Higher Education Institutions have always been called on by society to produce quality research which responds to societal needs and solves the specific problems in communities. In response to this call, the Association of African Universities (AAU), headquartered in Accra Ghana, organised a three-day workshop, from August 15-17, 2017, on Quality and Innovative Research Methods for higher education institutions across the continent. The workshop aimed at reviving and enhancing research skills in university lecturers as part of the response to the above call. The workshop was further aimed at helping to bring about a common understanding and shared vision in research supervision and marking in institutions of higher learning.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at the AAU Secretariat, the Director for Research and Academic Planning, Prof. Jonathan Mba reiterated the importance of undertaking quality research and the need for academics to continually refresh their research skills through refresher courses and workshops. He also called on academics to take the community engagement aspect of their roles seriously as University-Industry linkages plays a key role in moving the continent forward. Prof. Mba said, this will also ensure that African Countries receive the greatest returns on their investment in higher education and its products (including research outputs and students).
Participants at this workshop were from Malawi, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria, and included University lecturers, Polytechnics lecturers, College lecturers and Quality Assurance personnel in Higher Education Institutions, Colleges and Polytechnics.
The workshop targeted imparting knowledge and skills related to quality, relevant and contemporary research methods and activities in higher education to participants. It also sought to build the research capacity of participants in terms of knowledge and skills to help them improve their research skills.
Specifically, its objectives were to share knowledge on the important endowments and characteristics of a good research; equip participants with the background knowledge and skills that inform better quality research practices; share knowledge and skills of the diverse ways of research using various Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); help participants improve their proposal writing skills, among others.
In his closing remarks, the Secretary General of the AAU, Prof. Etienne E. Ehile, thanked the facilitators (Dr. Violet Makuku, Quality Assurance Specialist & Project Officer at AAU, and Prof. Kafui Etsey (a lecturer of Research; Measurement & Evaluation in the University of Cape Coast)) for effectively delivering the training workshop. Prof. Ehile further called on participants to be innovative and publish quality research which meets international standards.
The next quality assurance workshop on Research Methods is planned for 26th-28th September 2017, at the Association of African Universities (AAU) Secretariat in Accra, Ghana. Another quality assurance workshop on Basic Higher Education Teaching Skills (BHETS) will be held at the School of Monetary Studies in Kenya, from the 10th-13th of October 2017.