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.