Commission for University Education (CUE) Chairman, Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti- Chacha has challenged African Universities to review their existing internationalization policies in order to come up with more incentive based policies, that he said, would attract more students while diversifying academia beyond national jurisdictions.
He said despite the existence of a number of policies, frameworks and programmes of internationalization, African Universities were still lagging behind in international student numbers attributing some of the reasons to among others, substandard academic programmes, support systems and less incentives in policies.
“Key areas that African Universities need to focus on to boost internationalization are academic programmes, support systems, policies and academic staff, “said Prof. Nyaigoti.
The CUE Chairman was speaking at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology when he attended the African Regional Dies Workshop on Management of Internationalization held at Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre Monday, September 16, 2019.
JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said the current demands for a unique labour from the dynamic world can only be derived through globalizing and liberalizing economies as well as the development of knowledge societies.
Prof. Ngumi pointed out that the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) hosted at JKUAT, as well as the regional programmes on offer such as MSc in Research Methods, have played a major role in the internationalization of the University. Currently, she told the gathering, the students at PAUSTI represent 36 African Countries.
She said JKUAT had made a number of commitments and action plans through the Alumni and International Office (ALISO) to enhance global visibility such as through enrollment of foreign students and enhanced exchanges among faculty and staff with other countries.
“JKUAT established the Alumni and International Office (ALISO) to support the international students and staff. The University also developed a policy on internationalization to guide its internationalization journey. I am indeed pleased to note that ALISO is involved in the programme which gives them an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to contribute to our internationalization agenda better,” said Prof. Ngumi.
Director General, Kenya National Qualification Authority, Dr. Eusebius Juma, urged African students traveling abroad to further their studies to understand the levels of education in both countries to avoid regressing in education over prestigious status.
“If you travel abroad to pursue a Bachelor’s degree without attaining the cut off marks of C+, your degree in Kenya will be null and void,” said Dr. Juma.
Deputy Director University of Hannover’s International Office, Dr. Marcus Hoppe stated that the internationalization of universities involved was a slow and steady process that was determined by factors such as availability of multilingual campuses, and language learning facilities, among other things.
The Deputy Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Nairobi Office, Margaret Kirai lauded JKUAT and University of Hannover, Germany, for organizing the regional workshop which she said, was a catalyst to internationalization.
The regional workshop on internationalization was jointly organized by JKUAT, (DAAD), and University of Hannover under the auspices of the Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies (DIES).