African countries have been challenged to come up with progressive policies in order to foster internationalization of higher education. JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said that increased demand for higher education had given rise to unprecedented mobility of students, academics yet immigration laws of many countries in the continent had not evolved to match the prevailing conditions.
The Vice Chancellor added that JKUAT had made a number of commitments and action plans to enhance global visibility including increase in the enrolment of foreign students and enhanced exchanges among faculty and staff with other countries.
Prof. Imbuga pointed out that by hosting the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, and the Sino-African Joint Research Centre, JKUAT had transformed into a veritable hub of training, research, innovation, as well as cultural diversity and integration
The Vice Chancellor was speaking on Monday March 19, 2018 when she presided over the opening session of Africa Regional Workshop on internationalization in higher education.
The Chairman for the Commission for University Education, Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha decried that despite existence of a number of policies, frameworks and programmes of internationalization, the concept remained fickle in Africa.
He therefore called on African universities to aspire for international character by having among others, globally accepted curriculum, international presence of students and faculty.
The Deputy Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Nairobi Office, Margaret Kirai lauded JKUAT and University of Hannover, Germany for jointly organizing the workshop she termed as instrumental in the internationalization process.
She added that the workshop would afford participants opportunity to share ideas, experiences and forge networks that can be leveraged to actualize internationalization programmes.
On his part, the Deputy Director University of Hannover’s International Office, Dr. Marcus Hoppe said the forums was meant to translate theories into practical strategies of enhancing mobility of stakeholders in the higher education sector, within and beyond Africa.
In a presentation to the participants, Principal Secretary in-charge of Agriculture Research, Prof. Hamadi Boga said universities can become global centres of excellence by identifying key strengths and working with international partners.
Giving the example of the Taita Taveta University, where he served as Vice Chancellor, Prof. Boga said universities’ management should prioritize establishment of functional international office and programmes, to foster internationalization.
In his remarks, JICA Chief Advisor to the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN, Prof. Manabu Tsunoda said Japan was committed to support internationalization of higher education in Africa, exemplified by the decision of Tokyo to be the lead thematic partner for the implementation of PAUSTI.
Prof. Tsunoda added that JICA also supports collaborations among African universities as well as partnership between African and Japanese Universities.
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).
So far, DIES has seen over 30 professionals, drawn from international offices of African universities, trained on management of internationalization. The initiative aims to equip participants with skills and competencies to manage tasks and processes towards internationalization of higher education.