The 2019 gathering focused on Africa’s growing population and the role of higher education in helping the continent harness this growth for economic gain. Engaging University leaders, faculty and administrators, this year’s convening welcomed 20 institutions, both public and private.

Held in two parts, the 2019 Education Collaborative comprised a 2-day Executive Conference for higher education leaders; and a 3-day workshop for faculty and administrators of universities. Drawing on values of collaboration and sharing, activities included plenaries and sessions on the use of practical tools in classroom management, faculty-administrator collaborations, and hands-on techniques for training students.

Executive Conference

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Bringing together 26 leaders from 10 African universities and industry, the two-day executive conference, a first at Ashesi, provided the platform for academic and non-academic leaders to set direction and explore institutional-level collaborations. Attended by presidents, provosts, chancellors, directors, and deans, the conference set the pace for the discussion and exploration of ideas and strategies for effective university leadership in the face of technology, population growth, and globalization.

“By 2030, the UN estimates that African universities will enroll 12 million university students. Between now and then, they will cumulatively educate approximately 30 million students. If through collaboration, we could improve the quality of education for these students, empower them to build businesses and create jobs, and increase their contributions to African economies, we would make a tremendous difference in the destiny of the continent.”- Dr. Patrick Awuah, President, Ashesi University.

Over the two days, the participating executives engaged in workshops, panel discussions, and hands-on sessions on how African institutions can position themselves through collaborations to fill the capacity need gaps while setting policies that will turn the population growth challenge into an opportunity for the continent. In the end, the university leaders committed to setting measurement standards upon which universities could aspire to make a meaningful impact on the Continent.

The 10 participating institutions were Kepler-Rwanda, African Development University-Niger, Palm Institute- Ghana, Marshalls College-Ghana, Institut Universitaire Du Sud- Cote D’Ivoire, Carnegie Mellon Africa, Accra Technical University- Ghana, KNUST- Ghana, Ashesi University- Ghana, and Temple Advisory-Ghana.

The 3rd Faculty & Administrator Workshop

The 4-day faculty and administrators workshop, now in its third year, engaged 68 faculty and administrators from 17 institutions around the continent. With representation from private universities, public universities, training colleges, and high schools, the 2019 workshop saw the largest number of participants and sessions since its inception in 2017.

The 2019 Faculty & Administrator workshop reflected the experiences and challenges of faculty and administrators across campuses in Africa. The ultimate goal for this year’s gathering was that each participant and institution present would commit to a specific area of transformation over the next year. It included plenary sessions and workshops where practical tools for classroom management and faculty-administrator collaborations were shared. Participants designed innovative ways to facilitate student motivation in the changing face of technology and globalization.

“Filling the gaps within our educational systems is a task that extends beyond one stakeholder,” shared Rose Dodd, Project Lead for the Education Collaborative. “It requires a collective effort across multiple institutions and organizations. Having this platform to exchange ideas, provide mentorship and engage with one another helps to move the needle for higher education across the continent. By engaging leadership, faculty and administrators, we hope to allow for much deeper collaboration.”

“There’s a lot of hands-on learning at the Collaborative, and my hope is for more faculty from my institution to join in subsequent years,” shared Benjamin Amankwah, from the Accra Technical Institute, who has been attending the collaborative since its inception. “After my first experience, I started a Leadership and Ethics program for the first time at my institute. I have been able to expand the course from one class held twice a year, to four classes held twice during the year. I cannot wait to incorporate more of the things learned this year.”

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Additionally, the Education Collaborative allows for participants within the network to form mentorship partnerships with institutions they want to model after post-conference. One such relationship has been between Ashesi and the African Development University. “Since we got here last year, we have been implementing several projects learned from the sessions that have been helping us to run our university effectively,” shared Amadou Boukar, Dean of the African Development University, which opened in 2017. “Being under Ashesi’s mentorship has been amazing; not only do we engage during the annual collaborative, but also, we get the chance to work with Ashesi faculty and staff throughout the year to implement many of the things we talk about here. As we grow, we are confident that we will be better placed to help provide the best kind of education to our future leaders.”

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“In a way, Ashesi gets to deepen its knowledge base and practices and stay innovative as we explore different dynamics of higher education,” shared Dr. Esi Ansah, a Leadership lecturer at Ashesi. “For example, working with ADU has given us a better understanding of how we could better support francophone students here at Ashesi. Through this mentorship program, we also get to sharpen our tools and identify better ways of doing what we’re doing. And at the end of the day, that goes back to strengthening the ecosystem.”

Below is the breakdown of institutions present at the faculty and administrative workshop.

Ghana

  • University of Ghana
  • Garden City University 
  • Palm Institute
  • Marshalls College 
  • Temple Advisory
  • KNUST
  • OLAG
  • SDA College of Education
  • Kibi Presbyterian College
  • Accra Technical University
  • Ashesi University

Rwanda

  • Kepler, Kigali
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Africa

Mauritius

  • African leadership University   

 Niger

  •  African Development University

Côte D’Ivoire

  • Institut Universitaire Du Sud

USA

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • University of Oregon

Nigeria 

  • University of Nigeria 

Uganda

  •  Makerere University

Download the 2019 Executive Conference report