto, expressed gratitude to AQAS for the honours bestowed on the Centre and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with the latter under the leadership of Prof. Joseph Aggrey-Fynn.
He particularly acknowledged the efforts and contributions of team members both in ACECoR and the DFAS in the development of the programmes to meet international standards.
Prof. Aheto was optimistic that through similar efforts other postgraduate programmes in the University would be brought on board to receive international accreditation.
“ACECoR has set the pace in the university for pulling through with this rigorous international procedure than spanned two years, and therefore willing to bring its technical competencies to support the university to bring other academic programmes on board” he indicated. He further intimated that, such a feat he hoped would support the university’s efforts towards its internationalisation drive and ranking’. He thanked the World Bank and the Association of African Universities (AAU) for providing the financial support and technical backstopping that made this achievement ultimately possible.
The Dean of School of Graduate Studies, Prof. Sarah Darkwa who was also present at the ceremony said the international accreditation of ACECoR's programmes was another giant feat by the University of Cape Coast. She indicated that the School of Graduate Studies would take steps to ensure that other postgraduate programmes receive international accreditation to further enhance UCC’s reputation among higher education institutions on the continent.