June 13 – 16 – The 2023 June Convening brought together some 230 university executives, leaders, and industry professionals to share experiences and insights, discuss best practices, and explore strategies for enhancing higher education in Africa.
Held at Ashesi University in Berekuso, and Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, the four-day event was the Collaborative’s largest gathering yet, welcoming participants from 96 institutions from 17 countries. (See June Convening infographic).
Marking a Milestone
On the theme “Consolidating Learnings: Building the Capacity of Institutions to improve African higher educational outcomes,” the 2023 June Convening marked the culmination of the pilot phase of the Education Collaborative’s Ten-year plan, which aims to transform educational outcomes for over 1 million students across Africa.
“Many universities and tertiary institutions have, and continue to participate in efforts to build coalitions and partnerships that combine the different strengths of several,” shared Rose Dodd, Executive Director of the Education Collaborative. “However, the Collaborative is attempting to build a coalition at a scale not yet seen in Africa. We aim to grow to about 140 members influencing hundreds more and collectively driving successful learning outcomes for at least 1 million students by 2030. As ambitious as our goals are, each year we gather, we see more evidence that it is completely within our reach as African institutions.”
Shared Learning Opportunities
The 2023 Convening was jointly hosted by four institutions: The University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Pan Atlantic University (Nigeria), United States International University (Kenya), and Cavendish University (Uganda). The gathering also featured plenary sessions, workshops, and training programs focusing on four main tracks; Career & Employability, Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership, and Faculty Development and Research.
“This has been an exciting opportunity to connect with colleagues from other institutions who share the same mindset as we do and are excited about seeing progress on the continent,” shared Dr. Adaora Onaga, Director of the Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University. “We’ve touched on several areas, including initiatives for pushing ethical leadership in Africa, faculty development, and research, especially corruption and leadership. We’ve also talked about how we can enhance innovation and creativity in how we continue to build our respective programs. Overall, it’s always a pleasant opportunity to meet new people and engage them in our shared focus on improving education in Africa.”
Engaging Leaders and Colleagues
The Convening featured a stakeholder symposium tailored to university leaders for insightful discussions and experience sharing, and a guest lecture by Professor Lumumba on The Value of Pan-Africanism in Developing Leaders in African Higher Education.
“We must create an African who is educated and whose true north is the love for Africa,” he shared in his address. “The decolonization of our education system means that we must revolutionize our curriculum, starting by revamping our institutions. And I’m happy Ashesi University [and the Education Collaborative] is in that space, catalyzing the entire re-examination process. We are at a crossroads because Africa is now on the cusp of something. However, the question is where we choose to go.”
Since its inception in 2017, the Education Collaborative has impacted 195,000 students, over 400 institutions, and over 380 educators and administrators through direct engagement, mentorship, and a mix of programs and events, including the flagship June Convening, that are tailored to cater to unique needs.
“What I find most exciting about the Convening is the opportunity to share experiences in a comfortable environment,” shared Dr Priya Iyer, Vice-Chancellor, Botho University, Botswana. “It’s the understanding that no one is perfect, and by working together, we can support one another to identify gaps and learn from others’ experiences. This kind of openness and honesty makes the June Convening a valuable space for learning.”
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