AUCC, AAU launch project to strengthen African universities

The Association of African Universities (AAU) in partnership with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), on Thursday officially launched a three year partnership project for African universities in Accra.

The project would strengthen African universities strategic plans for improved outreach to external stakeholders, and its ability to support its member universities’ external stakeholder relations as well as its own external stakeholder relations.

The partnership project is on the theme: “Strengthening higher education stakeholder relations in Africa”

Speaking at the launch, Mr Joseph Annan, Deputy Minister of Education
said the project would not only help the AAU to deliver on its mandate to its constituents but also showcase universities as playing central roles on the continent’s development.

He said the project would position universities to enhance already existing linkages with industry and also promote the establishment of such linkages where there was none.

Mr Annan noted that for universities to play an important role in the industrial sector there was the need for a strategic partnership between academia and industry to generate and produce a fertilisation of ideas, expertise and research.

He said “the job market is seeking graduates with employable skills, who can adapt to the changing world and creatively become entrepreneurs in their own rights. The continent needs university output with knowledge, skills, and experience in putting these to practical use in the real world”.

Mr Annan reiterated government’s support for the project and urged
universities to be proactive and continuously review and update their
curricula and educational material to suit changing conditions to be able to be successful and provide quality education.

Mrs Trudy Kernighan, Canadian High Commissioner, said the partnership project was initiated as a result of interest expressed by the AUCC to facilitate the development of public policy on higher education and to encourage corporation among universities and institutions in other countries.

She said it was important for universities to reorient and tailor their objectives to respond to the changing nature of education and to support the new generation of African and Canadian universities.

Mrs Kernighan said it was important to develop and apply new set of
roles and responsibilities to ensure that African universities were well
positioned to maximize adequate profit for the development of the continent.

She said the partnership would enable African universities to be link more closely with the private sector, to enable it to better develop its skills and knowledge to meet Africa’s economic needs.

Source: GNA

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