Language of Application: All applications MUST be submitted in English.
We are pleased to announce the “Call for Applications” for two of our funding programmes:
1. AGNES-PAWS Grant for Junior Female Researchers’. This Grant is designed for “Programme Advocating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” (PAWS)
2. AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers (generally for Male and Female candidates)
These two grants are generously funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and with support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH). The two Mobility Grants for Junior Researchers aim to strengthen the scientific capacity in Africa through active cooperation of AGNES members. It further supports Humboldtians in their efforts towards coaching and mentoring high potential junior researchers, helping them to access international networks of scientific excellence (e.g. AvH).
II. Eligibility and Nomination
Consideration of recipients for the AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers is only by nomination of candidates, and not through direct application. On top of your nomination, indicate whether you are applying for the AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers or AGNES-PAWS Grant for Junior Researchers. AGNES Members and African Humboldtians may nominate 2 excellent candidates who graduated with the PhD from 2017 onwards. Excellent candidates who will graduate before the end of 2019 may also be nominated. The nominator should consider only those candidates who have outstanding academic record with good publications in peer-reviewed international journals, with Thomson Reuters ISIS Impact Factor. The nominee must be a national of a sub-Saharan African country and be interested to carry out a post-doctoral scientific research project in Germany under the auspices of the fellowship programmes of the AvH (https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/humboldt-fellowship-postdoc.html).
NB: It is the wish of the AvH and of AGNES to attract excellent candidates from all sub-Saharan countries. Nominators are therefore requested to also contact colleagues from other African countries to identify excellent candidates for nomination. AGNES encourage the nomination of
2 candidates from all fields of research, including Humanities and Social Sciences (for the AGNES Grant for Junior researchers) and exclusively from STEM (for the AGNES-PAWS Grant for Junior female researchers.
III. Amount and Use of the Grant
The once-off grant amounts to EUR 1000.00 only. The recipient of the Grant must submit a signed letter of acceptance to the Governing Board of AGNES, co-signed by the AGNES nominator (mentor) within seven days of receipt of the offer. The Grant money will then be transferred into the bank account of the successful Junior Researcher. The Grant is awarded in recognition of the scientific achievements of the Grantee to date and his/her potential to successfully compete for an AvH post-doc fellowship. AGNES does not impose restrictions on the use of the Grant but it is envisaged that the Grant may serve as support during the preparation of the application for postdoctoral funding from the AvH.
Langue de candidature : toutes les candidatures doivent être soumises en Anglais
Nous avons le plaisir d’annoncer l’appel à candidature pour deux de nos programmes de financement :
1. La bourse AGNES-PAWS pour les jeunes femmes chercheuses. Cette subvention est dédiée au « Programme de la Promotion de la Femme en science, Technologie, Ingénierie et Mathématiques » (désigné sous le sigle PAWS en Anglais) ;
2. La bourse AGNES pour les jeunes chercheurs (généralement dédiés aux hommes et aux femmes)
Ces deux subventions de recherche sont financées par le Ministère Fédéral allemand de l’Education et de la Recherche (BMBF en allemand), avec le soutien de la Fondation Alexander von Humboldt (AvH). Les deux bourses de recherche pour jeunes chercheurs visent à renforcer leur capacité scientifique et leur réseautage en Afrique, grâce à la coopération active de AGNES et de ses membres. En outre, ces bourses soutiennent les anciens boursiers postdoctoraux de la fondation AvH dans leurs efforts d’encadrement de jeunes chercheurs à fort potentiel, en leur facilitant l’accès aux plateformes internationales d’excellence scientifique (AvH par exemple).
II. Eligibilité et nomination
Les dossiers des bénéficiaires de la subvention AGNES pour jeunes chercheurs sont reçus seulement par nomination des candidats et non par candidature directe. En entête de votre nomination, indiquez si le candidat postule pour la subvention AGNES pour les jeunes chercheurs ou la subvention AGNES-PAWS pour les jeunes chercheuses en sciences, technologie, ingénierie et mathématiques. Les membres de AGNES et les Humboldtiens Africains pourraient, chacun, nominer deux excellents candidats ayant soutenu leur thèse au plus tôt en 2017. Les excellents candidats en mesure de soutenir la thèse doctorale avant la fin de l’année 2019 pourraient aussi être nominés. Les présentateurs devraient nominer seulement des candidats ayant fait preuve d’excellents résultats académiques et de très bonnes publications dans des revues internationales à facteur d’impact, se basant sur la
2 catégorisation ISI de Thomson Reuters. Le nominé doit être un ressortissant d’un pays de l’Afrique au sud du Sahara et intéressé à conduire une recherche postdoctorale en Allemagne sous la couverture du programme de bourse de la fondation AvH (https://www.humboldtfoundation.de/web/humboldt-fellowship-postdoc.html).
NB : C’est le souhait de AGNES et de la fondation AvH d’obtenir d’excellents candidats de nationalités sub-sahariennes. Ainsi, les présentateurs sont priés de partager l’information avec des collègues d’autres pays Africains afin d’identifier les meilleurs candidats à coacher. AGNES encourage la nomination de candidats de tous domaines de recherche, y compris les sciences sociales et humanitaires (pour la subvention AGNES pour jeunes chercheurs) et exclusivement des Sciences, Technologies, Ingénieries et Mathématiques (pour la subvention AGNES-PAWS pour les jeunes femmes chercheuses).
III. Montant et utilisation de la bourse
La subvention en une tranche non renouvelable totalise le montant de 1000 Euros. Le bénéficiaire de la bourse doit soumettre une lettre d’acceptation signée par lui et son présentateur au comité exécutif de AGNES dans un délai de sept jours après réception de l’offre. Ensuite, les frais de subvention seront transférés dans le compte bancaire du bénéficiaire. La bourse est offerte en guise de reconnaissance des productions scientifiques et académiques du bénéficiaire et de sa potentialité à décrocher une bourse postdoctorale de la Fondation Alexander von Humboldt. AGNES n’impose pas de restrictions à l’utilisation de la bourse bien qu’il est fortement envisagé qu’elle serve à couvrir les frais de préparation de dossier pour la candidature à la bourse postdoctorale de la fondation AvH.
Nominations close at 12.00 h GMT time on September 12, 2019 / La date limite de dépôt est le 12 Septembre 2019, 12h00 GMT.
- [English] 2019 Call for Nominations AGNES Grants for Junior Researchers
- [French] Appel à nominations 2019 de la bourse AGNES pour jeunes chercheurs
- University World News
College to university – Evolution shows national ambitions (Botswana)
As government authorities in Botswana envisage seeing their country becoming an education hub for Southern Africa, both private and public colleges within the country are slowly but steadily transforming themselves into universities, with four colleges evolving into fully-fledged universities over the last 19 years. The new universities include BA ISAGO University, now based in the capital Gaborone, a private university that was called BA ISAGO University College until 2015. Another is Botho University, also based in Gaborone, the country’s largest private university. It was formerly a franchise of India-based learning institution NIIT, becoming Botho College in 2009 and a university in 2013. In the public sector, the Botswana Open University (BOU), also based in Gaborone, was until 2017 the Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning. Finally, the public sector Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), based in Sebele, north of the capital, became a university in 2013, having formerly operated as the Botswana College of Agriculture. This new status has given these institutions the right to award their own degrees, rather than having to offer degrees certified by outside bodies, as in the past. But the authority to award degrees is not the only benefit of achieving university status. To be recognised as such, an institution must demonstrate they operate by a set of norms and standards delivering quality higher education. Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) spokesperson Selwana Pilatwe-Koppenhaver explained: “An education and training provider which is duly registered and accredited can award qualifications as long as the learning programme was accredited and based on a registered qualification. The accreditation process will have established that the provider has the necessary resources to offer and award the qualifications.” The BQA spokesperson said education and training providers awarded university status should among other things have a minimum number of students, a minimum number of faculties and a proportion of academic personnel qualified at the professorial level. “This means the university will have diverse offerings, conducted at the highest levels,” said Pilatwe-Koppenhaver. She said the transformation of colleges into universities was generally driven by an institution’s management, when they decide to increase their ambition and go for growth. “These providers will then apply to increase their scope,” she said, with the BQA acting as the key gatekeeper deciding if a college can become a university, and validating these plans against Botswana criteria for registering and accrediting higher education providers. Applicants would also need to be assessed against more specialised norms and standards in the category of learning and subjects for which they wish to be recognised, she said. Having worked through such assessments, public universities require the additional step of being established by an act of Botswana’s parliament. Regardless of any move to university status, Botswana’s private higher education institutions cannot tap government funds for their operations. Maybe partly as a result, 74.5% of the country’s tertiary education is offered through public institutions, while the private sector accounts for 25.5%, according to the Human Resource Development Council.
Read more here
2. University World News
SATN joins forces with government to boost PhD capacity (South Africa)
The South African Technology Network (SATN) has partnered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to launch a Staff PhD Capacity Enhancement Programme designed to raise the number and quality of PhDs coming out of universities of technology and previously disadvantaged universities in South Africa. The programme, which launched in Johannesburg in June, gives 50 aspiring PhD students across 11 South African universities of technology (UoTs) and previously disadvantaged universities the opportunity to complete their studies with the help of top lecturers and professors in the country and abroad. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that candidates complete their PhD studies in the prescribed four-year timeframe rather than the national average of eight years. The programme is structured towards reducing the dropout rate of PhD candidates in South Africa, a figure which currently stands at an estimated 60%. The three- to four-year structured programme is coordinated by SATN, a consortium of universities of technology in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community region, and is funded by the DHET. According to SATN, the content, curriculum and model of programme have been designed to respond to the urgent need to increase the number and quality of academic staff that hold doctorates. Candidates will be expected not only to produce cutting-edge research and published work, but also train the next generation of doctorate holders in South Africa. “Pursuing a PhD can be a lonely and isolating process so one of the chief benefits of this programme is the cohort model, which allows candidates to learn from peers who happen to be in similar or different disciplines,” said Dr Anshu Padayachee, chief executive officer of SATN. Candidates began Module One of the programme in June and Module Two in July. Over the five-day period of Module One, candidates engaged in dynamic and interactive sessions that addressed aspects related to research integrity, proposal writing and ethical principles in research. Local and international facilitators were invited to share their knowledge and skills to encourage robust, rigorous and innovative research. So far, candidates are optimistic and full of praise for the programme, with some saying the sessions helped them to reconsider their research topics, have a better understanding of what was expected of them through each stage of the PhD, and clarify theoretical and conceptual frameworks they were unsure about. The second module, which began on 15 July, focused on principles related to research design and methodologies. Based on a cohort model, the model builds on the idea of collective engagement, and seeks to create opportunities for regional, national and global networking, said Padayachee. The programme aims to contribute to the creation of a collective community of practice, which includes candidates, supervisors and facilitators from multiple disciplines to foster inter- and trans-disciplinary engagement. With an eye on transformation and the need to address gender and racial disparities in South African academia, 79% of the candidates are African Black females. University World News spoke to Fatima Peters, a lecturer in the psychology department at the University of Venda in Limpopo province, who said she feels blessed to have been selected to participate in the programme.
Read more here
- Daily Monitor
Why academic mobility within Africa is vital (Uganda)
The African Union Agenda 2063 aspires for Africa to become a major knowledge and innovation force in the global economy. The Agenda’s action plan provides a more integrated and inclusive Africa that uses its natural resources, human capital and institutions to drive technological, social and business innovation for development. It proposes to leapfrog the conventional approaches in ways that ensure rapid, sustainable growth, reduce out-migration and improve quality of life. Highly-skilled human resources are essential to develop and deploy new technologies to meet the Agenda’s goals and aspirations. This is also envisioned in the United Nations 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, notably Goal 4 on “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” and Goal 10 on “Reduce inequality within and among countries”. Africa is lagging in high-level skills, technologies and innovations, and more needs to be done, in a different way, to ensure that its young population and institutions are empowered to develop new knowledge and innovations for societal and economic transformation. This is most important in agriculture and other primary sectors, which are providing food, employing larger proportion of the population. Africa is confronted with a number of development challenges, but a critical gap is the limited human capital to respond to those challenges and to support the development agenda. As a continent, our future is dependent on our youth, the new generation of academic leaders and researchers, and we therefore need to develop a new generation of African scholars that are able to work across the continent. As such, we must not only invest in science and institutional capacity, but also in building the human base. It is true that many universities in Africa have so long been seen as de-linked from communities and this has called for redirecting the way universities do their research to closely link with the communities. One of the best ways this was done was by harnessing the resident capacity that exist in universities to foster collaboration rather than competition, because no university world over, can have expertise in everything; there are areas where some universities are stronger and those where they are weak. African governments can help provide a mechanism for African universities to support their human capital development through innovative academic mobility programmes, which are critical for generating new technologies and discoveries that transform delivery of services and improving livelihoods. They must also work towards removing the barriers such as high intra-Africa visa costs, which affect mobility, high costs of resident and work permits for initiatives which go a long way in helping Africans achieve the Africa we want. Under the auspice of an initiative “Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA),” which in design is owned by 114 universities in 38 counties in Africa, but managed and coordinated by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Graduate students and staff seeking to study PhD are trained. The arrangement involves a host University waivering tuition for a student, who in turn teaches while he/she studies.
Read more here
- University World News
Free trade agreement offers a wealth of Higher Education benefits – Report (Africa)
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is likely to yield significant benefits for higher education and professional labour mobility on the continent once it takes effect, according to a new Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA IX) report. A mismatch between available skills and the needs of Africa’s labour markets has slowed the continent’s economic integration and overall development, according to the report. But a deepening of regional cooperation in education, including the implementation of Africa’s higher education harmonisation strategy – a recommendation under AfCFTA – can help. The report, titled Next Steps for the African Continental Free Trade Area, was released in Niamey, Niger on 7 July during the launch of the “operational phase” of AfCFTA at an African Union summit attended by heads of state and representatives of the African Union (AU). The ARIA IX report was jointly published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the African Union and the African Development Bank. It indicates that non-recognition, non-compatibility and non-comparability of skills, educational qualifications and experiences in Africa have impeded labour mobility. The AfCFTA is a trade agreement between the AU member states, aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services as well as a customs union with free movement of capital and persons. The agreement was signed in Kigali, Rwanda in March and entered into force on 30 May 2019. It became operational this month (July). Only Benin and Eritrea are yet to sign. Samuel Nyandemo, economics lecturer at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, told University World News that AfCFTA will lead to greater professional and educational mobility, and upskilling of Africa’s workforce. “If AfCFTA is well implemented, it will be easy to transfer credits of students from one university to another,” said Nyandemo. “Once African countries open up their borders, it will help to ensure Africa’s youth with professional qualifications are given the opportunities they deserve to work anywhere on the continent.” However, Nyandemo said that this might take time and might also not be possible if governments fail to implement the agreement, as in the case of other economic bloc agreements. “It will require governments to harmonise training programmes, exercise political will, and improve the physical infrastructure in universities and interlinkages between programmes,” he said.
Read more here
- University World News
New approach needed to tackle employability problem (Egypt)
Career counselling in higher education aims to provide students with experiential learning opportunities during and after their coursework. This includes internships, seminars, workshops, professional development programmes and fellowships. Today, more than ever, universities view career counselling as a valuable service that promotes lifelong learning and provides career and employment guidance for their students, helping them to stay current with emerging occupational patterns and enhancing their future career prospects. In the higher education arena, the relationship between career counselling and employment is an inseparable one in that it provides students with practical learning opportunities and connects them with potential employers who could significantly impact their career trajectories after graduation. Providing students with hands-on experiences and experiential learning opportunities not only enhances their understanding of what they are studying, but also develops their skills and prepares them to be successful employees in various work environments. Employment, income and status have traditionally been viewed as the product of higher education. Unfortunately, in Egypt, the reality is that this has not always been the case because higher education is not geared towards equipping students with 21st century employability skills. Although higher education is considered a means for social mobility, students in Egypt face major difficulties that prevent them from attaining its benefits, such as low employment opportunities, highly competitive job markets and workplace skill gaps. This is due in part to the fact that public universities in Egypt do not offer students the skills they need to be successful workers in the global 21st century marketplace. Today, the importance of English literacy and information and communications technology (ICT) skills remain underestimated in Egypt’s higher education institutions, with curricula emphasising rote memorisation instead of the practical application of knowledge.This is problematic in the sense that it creates a large workforce that lacks the knowledge and technical expertise that the market demands.
Read more here
UM6P is very excited to announce the launch of Impulse, a startup acceleration program, developed by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in partnership with MassChallenge.
Impulse is a 12- week acceleration program for innovative startups that have a prototype or a marketable product in the fields of Agtech, Biotechnology applied to Agriculture among other fields. The program benefits from the support of OCP Group and its subsidiary OCP Africa in collaboration with MassChallenge.
All start-ups participating in the Impulse program will benefit from numerous advantages to strengthen their innovative projects including:
- Mentoring and coaching offered by OCP experts, UM6P professors and mentors from the international network of MassChallenge (Headquarters in the USA, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by accelerating high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge accelerates the most innovative startups in the world through its zero equity, competition-based model)
- Access to business opportunities via the networks of OCP Group, OCP Africa and UM6P
- A cash prize of $ 250,000 to be shared between winning startups on the Demo Day
- Access to UM6P infrastructure: Fablab, experimental laboratories and living laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment enabling startups to develop and test prototypes of their products and services
- Study trips to the ecosystems of Boston and Lausanne
- Access to a 430 m² co-working space, equipped with the necessary facilities and equipment to enable startups to work on their business
- Access to financing through a set of national and international investment funds and business angels
For the key Program dates these are as follows:
- Applications open: June 26, 2019
- Applications deadline: October 1, 2019
- Start of the acceleration program: January 15, 2020
- Demo day: April 8, 2020
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established in 2004, is a consortium of 114 universities in 38 countries in Africa. The organisation evolved from the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry (FORUM) programme of the Rockefeller Foundation. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and undertakes activities to strengthen Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation development in Africa in line with its Vision 2030 Strategy.
RUFORUM operation is guided by its Vision 2030 Strategy (The African Universities’ Agenda for Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation – AHESTI), which is being implemented through four Flagship Programmes. Visit RUFORUM website. Prospective applicants are advised to review the RUFORUM Vision 2030 Strategy and the Five Year Operational Plan (2018-2022). The job roles and requirements of the posts are detailed below
1.Job Title: Manager- Programme, Results Measurement & Learning (PRML).
Organisation: RUFORUM (Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Deputy Executive Secretary, Resource Mobilization and Management
Job Reference No: RUF/JOB/MANAGER PRML/2019: Manager- Programme, Results Measurement & Learning
2.Job Title: Technical Specialist, Research and Development
Organisation: RUFORUM (Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Manager, Research and Innovations
Job Reference No: RUF/JOB/TS R&D/2019: Technical Specialist, Research and Development
For the Job role, requirement and the terms and Conditions, Please download the complete job advert here
University World News
- Region is not reaping rewards of Higher Education investment – Study (Africa)
Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa have failed to equip the region’s fast-growing youth population with market-driven skills needed for prosperous and equitable societies, and the region’s countries are not reaping the rewards of their investment in tertiary education, according to a new study by the World Bank. The report, The Skills Balancing Act in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investing in skills for productivity, inclusivity, and adaptability, argues that despite massive university education expansion in the last decade, most countries in the region are losing ground when it comes to providing access to higher education. According to Omar Arias, lead researcher of the study and manager for global knowledge and innovation at the World Bank, and his associate Indhira Santos, a senior labour economist, the average gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education stands at about 10% in Sub-Saharan Africa, but in some countries it is much lower. “In more than a third of countries in the region, university enrolment is below 5%,” noted the two researchers. Although university enrolment in Sub-Saharan Africa has historically lagged behind other global regions, what is worrying observers and stakeholders is that enrolment has taken an elitist path, effectively being rationed to a subset of youth from richer backgrounds. According to the study, the selection process has been persistently skewed in favour of the richest 20% of the population. For instance, in Malawi, the study shows that only 1% of students enrolled in universities come from households in the bottom 20% of the income distribution, while another 3% come from the second poorest quintile. “In contrast, 80% of university students in Malawi come from the richest 20% of the population,” said Arias. Overall in the region, gross enrolment ratios in tertiary education stand at 16% among the richest quintile of the population, but at only 2% among the poorest. In urban Kenya, having both parents with secondary education makes a person 3.5 times more likely to attend university. In this regard the report is urging African countries to break with the past and start making smart investments in university education geared towards developing skills aligned with goals of productivity growth and social inclusion, in order to accelerate development. What is emerging is that the region is not getting value from its investment in tertiary education. On average, Sub-Saharan Africa is spending US$2,445 per student per year, which is three times more than what other low- and lower-middle-income countries spend. But despite such heavy investment in higher education in the last 30 years, building of skills by the universities has almost collapsed. “Systems for building skills have fallen short, and these shortcomings have impeded economic prospects,” stated the report. The report is pushing African countries to look afresh at the expansion of university education that had been going on in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last two decades. According to the report, while expanding access to higher education is commendable, there is urgent need to start managing university education more carefully.
Read more here
University World News
- To fill capacity gaps, universities need to work in synergy (Africa)
A recent study by the Africa Capacity Building Foundation has revealed that the continent has only about 55,000 engineers against an estimated 4.3 million required, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU) Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehilé has said. Speaking at the opening of the 20th AAU Conference of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP) in Cairo on 8 July, he said there was therefore the need to produce over 300,000 every year until 2023. Ehilé said similar capacity gaps had been found in other areas, 10 years after the implementation of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063. “We have about 21,000 geologists against an estimated 174,000 needed and about 82,000 agricultural scientists out of an estimated 152,000 required,” he said. Agenda 2063, which comprises five 10-year plans launched in 2015, is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate, the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development. In light of the capacity gaps, he said there was a need for African institutions of higher learning to become innovative and work in synergy to establish stronger networks among themselves in the spirit of South-South collaboration. Ehilé commended Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, which he said is a high-ranking institution that has opened its doors to Africa and the world, enrolling more than 40,000 international students, describing it as “a remarkable achievement in this era of internationalisation”. Ehilé said the AAU is committed to ensuring that higher education institutions on the continent deliver “education that is capable of producing the high quality human capital and research needed for accelerated socio-economic development of our society”. “This commitment is what guided us in organising this COREVIP, whose key rationale is to promote intellectual engagement by interrogating the contributions of African higher education to the achievement of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25),” Ehilé said. Ehilé said CESA 16-25 remains one of the three main pillars of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which outlines Africa’s colossal development issues and the need to fully tap into the youthful population in order to reap the demographic dividends for sustainable development. “The obvious message from CESA 16-25 is the need for the higher education sector in Africa to understand, own and fully commit itself to the continent’s drive for sustainable development solutions.”
Read more here
University World News
- Female-friendly approaches can bridge digital gender divide (Africa)
Analysis of female university student participation in learning and use of software packages conducted by a Nigerian university shows that women have a higher success rate than men, and points to the need for female-friendly learning approaches to overcome participation constraints and close the gender ICT gap. The analysis was outlined in a paper entitled “Female participation in learning and use of software packages in Nigeria: Case of SAP ERP software in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.” The paper was presented at the Conference of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP) that was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 8-11 July under the theme “The Role of Higher Education Institutions in Promoting the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25)”. The analysis used data obtained through a structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics for all participants (male and female) from 2015-17 at the University of Ibadan, one of 13 partner universities in Africa for the delivery of the Enterprise Systems Education For Africa (ESEFA) initiative. ESEFA aims to address the shortage of enterprise systems skills in Sub-Saharan African countries by enabling local universities to produce highly qualified information and communication technology (ICT) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) professionals through high quality enterprise system education programmes. The two-year study conducted from 2015-17 had 143 (23.1%) female participants from different course backgrounds. Over the years, the female participants achieved an 80% success rate and an overall success rate of 86% – higher than the 81.6% success rate for all participants and the 80.2% success rate for male participants. Lead author of the study Olubunmi Alawode, a lecturer in the department of agricultural economics at the University of Ibadan, said, as the study notes, the young women “did not lack confidence in their capacities in a male-dominated environment … The female participants were fewer but more successful in the use of the software”. SAP ERP (Systems Application Products Enterprise Resource Planning) is a German enterprise-wide information system software designed to coordinate all resources, information, and activities needed to complete business processes and measure performance. “In Nigeria, the expectations of female participants were very high and they were involved in the learning and use of SAP ERP software to give them a competitive advantage, diverse job responsibilities and higher positions in the workplace,” the paper noted.
Read more here
- Standard Digital
University of Nairobi to scrap 40 courses (Kenya)
The University of Nairobi is scrapping more than 40 courses as the Ministry of Education reforms plan starts to bite. A confidential document seen by the Sunday Standard reveals that some of the courses at the university had not attracted any students for the last five years. The document – rationalisation of academic programmes – tabled in the University Senate further says some of the courses to be dropped were either duplicated or have since been replaced. The courses list is compiled from recommendations made by about 10 university’s faculties, schools, institutes or centres. It is understood that the various faculties and schools will now have to defend why any of the courses must be retained in the university programmes list. The courses cut across certificates, diploma, bachelors, masters and PhD. The most-affected courses are from agriculture, mathematics, population studies and research institute, nursing science, translation and interpretation, biological sciences, African women studies, arts, institute of anthropology, gender and African studies and physical sciences. In recommending the scrapping of the courses, the University of Nairobi document makes reference to the requirement by the government on audit of academic programmes in universities to address quality and duplication. “Consequently, the university has undertaken to rationalise programmes and review or revise curricula to comply with the Commission for University Education (CUE) standards and guidelines,” reads the document. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha gave universities two weeks to make tough decisions on staff and programmes rationalisation. Prof Magoha also asked the public universities vice chancellors to recommend which of their universities and constituent colleges should be merged or shut down in the major reforms plan. In the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Nairobi, the PhD in Agriculture will be dropped. Three programmes in the School of Mathematics have also been listed for scrapping. These are BSc in Industrial Mathematics, PhD in Applied Statistics and PhD in Mathematics. A total of nine courses will be scrapped at the School of Biological Sciences, including three courses under Open Distance and e-Learning (OdeL). These are BSc in Microbiology and Biotechnology, BSc in Biology, BSc in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources Management. Others are MSc in Agriculture Entomology, MSc in Medical and Veterinary Entomology, PhD in Applied Microbiology, PhD in Plant Ecology, PhD in Terrestrial Plant Ecology and PhD in Aquatic Plant Ecology. At the School of Physical Sciences, a total of 17 courses will be scrapped, including the Certificate in Chemistry.
Read more here
- University World News
Harness 4IR for the public good, universities urged (Africa)
Internationally recognised as one of South Africa’s foremost computer scientists, disruption entrepreneur Stafford Masie gave academics food for thought at a high-powered forum addressing “Universities powering Africa’s renaissance for the fourth industrial revolution [4IR]”. “I think that the way we teach children at school today will not be the way we do so in the future. I look at my own children and see that a lot of the knowledge required for the future, they won’t be taught at school. Imagination, for example, is not something taught at school.” Masie, the founder of innovative payment platform for small business Thumbzup, said the notion of going to university is already gone, with the rapidly increasing number of online courses one could take around the world, even at institutions like the private university Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge in the United States. “Now it’s about self-drive; education is a human story, not about textbooks only,” he said. In his address entitled “A Call for Reimagination”, Masie, who worked for US firm Novell and helped establish Google in South Africa, told academics that students must be taught to harness the best of artificial intelligence technology for harnessing good. Echoing the spirit of late Apple founder Steve Jobs, Masie said the greatest 4IR weapon, asset, attribute, value, competitive-edge, strength, edge … any leader, enterprise, start up, individual must employ today is love. “It is the most powerful force in the universe and the substrate required to mitigate a very possible dystopia,” he said. Masie was the keynote speaker at the Times Higher Education (THE) Africa Universities Forum held in partnership with the University of Johannesburg, which took place from 12-13 June at the Hyatt Regency, in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa. Academics from South Africa and the African continent explored how Africa’s universities should develop awareness to strategically increase funding, reputation and research opportunities. They also heard about the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings and how universities fare in terms of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This forum aimed to assess the institutional leadership required to foster excellence; explore how diversification of the African academy can prepare graduates for the fourth industrial revolution; and debate how the arts and humanities can play a central role in Africa’s renaissance over the next 30 years.
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- University World News
Challenges of attracting and retaining foreign faculty (Ethiopia)
The value of international faculty in terms of infusing talent and diversity and improving the status of any given higher education system, is widely acknowledged. Despite the similarity of interest in attracting such faculty, the purposes for which international faculty are hired differ from one context to the other. Inevitably, this difference of purpose is reflected in the operational tasks of attracting, recruiting, hiring and retaining international faculty. Ethiopia is a country that has never been colonised, but the history of its modern education reflects a heavy and systemic dependence on foreign personnel. The indelible marks of foreign expatriates are noticeable in areas such as the establishment of schools, the design of policies and curricula and their employment as advisers, officials, principals and teachers in the various levels of the education system. When Ethiopia’s first Western modern institution, Menelik II School, was opened in 1908, it had to rely on Egyptian Copts. Both the principal and the teachers involved in the Teferi Mekonen School, which was set up later, in 1925, were similarly international faculty who came mainly from French Lebanon, while the position of administrator was left to Hakim Workneh Eshete, a foreign-educated Ethiopian. Ethiopia’s modest attempt to kickstart its modern education system before the beginning of the Italo-Ethiopian war in 1935 was staffed by a few hundred teachers, including foreign faculty. Before the war, French was the dominant foreign language used in schools. After the Italian occupation (1935-41), which was responsible for annihilating or forcing into migration a large number of local intelligentsia, Ethiopia had again to rely on foreign professionals to rebuild its modern education system from scratch. As a result of the Allied Forces’ assistance in liberating Ethiopia in 1941, the period from 1942 until 1952 was dominated by the significant presence and influence of the British in the education sector and other government ministries. British experts and teachers were replaced by Americans in the second half of the 1950s, due to Ethiopia’s strengthened links with the United States through what was then called the Point Four Program of Technical Assistance (later renamed as the Agency for International Development). In the next two decades, the United States had a huge influence in many sectors, including education, where it was involved in reorganising the ministry of education, supplying needed manpower, materials and textbooks and setting up the first higher education institutions in the country. When the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA, the first institution of higher learning in the country) was established in 1950, the teachers and its president were Jesuit Canadians. As a matter of fact, UCAA had no Ethiopian faculty during the first four years of its existence. The same was true about a handful of colleges that were founded from 1950 to 1960. The number and nationalities of international faculty recruited in these higher education institutions were influenced by how they were established, the nationalities of their leaders and the employment policies of each particular institution. Although there was some change toward the end of the Imperial government, as a result of the deliberate ‘Ethiopianisation’ policy it pursued, the Haile Selassie I University (HSIU, now Addis Ababa University) remained dominated by international faculty. In 1973, 54% of the HSIU staff were foreigners. The balance between international and local staff in Ethiopian higher education institutions changed significantly after the 1974 revolution, which drove many foreign staff out of the country owing to the country’s adoption of a socialist policy and its subsequent relation with countries of the Eastern bloc. The huge gap created by the departure of Western expats was filled by staff recruited from socialist countries, but the dependence on foreign faculty continued for as long as a decade after the socialist government assumed power. Out of the total number of university staff, 934, in 1982-83, some 335 (36%) were foreigners. The dominance of international faculty in senior academic positions was much more pronounced.
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The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established in 2004, is a consortium of 114 universities in 38 countries in Africa. The organisation evolved from the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry (FORUM) programme of the Rockefeller Foundation. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and undertakes activities to strengthen Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation development in Africa in line with its Vision 2030 Strategy. RUFORUM Secretariat is based in Kampala, Uganda.
About the Job:
Job Title: Technical Specialist, Knowledge Management
Organisation: RUFORUM (Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda Reports to: Manager/Knowledge Hub
Job Reference No: RUF/JOB/TS KM/2019: Technical Specialist, Knowledge Management
Please download the complete Job advert here
The Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFs), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University is partnering with the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), McGill University, Canada and NUTREAL Limited to implement a 3-year multidisciplinary project focusing on “Harnessing dietary nutrients of under-utilised fish and fish processing by-products to reducing micronutrient deficiencies among vulnerable groups in Uganda” – NutriFish. The overall aim of NutriFish is to increase availability, accessibility and consumption of under-utilized small fishes and fish processing by-products for sustainable food and nutrition security and improved livelihoods through a Public Private Partnership (PPP). Through this project, researchers will devise ways to reduce losses and increase product quality and acceptability, as well as improve distribution of fish and fish-based products among populations living far from water bodies.
- The scholarships
As part of the NutriFish capacity building component, we are inviting applications for the following scholarships tenable at Makerere University:
PhD Zoology (Research areas: Fish Stock Assessment and Nutrition)
MSc. Zoology (Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences), Research areas: Fish Stock Assessment; Fisheries Socio-economics; Gender in Fisheries; Fish Post-harvest Handling; and Fish value Chain.
- Scholarship Benefits
The scholarship will support successful applicants with tuition, research costs, and modest monthly stipend. The applicants must therefore demonstrate willingness to be full-time students based at Makerere University. For MSc., support is available to applicants who have completed coursework and also those admitted to start coursework in the 2019/2020 Academic Year.
- Eligibility Criteria
The scholarships are open to all eligible Ugandans. Applications from suitably qualified females are particularly encouraged
The salient attributes we are looking for are as follows:
- a) PhD Zoology (Research focus: Fish Stock Assessment)
- Must hold an MSc. in the areas of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Natural Resources Ecology, Management and Conservation, or related fields from a recognized University.
- Additional training in Fish Stock Assessment will be an added advantage.
- Experience in conducting stock assessment will be valuable.
- b) PhD Zoology (Research focus: Nutrition)
- Must hold an MSc. in the areas of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; Natural Resources Ecology, Management and Conservation; Human Nutrition or related fields from a recognized University.
- Previous working experience in an accredited laboratory will be an added advantage.
- Experience in working with vulnerable communities and undertaking household surveys will be valuable.
- c) MSc. Zoology (Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences) applicants
- Should hold a Bachelor’s Degree (Upper Second) from a reputable University in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
- Should demonstrate interest and capability to work in the specified areas above.
- Should have completed coursework or already be admitted to Makerere University for the 2019/2020 Academic Year on full-time basis.
- Should be ready to undertake coursework studies/research activities in the respective areas and complete within 1-2 years.
The application package should include:
- A one-page motivation letter
- A curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) indicating contacts of 2 referees
- Copies of certified academic documents
- Evidence of admission to Makerere University (MSc. only)
- A recommendation letter from two academic referees (1 page)
- A brief concept (PhD applicants only)
Applications should be compiled into one single pdf document and sent electronically to Dr. Jackson Efitre (email@example.com), copied to Dr. Robinson Odong (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Eric Sande (email@example.com) and Dr. Anthony Taabu-Munyaho (firstname.lastname@example.org ) by 27th July 2019 at 5.00 PM East African Time.
Download the complete Scholarship callNutriFish PhD and MSc. Scholarship advert_final
Note: All students will be expected to work with the interdisciplinary NutriFish research team.
Incomplete applications will NOT be assessed. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
Prof. Ongeng the Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at Gulu University said that Universities can no longer work in isolation, there is a critical need to build more synergies with other players such as TVETs, and private sector so as to enhance actual contribution of Universities to community transformation. This was part of the wider call to action during the first Agrienterprenurship symposium which took place from 25th to 26th May 2019 in Gulu, Northern Uganda. With the theme; The Role of Higher Education and Private Sector in Enhancing Agri-entrepreneurship and Community Transformation the Symposium brought together over 70 partners and actors from academia, private sector, student, farming and refugee communities and over 600 participants who came to listen, learn and exhibit.
The symposium provided an opportunity for sharing of ideas, experiences, success and expectations in relation to promoting youth Agrienterprenurship. Over 30 groups of students drawn from Gulu University, Busitema University, African rural University and Uganda Christian University, TVETs, farmer groups, private sector and international partners exhibited their various Agribusiness ideas, and innovative solutions in the agricultural sector. In partnership with RUFORUM and with support from the Mastercard Foundation under the project “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s Growth and Development (TAGDev)”, platforms such as the community action research programs (CARP+s) and the business incubation platforms at Universities’ were lauded as key to development of capacities as well as good initatives to train a new breed of scientists in Africa, with the right mindsets that combines entrepreneurial orientation, with experiential learning and community engagement.
Learning from the experiences of student business incubatees, refugee micro-enterprise trainees, TVETs and private sector youth entrepreneurship initiatives, there was a general call for establishing mechanisms that enhance entrepreneurial component in University outreach programs.
Universities and TVETs have been challenged to harness private sector engagement opportunities to participatorily address curricular gaps, (initiating curricular development from the labor/demand side). It is hoped that the experiences shared will help universities, TVETs and private sector players to embrace better collaboration, to harness the unique capacities of each group to promote youth agri-entrepreneurship.
We should now look forward to a regional convening to develop a complete ecosystem of practice in the entire education value chain.” Prof. Zeelen UNESCO.
While closing the symposium, Prof. Openjuru, the Vice chancellor, appreciated RUFORUM and the Mastercard Foundation Partnership for promoting innovative and entrepreneurial training orientation, and he emphasized that
With such partnerships, Gulu University is committed not only to its mission towards community transformation but also looking forward to collaborate more with other institutions, TVETs and private sector to promote best practices in community engagement and entrepreneurial training.
Under the auspice of the project “Transforming African Universities to Meaningfully Contribute to Africa’s Development (TAGDev)” with funding from the Mastercard Foundation, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) organised a training on academic proposal writing and scientific data management for Masters and PhD students from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment from Gulu University. The training took place from 1st to 5th July 2019 in Churchill Courts Hotel in Gulu Town. As the next generation of academic leaders and researchers, RUFORUM recognises that equipping the students with practical skills in conceptualising and developing quality research proposals is paramount. This is not only useful in enabling the students to complete their Masters and PhD studies on time but equip them with skills for rigorous scientific research of acceptable quality worldwide. It is recognised that the University professors deliver quality work and providing an opportunity for research practitioners to share experiences in developing research projects, running practical sessions on software use for data analysis, interpretation and presentation of research results will further ground students’ practical skills as tomorrow’s scientists and also allow then complete their studies on time.
The training was organised targeting students who had just finalised their course work in the first year and were now preparing their research proposals for presentation to the academic committees of the University. The training was delivered in a practical, student focused exercise on qualitative and quantitative research process from problem tree analysis as a tool for conceptualising and presenting research problems to choice of and development of research tools, sampling techniques, data management in excel. Practical data management was demonstrated using the topics and dummy data which the students are developing with support from the academic supervisors at the University. Analysis was demonstrated using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for surveys and other social science related research, and Genstat for experimental and other biological science related research. Practical sessions were also conducted on how the scientifically interpret and present results in scientific publications.
In total, 46 students attended from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment (FAE) of Gulu University (15 females, 31 males), 4 of which were PhDs (1 female and 3 males). The training benefited all the Masters students in FAE as a way of widening the TAGDev project support to the wider Gulu University beyond the project supported students. The Lecturers from Gulu University very much appreciated the training as a great supplement to what they had done with the students and was timely given that the students were scheduled to defend their proposals at their respective departments at the end of July 2019. Prof Duncan Ongeng, the Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Environment specifically acknowledged that,
this training was timely and much needed to reinforce what the student supervisors had done and providing practical experiences from purely research practitioners. We believe that the students will finish within the next one year to collect, analyse and write up their theses, and produce at least one scientific journal paper before graduation prior to their graduation”.
The students also greatly appreciated the training as a timely intervention to help them develop quality research proposals and allow them finish on time. “I particularly loved the session of problem tree analysis. It helped me conceptualise and clearly present the problem as well as the broader situation that my research will address. The practical sessions on how to use SPSS for data analysis was very useful for me. I can now finish my proposal” Said Sognigbe M. Monique (Female), Master of Agri-enterprise Development from Benin. Ms. Iyaloo Sheyavali (female), Master of Master of Science in Food Security and Community Nutrition student from Namibia said that
I was struggling with Chapter three (3) of my research proposal specifically how to design and conduct my experiment. The problem tree analysis was also very useful for me to understand the relationship between the root causes and the problem that I am addressing in my research. I also appreciated the fact that the facilitators were available even up to 10pm to support the students perfect their work.
RUFORUM will also conduct a similar training for Masters Students at Egerton University in Kenya.
Kampala 03 July 2019 The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 114 Universities in 38 African Countries, is pleased to announce the 2019 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (RUYAEC). The overall purpose of the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition (RUYAEC) is to catalyse entrepreneurship through promotion of business innovation and provision of seed funding to young entrepreneurs with creative and innovative business ideas among African youth. RUYAEC, through an online application, invites young African entrepreneurs and incubates below 35 years of age to compete for 20 awards that show case their innovations, enterprises, business concepts and propositions. The areas of focus are Food and agribusiness, Incubations, ICTs, Health, Engineering, Natural resources, and Meteorology
This third round of the RUFORUM Young Innovators Competition is targeted for West African (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo) countries. The winners will be awarded during the RUFORUM Annual General meeting convening scheduled to take place from 2-6 December, 2019 at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.
All the 2016 and 2018 RUFORUM Young Innovators awardees are NOT eligible to apply.
The RUYAEC operates within one of RUFORUM’s values and principles of creativity, seeking to offer opportunities to develop innovative solutions both in addressing the problems faced by smallholder farmers, and in managing research projects in remote areas.
We are pleased to officially launch a call for RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2019. Visit the website and apply online
The deadline to submit for the 2019 RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition is Monday 30th September 2019 at 17:00 Hours (GMT+3).
Download complete press release here