The AAU is pleased to announce a 3-day research methodology skills course entitled:QUALITY AND INNOVATIVE RESEARCH METHODS SKILLS TRAINING COURSE (QRMS) with the theme: Quality and Innovative Research Methods for the 21st Century

Preamble and Rationale

Virtually all development players now concur that for any meaningful and sustainable economic growth to be realized and sustained, tertiary education must be centrally placed in the development agenda of nations. Countries around the world are striving to build the sector as part of their priority strategic development plan. Indeed, building a tertiary education system is no more a luxury but a national and continental imperative critical for Africa’s development and global competitiveness. Quality and relevance of university education have emerged as serious concerns of the sector for some time now.

The AAU recognizes the role played by research in socio-economic development and to this end has designed this course to provide current, relevant and expert support to researchers as one of its major activities. This is in accordance with International University Standards in fulfillment of its role to facilitate quality teaching & learning, research and community service activities in the African Higher Education community. Through this course, they are therefore, able to compete at the highest level in accordance with the current international standards and best practices in Higher Education. Part of The AAU’s mission is to contribute to the development of African Higher Education through the advancement of knowledge and skills in research in order to inculcate innovativeness and creativity in both students and lecturers through such research workshops for their own benefit and that of their institutions, nations, the African continent and the international community at large.

The training workshop seeks to fulfil one of CESA’s 12 strategic objectives which is:  Revitalizing and expanding tertiary education, research and innovation to address continental challenges and promote global competitiveness (GOAL 9). It is also guided by some of the priority areas agreed upon in the Declaration and Action Plan of the 1st Higher Education Summit on Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s Future held in Dakar, Senegal (10-12 March, 2015):

GOAL 3. Increase investment in higher education to facilitate development, promote stability, enhance access and equity; develop, recruit and retain excellent academic staff and pursue cutting-edge research and provision of high quality teaching.

GOAL 4. Pursue excellence in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, public service and provision of solutions to the development challenges and opportunities facing African peoples across the continent.

It is against this background that the AAU is providing the short intensive training course on generic research skills to equip lecturers and students with the foundations for carrying out quality and meaningful research, guide and supervise students’ research projects and effectively mark students’ research objectively, accurately and thoroughly, based on the knowledge and skills to be obtained from this short but intensive course for tertiary level. This can be achieved through the content on Formulation of a research problem, Research paradigms, Writing a grant winning proposal, Aspects of a good research proposal, Effective and relevant literature review, Data collection tools/methods/instruments, Data analysis, Writing a succinct discussion. 


Impart knowledge and skills related to quality relevant and contemporary research in higher education to participants who have an interest in updating or upgrading themselves to both the old and new modes of research in higher education.


The main objective of the workshop is to build research capacity in terms of knowledge and skills so that participants are able to improve their research skills. The specific objectives are to achieve the following:

  • 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)
  • equip participants with generic writing techniques,
  • help to improve proposal writing skills,
  • impart knowledge on general and specific expectations of reviewers (in case of publications),
  • upgrade knowledge and skills needed to assist & supervise students’ research projects well,
  • upgrade knowledge and skills needed to properly mark students’ research projects/dissertations and theses.

The main output of the workshop is to equip participants with generic research information and skills that enable the:

  • selection of relevant research topics,
  • formulation of sound statements of problems, aims, objectives and research questions,
  • carrying out relevant and appropriate literature review,
  • matching of research approaches and paradigms to appropriate data collection tools and analysis.
  • members of the academic staff equipped with proposal writing skills
  • grant winning proposals ready to be submitted for either funding or postgraduate studies.
  • it is expected that participants will be able to transfer the skills acquired to their peers (in case of students and lecturers) and students (in case of lecturers).

The objectives of this course will be achieved through lead lectures, intensive participant interaction and exchange of ideas over carefully selected cases and other materials in a process facilitated by renowned Resource Persons. The participants will, through participatory activities, learn the research methodology content and skills.                           


Tomreik Hotel, East Legon, Accra, Ghana-25th-27th July, 2017


Broad categories include civil society, industry, academia and government. Some of the specific categories include:

  • University lecturers
  • Polytechnics lecturers
  • College lecturers
  • Quality Assurance personnel in Higher Education Institutions, Colleges and Polytechnics
  • Personnel in Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and International organizations
  • Students in Higher & Tertiary Education
  • Any person who feels deficient in his/her research skills

 N/B: In general, participation is open to everyone with the need to improve their research skills

  1. FOR REGISTRATION, visit ;
1 EMPLOYEES of Government, Civic & International Organizations and Non AAU-member Universities 500
2 AAU Member Universities 400
3 Full-time students (To provide evidence) 300

9. CONTACTS: or  Cell: +233 263 129 798, and – or   Cell: +233 241 461 176


The AAU will conduct reviews of the impact of the skills acquired by the participants after six months and a year after participating in the training courses. These reviews may take the form of face to face interaction and questionnaire administration (using pre- and post-training periods to check for improvement). The review will consider among other things, improved research competencies in participants, staff research methods teaching and supervision competencies, and competencies in the assessment of research projects by supervisors.

Resume of Resource Personnel

Dr. Violet Makuku (Designer, Coordinator and Lead Resource Person)


DED in Quality Assurance in University Education from the University of South Africa (UNISA, SA); MScEd-Curriculum Studies Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE, ZIM); BSc Geography Honours (BUSE, ZIM); Diploma in Secondary Education from the Gweru Teachers’ College (GTC, ZIM). PhD Thesis Title: The role of quality assurance in University Education Curricula: An evaluative case study of a Zimbabwean State University

Dr Makuku is very familiar with the African higher education environment and higher education regional and sub-regional bodies through the specialized and professional PhD in Quality Assurance in Higher Education, attending Quality Assurance Workshops and Conferences as well as experience. The PhD in Quality Assurance in University Education Curricula enabled Dr Makuku to practically study many facets of higher education QA including teaching and learning, quality of the research process, research supervision and assessment for both students and lecturers, research article writing and staff development. Her study area at PhD level as well as attending, while facilitating numerous conferences on STEM in higher education and QA, has further made her even more relevant to QA in Africa’s Higher Education. Therefore, given the chance, propelling QA in African Higher Education is one of her top priorities.


Quality Assurance Specialist and The Harmonization of African Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative Project Officer at The Association of African Universities (AAU). Recently, Dr Makuku designed continental training courses mostly for higher education personnel to address various quality assurance related challenges in organizations and associations that deal with African higher education quality assurance and accreditation. The programmes were launched during the International Quality Assurance for Higher Education in African (ICQAHEA), held in Windhoek, Namibia from the 19th – 24th of September 2016:

  • The Basic University Teaching Skills Course for University Lecturers,
  • The Quality Assurance Training Course for Quality Assurance personnel and
  • Quality Assurance in Research Methods

Director Quality Assurance at the Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe and a former university lecturer for 14 years first in the Education Department and in the Department of Curriculum Studies under the Faculty of Science Education. Earlier on she was a lecturer of Research Methods courses from Diploma to Master’s Levels for more than 10 years in the Faculty of Science Education,  first in Education Department and later in the Curriculum Studies Department. Her duties also included the designing of courses, coordination of courses and supervision of research projects and dissertations for the same levels and same period.

The vast experience she gained through writing and publishing research articles as well as reviewing research articles for many international peer-reviewed journals sharpened and broadened her knowledge on how to undertake good research studies. The journals include Scholar One, International Journal of Educational Policy Research and Review (IJPRR), Online Journal of African Affairs, African Educational Research Journal (AERJ), Issues in Business Management & Economics (IBM), the African Education Review, the Online Journal of African Affairs and MJED. Once appointed as a peer reviewer of the African Educational Research Journal (AEJR) which falls under Net Journals and the Online Journal of African Affairs (OJAA). Dr Makuku has been actively involved in the review process of research papers linked to Education in general and Curricula in particular. This also makes a good basis for practicing and monitoring QA in African HE.

Dr Makuku has been widely involved in University Quality Assurance activities including research and the designing of University Quality Assurance courses/modules. She also has a lot of experience in the designing and development of University Quality Assurance monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and tools. She presented papers and facilitated workshops and conferences at both local and international conferences in many African countries as well as in Australia and Omani. She conducted a number of research studies on university education and quality assurance, some of which are yet to be published.

She was the Southern African Development Community (SADC) representative for assuring the quality of Teacher Education internship and external assessor for the University of South Africa (UNISA) students based in Zimbabwe for at least 5 years. She has also been an external assessor and quality assurance expert for the University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Teacher Education for many years.

NB: Other Innovative Training Courses available are;

  1. Basic Higher Education Teaching Skills
  2. Quality Assurance (QA) for QA personnel