The Tanzania Commission for Universities succeeded the former Higher Education Accreditation Council (HEAC) which was established in 1995 under the Education Act 1995 with a legal mandate to regulate the establishment and subsequent accreditation of private university institutions in the country. Being limited only to private universities, such mandate was considered unfavourable for the promotion of a viable public-private partnership in higher education as stipulated in the National Higher Education Policy of 1999.
Therefore, such circumstances prompted the government to establish a harmonized higher education system in the country which led into the establishment of the Tanzania Commission for Universities. In order to ensure such a harmonious higher education system does not compromise institutional peculiarities and autonomy, each University has the legal right to operate under its own charter.
The mandates and core functions of the Commission are provided under section 5(1) of the Universities Act Cap. 346. These functions can be clustered into the following three major areas.