May 13, 2024  – A delegation from the Management University of Africa (MUA), based in Nairobi, Kenya, recently visited Ashesi University in Ghana, as part of a week-long tour that included other Ghanaian institutions including the University of Cape Coast, Accra Technical University, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Comprising university leads, members of faculty, and students, the team, held engagements at Ashesi, touching on partnerships, ethics and leadership, and lessons from operating as an independent university. 

The delegation from MUA was led by Prof. Washington Okeyo (Vice Chancellor), Dr. Domeniter Kathula (Senior Lecturer), Dr. Samuel Thiong’o (Lecturer), Ms. Gladys Mabonga (Quality Assurance Manager), Ms. Lynette Njogu (Senior Librarian), Mr. Kwame Ousu Afram (PhD Student), Ms. Joyce Thairu (PhD Student), Ms. Carol Njoki (Masters Student), and Mr. Sanjeet Kumar (Student).

MUA, which received its charter in May 2024 from Kenyan President H.E. William Ruto, allowing it to operate as an independent university and award its own degrees,  has been collaborating with The Education Collaborative since 2022. 

Prof. Washington Okeyo, MUA’s Vice Chancellor, mentioned that through The Collaborative, MUA has established partnerships with other institutions, including Cavendish University, engaging with staff-exchange programs. 

Professor Okeyo emphasized MUA’s growing emphasis on internationalization efforts, aiming to attract a more diverse student body. Over the years, the university has been actively building partnerships with Japanese institutions, fostering collaboration through conferences, faculty and student exchanges, and even joint funding for community projects in Kenya. 

Dean of Students at Ashesi University, Abdul Mahdi, reiterated the importance of international partnerships, highlighting Ashesi’s collaboration with Arizona State University where both universities have also benefited largely from staff and faculty exchange experiences.  

Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University, extended his congratulations to MUA on securing its charter. He offered valuable insights from Ashesi’s own experience, sharing lessons learned in obtaining their charter and maximizing the benefits of independence. Dr. Awuah also expressed a strong interest in solidifying and expanding the collaborative relationship between Ashesi and MUA. 

On the conversation of ethics, Abdul Mahdi, Dean of Ashesi, shared how Ashesi’s ethical culture transcended the students body, and impacted staff and faculty inside and outside Ashesi. He emphasized the importance of institutional culture in shaping the effectiveness of policies like ethics integration. 

On behalf of The Education Collaborative, Mercy Kusiwaa Frimpong shared resources available for institutions to adopt and replicate ethical practices among their faculty and students. These resources include the GVV Africa program for faculty and staff (already available), the GVV Africa program for students (under development and launching by the end of the year), and an Honor Code Manual with frameworks and templates to support ethical conduct within institutions. 

Regarding student employability, Dean Mahdi discussed Ashesi’s model of integrating career fairs into the curriculum. Students not only have academic transcripts, but also non-academic transcripts that capture internship experiences, work-study programs, volunteer work, and leadership roles. This comprehensive approach contributes to Ashesi’s high graduate employability rate. 

He further emphasized the importance of close collaboration with industry. He highlighted how involving industry professionals in curriculum development gives them confidence in recruiting graduates from MUA. He cited Ashesi’s collaboration with top law firms across the globe on their upcoming Law program as an example. Industry partners contribute in an advisory capacity, shaping the content, delivery, and assessment of programs.