June 4 - June 9, 2017 - Staff, faculty and administrators from 12 tertiary institutions in and beyond Africa participated in the inaugural Education Collaborative - an idea sharing platform for education leaders and stakeholders in Africa led by Ashesi.
The 2017 Education Collaborative, the pilot workshop, focused on strategies for improving the outcomes, growth and sustainability of higher education institutions in Africa, with case studies from Ashesi's own experiences.
“We wanted to create a platform of institutions across Africa that are together committed to providing excellence in higher education,” said Rose Dodd Program Manager for Education Collaborative. “We realized that just as Ashesi has successfully and unsuccessfully tested several models in and out of the classroom, other institutions have also tested models that were worth learning from. This was our way to bring these institutions and ideas together.”
The 6-day workshop featured a mix of practical and immersive exercises driven by liberal arts and sciences teaching strategies, with institutions ranging from large, medium and small institutions. The 2017 Education Collaborative focused on a broad set of areas, including course design, building a student-centered institution and culture, providing strong career support for students, fundraising and partnerships, among others.
“It’s one thing to talk about a new Africa, and it’s another to know where to begin when we think about creating that new Africa,” said Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University College. “What we’re hoping to do is to create a network of high quality institutions: each with distinct strengths and a common goal of supporting each other, leveraging each other’s strengths and getting all boats to rise. We believe this network, with commitment, can really move African education in a way that has not been seen before.”
“The collaborative is unique, in the sense that it presents an opportunity to fill a gap that is existing in higher education conversations today,” said Dr. Alex Awiti, Director of East African Institute at the Aga Khan University. “This gathering, which is seminal and groundbreaking, modeled upon some of the founding principles of Ashesi to bring together organizations of similar orientation, presents a new starting point. While the small liberal arts colleges that are being established in Africa may not yet be making a big dent, we’ve got to start somewhere.”
Watch a recap of the 2017 Education Collaborative below.