Second part of the international Deans’ Course in Africa successfully completed
Deans from six East African countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania) came together in November for the second part of the International Deans’ Course (IDC) in Africa. The second IDC meeting gave participants the chance to exchange information, ideas and experiences about the state of their respective projects supported by German, Ethiopian and Kenyan higher education experts.
The training is divided into three parts, which means participants use their new-found knowledge to launch projects in their HEIs that in turn drive organisational development at HEIs. The first part of the IDC provides participants with comprehensive information about higher education management. Participants then draw up a “project action plan” for reform projects in their faculties. This is the perfect way to link staff development and organisational development at the HEIs.
The second IDC meeting has an important role to play in this innovative training format. In the second meeting, participants report back on the interim status of their “project action plans” and discuss their projects. In a session hosted by local experts and CHE managing director Prof. Frank Ziegele, participants discussed the success factors and obstacles to implementation as well as the next steps. The projects cover a wide range of topics ranging from plans for the introduction of a quality management system via the development of a faculty strategy or the establishment of “joint labs” of several faculties to incentive systems in research or e-learning offers.
An additional public conference on quality management took place as part of the IDC meeting in Nairobi. Prof. Ziegele provided information about the “usability of ranking data for quality management systems” and the “use of target agreements”. Astonishing parallels were revealed between developments in the German and Kenyan higher education sectors: Kenya is also reforming its accreditation system and will apply process accreditation of internal quality systems in the future.
The International Deans‘ Course is a practice-based further education and training programme in three parts. Its modules are taught in Germany and the target-group countries. The international further education series has been offered jointly by the CHE – Center for Higher Education, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the HRK (German Rectors’ Conference) and the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences in partnership with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as part of the DIES (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) programme of the DAAD and HRK since 2007. It is offered to alumni from South East Asia and East Africa on a rotational basis.
The first meeting of the IDC Africa took place in Osnabrück and Berlin in June 2011. The result of the nine-day meeting was a communiqué describing the challenges posed by increasing student numbers, competition, cooperation and financial constraints, and recommending the improvement of effectiveness and efficiency via higher education management training sessions for HEI management bodies. The communiqué calls upon decision-makers at HEIs and in governments to develop capacities. The IDC participants contribute to this with their “project actions plans”.
The participants will meet again for the third and final part of the IDC in Africa in the spring of 2012.