Feb 7, 2012

Joint Africa - EU Strategy Tuning Project

Tuning AFRICA project

A call for participation in the “Harmonisation and Tuning African Higher Education” was launched in October 2011. In November 2011, a selection workshop was held in Dakar followed by a conference on ‘Tuning, Credits, Learning Outcomes and Quality: A Contribution to Harmonisation and the Space for Higher Education in Africa” attended by stakeholders including the African Union Commission (AUC), the European Commission, the Association of African Universities (AAU), the Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES), the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the Council on Higher Education, South Africa (CHE), the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE), national quality assurance agencies such as the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and national ministries. This selection workshop screened 96 applications and 60 universities were finally selected, including the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius.

Participants from Nigeria, Senegal and Mauritius
The UoM - FoA has been selected for the Project after a successful application to participate in the TUNING-Africa Project. Mr K.Boodhoo, the coordinator of the project at the Faculty, attended the first meeting of the Joint Africa _EU Strategy Tuning Project in Yaoundé, Cameroon on the 23- 25 January 2012. In this first meeting participants were introduced to the Tuning concepts used in other countries and for 2 days brain storming session were held to develop generic and specific competences for an undergraduate programme in agricultural science.

TUNING-Africa is a collaborative process, involving academics working with potential employers and other stakeholders, in curriculum development to enhance student competences. The project, which has already been successfully implemented in Europe and Latin America, aims at improving staff capacity to design and develop curricula.

 The Way Forward 

The Tuning Higher Education in Africa pilot project is expected to be a consultative process that will foster discourse at grassroots level across borders through a number of regional seminars and conferences. These will provide the platform of dialogue for quality assurance, improvement of teaching and learning, and assessment. As the dialogue on credits and a common credit system is one of the central pillars of the Tuning approach, the pilot project might also advance the discourse towards an African Credit System.

The success of the pilot project will depend on the involvement of a critical mass of universities and stakeholders, sustained resources, well organized dissemination, as well as transparent and credible leadership. The direct linkage and integration of the Tuning pilot project into existing quality assurance initiatives – including regional and national qualification frameworks – is expected to contribute to a sustainable, institutionalized and harmonized reform.

The EU Tuning project team will send out a consolidated list of generic and subject specific competences to all participating institutions. We will have to validate them through a survey and meetings with our key stakeholders, alumni, academics and current final year students. It is expected to survey about 50 respondents in each category and it is expected to start in Mid February and end in March 2012. The responses will be analysed by the project team.  We fully rely on your close collaboration to make this initiative a success.

Futher information is downloadable at www.tuningafrica.org

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