As the chair of the Strategic Committee of the East Africa regional hub, Rongo University has led the creation of the 2022-2030 EA Strategic Plan, marking a roadmap of visionary objectives and increased collaborative efforts. In a conversation with Mr. Oloo S. Ajwang, Head Admin. Services (Office of the Vice-Chancellor) and Lecturer, Dept. of Information Science, we explored the transformative journey the institution has embarked on since joining the Education Collaborative network in July 2021.  

When did you join the EduCollab network? 
We became a part of this vibrant network in July 2021, a step that marked a new beginning for us in many ways. 

Could you paint a picture of what Rongo University was like before joining this network? 
Certainly! Before joining the network, our primary focus was on Rongo University students’ experiences during their time on campus rather than the prospects awaiting them post-graduation. We hadn’t fully dialed into the broader perspective of preparing them for the job market. 

How has becoming a member of this network been beneficial to you? 
Joining the Education Collaborative network opened a floodgate of opportunities. It laid a foundation for where we could exchange insights and best practices with other universities in the region. This new connection and closeness led to a critical review and restructuring of our curriculum to embed elements of ethical leadership and entrepreneurship, aiming to heighten our graduates’ employability. It sparked a transformative change, realigning our curriculum to align with the dynamic trends in higher education globally. 

Our engagement didn’t stop there; as the inaugural host of the East Africa Hub, we played a pivotal role in shaping the EA Strategic Plan, a blueprint now integrated into the hub’s strategic roadmap for 2022-2030. This integration means we are steering towards nurturing ethical leadership and promoting entrepreneurship and graduate employability amongst our students in the region. 

Financial support as the EA Hub host has also been a gain, fostering advancements in infrastructure and empowering us to enhance services such as career guidance, counseling, and alumni engagement. This journey has elevated our regional visibility, establishing us as a benchmark for academic excellence, and paving the way for meaningful interactions, like a recent visit to Ashesi University for their annual career fair in March this year and again in June for the annual Convening. 

For those unfamiliar with The Education Collaborative, what should they know? 
The Education Collaborative stands as a guide, bringing together exemplary institutions harboring a shared vision to transform higher education outcomes on the African continent. It is a space where successes and limitations are shared openly, creating a rich learning environment fostering policy transformation in higher education. 

Would you recommend this network to peers and other institutions? 
Without a hesitation, yes. We see it as a pathway to elevating standards in higher education through quality education and mentorship. It is an invaluable resource to have as a higher education institution and a true inducement for change. 

Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share? 
We must sincerely thank Ashesi University for spearheading this initiative and for the unwavering support and mentorship. We are equally thankful to the Education Collaborative for the post-convening grant of 2022, a vital resource in our mission to foster entrepreneurship training amongst our students. This journey is just beginning, and we are eager to see where it leads, guided by collaboration and a shared vision for a brighter future. 

We thank the representatives from Rongo University for sharing their insightful journey and look forward to seeing the remarkable impact of their collaborative efforts in the education sector. Stay tuned for more inspiring conversations as we delve deeper into the world of education, innovation, and collaborative growth amongst our network members.