Higher Education Stakeholders discuss the role of universities in the operationalization of the EAC Common Higher Education Area for Regional integration
Inter-University Council for East Africa; Kampala, Uganda; 28 June 2017:
The Inter-University Council for East Africa will hold its 8th Meeting on 29th – 30th June, 2017 in Zanzibar, Tanzania under the theme “The Role of Universities in the Operationalization of the EAC Common Higher Education Area for Regional Integration.”
The meeting will be attended by Vice Chancellors and Principals of member universities, representatives from the Ministries responsible for higher education from each Partner State, and representatives from the private sector, The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, the heads of commissions/councils for higher/university education, heads of national commissions/councils for science and technology, heads of EAC institutions and other higher education stakeholders including university students.
The first day the stakeholders will dialogue on The Role of Universities in the Operationalization of the EAC Common Higher Education Area for Regional Integration, the theme which has been chosen following the Declaration of the EAC as a Common Higher Education Area (EACHEA) during the 18th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held on 20th May 2017 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On the second day the IUCEA members will discuss formal Annual Meeting business which will include report of activities implemented by IUCEA in the last year.
As a strategic institution of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for coordinating the development of higher education and research in the region, IUCEA has played a key role in coordinating various processes that have ultimately culminated into the Declaration of the EAC as a Common Higher Education Area, said the IUCEA Executive Secretary Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje, adding that these include, among others, the Regional Quality Assurance System with its operational tools such the Road Map to Quality: A Handbook for Quality Assurance in Higher Education in five volumes; Principles and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, benchmarks for academic programmes and the East African Higher Education Quality Assurance Network (EAQAN), the East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (EAQFHE), which is both a human resources development tool and a platform for rationalization and mutual recognition of qualifications.
The Executive Secretary said that IUCEA is currently steering a number of initiatives on the development of centres of excellence in various fields maintaining that those centres will serve as hubs for the development of highly skilled human resources for the region. “Mobility of both academic staff and students, which is an important avenue for brain circulation; research and innovation are currently on top of IUCEA’s agenda to respond to various needs of our region. This is in cognizance of the fact that higher education plays a unique and pivotal role in promoting East Africa’s co-operation and regional integration,” he noted.
It is expected that at the end of the Dialogue Session, the participants will appreciate the account of what IUCEA has achieved in the development of various regional policies, guidelines, and standards that have contributed towards the transformation of the EAC into a Common Higher Education Area, be informed on the gist of the EAC Common Higher Education Area and what it entails as well as its contribution to the EAC integration agenda and socio-economic development, appreciate key roles each institution has to play in operationalising the EACHEA and take collective responsibility and devise common strategies to realize the long-awaited dream of an East African Common Higher Education Area.
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Notes to Editor:
The Annual Meeting is a platform for heads of higher education institutions to share the developments in higher education in the region and worldwide in order to maintain and enhance the standards and competitiveness of higher education in the region.
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About the Inter-University Council for East Africa:
The Inter-University Council for East Africa coordinates harmonisation of higher education and training systems in East Africa, facilitates their strategic development and promotes internationally comparable standards and systems.