RUFORUM participates in Regional Consultation on Higher Education in Africa


Right to left: Dr. Peter Materu of The MasterCard Foundation; Hon. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal and Prof. Etienne Ehile, Executive Director, Association of African Universities at the Meeting Opening Ceremony

Right to left: Dr. Peter Materu of The MasterCard Foundation; Hon. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal and Prof. Etienne Ehile, Executive Director, Association of African Universities at the Meeting Opening Ceremony

RUFORUM participated in a Regional Consultation on Higher Education in Africa hosted by the Association of African Universities and the Government of Senegal. The Meeting, which took place on 21-22 November 2016 in Dakar, Senegal, was sponsored by The MasterCard Foundation. It brought together key stakeholders in the higher education sector in Africa and other global actors to pursue two main objectives: 1) Develop a common understanding of the priorities and approaches that should be adopted to improve the relevance and quality of higher education in Africa; and 2) Develop a common understanding of how development partners can complement ongoing efforts, with a view to improving the relevance and quality of higher education in Africa.

In attendance were key stakeholders from regional and continental higher education institutions, African university vice chancellors, development partners, student representatives, and representatives from universities in the US and UK. The meeting was also graced by the Minister of Higher Education and Research in Senegal, H.E. Mary Teuw Niane, who chaired the opening session.

Discussions during the meeting focused on the key trends influencing the higher education sector in Africa as well as challenges. The insights and recommendations arising from these discussions will feed into The MasterCard Foundation’s wider education and learning strategy for Africa.

During the meeting, RUFORUM also used the opportunity to consult with stakeholders on the messages to deliver to the Committee of 10 African Heads of State and Government championing education, science and technology in Africa.

RUFORUM meets staff from Okayama University, Japan


Strengthening Japan-Africa collaboration on higher education: Officials from RUFORUM, Makerere University and Okayama University meeting in Kampala

Strengthening Japan-Africa collaboration on higher education: Officials from RUFORUM, Makerere University and Okayama University meeting in Kampala

RUFORUM’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, and his deputy, Dr. Moses Osiru, met with staff from Okayama University’s Faculty of Agriculture and the Institute of Plant Science and Resources (IPSR) on 10th November 2016 to discuss possible collaboration. The half-day meeting organized by Dr. Arthur Tugume of Makerere University, was held at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offices in Kampala, Uganda. Also in attendance were other staff from Makerere University’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences.

During the meeting, Prof. Wataru Sakamoto, Deputy Director of IPSR highlighted key programs at the institute and various opportunities for collaboration. He noted the long history of Okayama University working with Africa through collaboration with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya including through the African Union-African Innovation-JKUAT and PAUSTI Network Project that brings together JKUAT and the Pan African University of Science, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI). He also noted the need to expand this collaboration to Makerere University and other partners such as RUFORUM. He highlighted IPSR’s research experience on plant stress science, barley, wild plants, and future crops.

Prof. Yasutaka Kubo, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Okayama University, noted that his faculty has experience in international collaboration and looks forward to receiving more graduate students from Africa.

On his part, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu shared RUFORUM’s focus on strengthening North-South partnerships to improve centers of excellence in Africa and the importance of staff and student mobility to improve the quality of higher education on the continent. He called for stronger collaboration between higher education institutions in Africa and Japan.

Strengthening University-Private Sector Partnerships in Agriculture – The Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week


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Over 600 delegates, including 300 graduate students, 60 university Vice-Chancellors, policy makers, development partners and several delegates from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and America will convene at the Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week during the week of 17-21 October 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. Key Speakers confirmed for this conference include; Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, The President of Mauritius, Her Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, African Union Chair and Reeta Roy, The President and Chief Executive Officer at The MasterCard Foundation.

Higher Education has been highlighted as a critical component of implementing the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), and the African Union Agenda 2063. The RUFORUM African Higher Agricultural Education Weeks and RUFORUM Biennial Conferences, conceptually, focus on providing a platform for African Universities and other higher education stakeholders, including graduate students, to discuss and tackle ‘frontier’ issues that are critical in transforming African Universities towards enhanced relevance for development in Africa, particularly through postgraduate training. The Conferences showcase RUFORUM students’ and other cutting edge university-led research in Africa.

The Fifth African Higher Agricultural Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference will be held 17-21 October 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa along the theme “Linking Agricultural Universities with Civil Society, Private Sector, Governments and other Stakeholders in support of Agricultural Development in Africa”. The Conference is co-organized with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Centre for Coordinating Agricultural Research in Southern Africa (CCARDESA), and six RUFORUM member universities in South Africa namely Stellenbosch University, University of Free State, University of Fort Hare, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria and University of Venda.

The event will feature distinguished speakers, plenary sessions, parallel side meetings, an exhibition, and merit awards in agricultural education, research and innovation. For the first time, the conference will place special emphasis on university-private sector partnerships.

“For too long, universities in Africa have operated in a bubble, opaque to the needs of the private sector. Investment in higher education will give us less returns if our products do not address the market demands”, said Prof. Adipala Ekwamu of RUFORUM. “Learning about the issues surrounding university-stakeholder collaborations and crafting how to nurture, grow and maintain these partnerships is the focus of the Fifth RUFORUM Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week ”,  he added.

The conference is open to all stakeholders in higher education and agricultural development in Africa. Graduate students in agricultural and related sciences, researchers, academicians, development practitioners, philanthropists, civil society, private sector institutions and policy bodies are hereby invited to participate. A call for abstracts is now open for participants who would like to present papers at the event.

Information about registration, application for side events and exhibitions is available on the conference website. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #AfricaHEWeek2016 and follow @ruforumsec for updates.

Click here to download the press release.

Learning, action research and outreach for inclusive development: Boosting competencies in higher education


An ICRA course for professionals involved in tertiary agricultural education

ICRA

Wageningen, the Netherlands 10–28 October 2016 (3 weeks)

Professionals in tertiary agricultural education are expected to prepare competent graduates ready for the job market. In addition, you are requested to do action research that contributes to innovation for food security, and provide services for rural communities that support inclusive development. Are you ready to make your courses more interactive and interdisciplinary  How do competency based learning approaches affect the way you design your courses? How do you determine what services to provide to surrounding community? To what extent is your research relevant and useful to farmers and agribusiness? The course helps you to find the answers to these questions. It is challenging and hands-on with a range of activities such as trainer assisted group sessions, role play, case studies and excursions to Dutch universities. Click here for more information.