The Partnerships to Strengthen University Food and Nutrition Sciences Training and Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (PASUFONS) EDULINK project has facilitated strengthening of academic collaboration across universities in Africa. The project is taking advantage of satellite technology to facilitate virtual teaching and learning. The hardware required for receiving signals were installed at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Makerere University in September 2015.
Using the telematic system, students at Makerere University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Stellenbosch University can now attend lectures recorded at the Telematic Centre at Stellenbosch University. This implies a synchronic learning approach will be possible and the university faculty and students can engage in cohort virtual learning. Arrangements are now underway to jointly offer courses using this facility.
In addition to virtual teaching, PASUFONS has also facilitated sharing of expertise among partners through staff exchange. In July 2015, Prof Muyonga of Makerere University (the Project Coordinator) spent two weeks at Jomo Kenyatta University, during which, he engaged in teaching, advising of graduate students and worked with fellow researchers at the JKUAT’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition to draft a book chapter. During the visit, Prof Muyonga also identified examiners for Makerere graduate students and discussed with colleagues at JKUAT possibilities for collaborative research. As a result, teams from the two institutions are currently working on a grant proposal.
Another exchange visit occurred in September 2015. Dr. Paul James Williams, a lecturer with the Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University visited Makerere University, Uganda from 6th to 11th September 2015. Dr. Williams gave lectures and seminars which were attended by Makerere University staff and students. These were primarily on the various applications of spectroscopy in scientific research. While at Makerere University, Dr. Williams also held meetings with academic staff specializing in food chemistry, technical staff and PhD students. His seminar titled “”Making the invisible, visible”” left a lasting impression on the students at Makerere University. The visit also provided an opportunity to explore possibilities for future collaboration, knowledge exchange and networking. Click here to read more.