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The ACE Project

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) is a regional higher education project supported by the World Bank and Agence française de développement (AFD). The project supports approximately 50 Centers of Excellence, Emerging Centers and Colleges of Engineering in 11 West African countries (and Djibouti). Centers address the regional development challenges through a focused programme of postgraduate education and applied research.

ACE Impact is a Results-Based Funding project, in which Centers must achieve Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs). DLI 7 includes several different elements focused on Institutional Impact. These elements are designed to support activities that focus on global good practices for higher education, and to provide institutions with the flexibility to pursue activities focused on Institutional Impact based upon need and priority.

There is an intrinsic link between Centers of Excellence and the host institution. Centers of Excellence benefit from strong institutional support, both from the Vice-Chancellor/Rector and the institutional capacity. At the same time, Centers of Excellence can catalyse broader institutional strengthening of the host university.  

Within DLI 7, there is an expectation that ACE Impact host institutions will pursue international institutional accreditation by the end of the ACE programme in 2024. QAA has developed a specific pathway towards International Quality Review for ACE Impact host institutions.


Our summary leaflet and animation provide more information on this project and an overview of the process involved. 



International Quality Review for ACE Impact

International Quality Review for ACE Impact (IQR for ACE Impact) has been specially developed to provide institutions taking part in ACE Impact with an independent peer review leading to international institutional accreditation by QAA.

IQR for ACE Impact shares the same high standards as our existing International Quality Review, but its method, administrative arrangements and timelines are each slightly different to reflect the requirements of the ACE Impact programme and its host institutions.