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General News of Saturday, 19 August 2017

Source: GNA

AAU spearheads efforts to improve research quality in Africa

Higher education institutions are expected by society to produce quality research which responds to societal needs and solves the specific problems in communities.

In response to this call, the Association of African Universities (AAU), headquartered in Accra, has organised a three-day workshop on "Quality and Innovative Research Methods for Higher Education Institutions Across the Continent".

The workshop is aimed at reviving and enhancing research skills in university lecturers and this is part of the response to the above call.
It also aims at helping to bring about a common understanding and shared vision in research supervision and marking in institutions of higher learning.

Professor Jonathan Mba, the Director for Research and Academic Planning at the AAU, in his welcome address highlighted the importance of undertaking quality research and the need for academics to continually refresh their research skills through refresher courses and workshops.
He also called on academics to take the community engagement aspect of their roles seriously as University-Industry linkages plays a key role in moving the continent forward.

Prof Mba said this would also ensure that African countries receive the greatest returns on their investment in higher education and its products; including research outputs and students.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from Ghana, Malawi, Liberia and Nigeria.

The participants were made up of lecturers and quality assurance personnel from tertiary educational institutions.
The workshop was targeted at imparting knowledge and skills related to quality, relevant and contemporary research methods and activities in higher education to participants.

It also sought to build the research capacity of participants in terms of knowledge and skills to help them improve their research skills.
Specifically, its objectives were to share knowledge on the important endowments and characteristics of a good research and to equip participants with the background knowledge and skills that inform better quality research practices.

It sought to share knowledge and skills of the diverse ways of research using various Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to help participants improve their proposal writing skills.

In his closing remarks, the Secretary General of the AAU, Prof Etienne E. Ehile, thanked the facilitators - Dr Violet Makuku, Quality Assurance Specialist and Project Officer at AAU, and Prof Kafui Etsey, a lecturer in Research, Measurement and Evaluation in the University of Cape Coast, for effectively delivering the training workshop.

Prof Ehile called on participants to be innovative and publish quality research which meets international standards.

The next quality assurance workshop on Research Methods is planned for 26th-28th September, at the AAU Secretariat in Accra.
Another quality assurance workshop on Basic Higher Education Teaching Skills (BHETS) would be held at the School of Monetary Studies in Kenya, from the 10th-13th of October.

The AAU is the apex organization and forum for consultation, exchange of information and co-operation among institutions of Higher Education in Africa.

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