9th ANIE Annual Conference…
DEVELOP NATIONAL POLICY TO GUIDE RESEARCH-ORIENTED UNIVERSITIES
A call has been made for the development of a comprehensive national policy document to guide the activities of research-oriented universities. According to the proponents, doctoral topics/themes would be relevant if they fit into the national research agenda of their respective countries.
This was one of the key recommendations contained in a research report on ‘Building PhD Capacities in Sub-Saharan Africa’ presented by a team of renowned researchers at the 9th Annual Conference of the African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE) in Nairobi, Kenya recently.
The team members were Miriam Pahl, Germany Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Kenya; Prof. Peter Barasa, Alupe University College/ANIE; Prof. Goski Alabi, Laweh Open University College-Ghana/ANIE; Dr James Jowi, East African Community/ ANIE; and Pauline Gangla; British Council, Nairobi.
The Team explained that countries need to “develop a comprehensive research policy document detailing national priority research areas to give direction to research-oriented universities.”
The Report revealed that in the case of Ghana, although this recommendation was also proffered by the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in 2003, the proposal was yet to be implemented.
It observed that in countries where there were National policy frameworks guiding research and PhD training, the frameworks were weak.
Using five countries, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana for the study, the researchers noted that Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Research in these countries were fraught with many challenges in respect of funding, weak support/infrastructure, supervision, workload and quality, among other things.
The research team had other forward looking proposals. It recommended partnerships and collaborations with other more endowed institutions to build the requisite capacity and capabilities for research and PhD training.
Additionally, it proposed that universities should be strengthened to make PhD more applied and responsive to societal needs, and that policy and industry briefs should be a requirement for PhD research output.
Besides, in the case Ghana in particular, it was recommended there was the need to develop alternative funding mechanisms and remodel Government, Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and Internally Generated Fund allocations to support PhD Research.
Similarly, the Report called for the need to build capacity for effective supervision and student mentoring, noting that donor support in building these capacities might be required.