EA uni­ver­si­ties told to move to new de­vel­op­ment prod­ucts


East African uni­ver­si­ties have been urged to view pub­lish­ing in a dif­fer­ent as­pect so that they mov­ing from pub­li­ca­tions to in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment prod­ucts and poli­cies so that they con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion in the re­gion.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the In­ter-Univer­sity Coun­cil for East Africa, Prof. Alexan­dre Lyam­babaje, was ad­dress­ing a di­a­logue meet­ing of Vice-Chan­cel­lors, Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lors and Heads of Com­mis­sions for Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and mem­bers of East African Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Qual­ity As­sur­ance Net­work (EAQAN).

The meet­ing was the cul­mi­na­tion of the EAQAN Fo­rum which kicked off on May 16, this year and fol­lowed by EAQAN Gen­eral Assem­bly on May 18. Both events took place at the Im­pe­rial Golf View Ho­tel in En­tebbe, Uganda.

The meet­ing was also at­tended by par­tic­i­pants from Ghana, Ivory Coast and So­ma­lia to learn from East African coun­tries on the de­vel­op­ment of qual­ity as­sur­ance sys­tems in uni­ver­si­ties.

Prof. Lyam­babaje said that among the pri­or­ity ar­eas of the In­ter-Univer­sity Coun­cil for East Africa’s co­or­di­na­tion, is to pro­mote and en­cour­age re­search within higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

He how­ever, said that in some cases, it has been re­alised that some uni­ver­si­ties are pri­or­i­tiz­ing the end re­sult of their work as pub­li­ca­tions, which of course go with pro­mo­tion of staff in­stead of in­no­va­tion and prod­ucts as end re­sults.

He there­fore urged uni­ver­si­ties to view pub­lish­ing in a dif­fer­ent as­pect of mov­ing from pub­li­ca­tions to de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and poli­cies which will con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion in the East African re­gion.

On the ef­forts be­ing made in the de­vel­op­ment of qual­ity as­sur­ance sys­tems in East African uni­ver­si­ties, the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of com­mu­ni­cat­ing qual­ity as­sur­ance mat­ters in a user friendly lan­guage to en­able its ar­tic­u­la­tion and un­der­stand­ing by di­verse stake­hold­ers, among them be­ing pol­icy mak­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors and or­di­nary peo­ple.

He stressed that by mak­ing qual­ity as­sur­ance is­sues in higher ed­u­ca­tion un­der­stood by stake­hold­ers, con­trib­utes into at­tract­ing more sup­port and re­al­iza­tion of the ob­jec­tives of in­ter­ven­tions which re­sults in more fund­ing from gov­ern­ments, part­ners and other stake­hold­ers.

“We need also to as­sess how ef­fec­tively the de­vel­oped tools in qual­ity as­sur­ance are used in our in­sti­tu­tions” said Prof. Lyam­babaje cit­ing an ex­am­ple of the cur­rent trend where many par­ents in the East African re­gion are send­ing their chil­dren to study in uni­ver­si­ties out­side East Africa es­pe­cially abroad. Ac­cord­ing to Prof. Lyam­babaje, there must be a rea­son for par­ents do­ing so.

He there­fore called for uni­ver­si­ties to cre­ate con­fi­dence in par­ents and de­velop higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions to en­able re­tain stu­dents in East African uni­ver­si­ties. In ad­di­tion to that Prof Lyam­babaje sees the need for stream­lin­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion so that univer­sity teach­ing staff and pro­fes­sors feel val­ued and at the end be­ing re­tained.

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