East Africa Network of Excellence for Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)
The demand on the Kenyan labour market for qualified specialists with practice-oriented degrees has been increasing for years. Introducing elements of application-oriented teaching, applied research and closer collaboration between university and industry into the Kenyan higher education system may be a solution to that challenge. Germany´s universities of applied sciences have implemented these characteristics of practical orientation for many years.
The main objective of a new programme sponsored by DAAD and the German Foreign Office is to familiarize interested Kenyan universities, academics and junior academics with the teaching practices at universities of applied sciences. The programme wants to lay the foundation for sustainable networks for "Applied Sciences" higher education partnerships between Germany and Kenya.
- Project Objective
The main goal is to give interested Kenyan university teachers the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the model of German universities of applied sciences.
The two German universities, Hochschule Neu-Ulm (HNU) and Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI), are following an application-oriented scientific approach, which focuses on the requirements in practice and qualifies students for the labour market. Inter alia by integrating internship modules in companies in their curricula, the applied study programs are less concentrated around the scientific-theoretical background.
Within this framework, the project of HNU and THI wants to achieve the following objectives by 2019:
- Kenyan university teachers and junior academics gain in-depth knowledge of the model of the German University of Applied Sciences (UAS)
- Personal and institutional contacts between Kenya and Germany are reinforced and established
- Kenyan university teachers and junior academics are able to design and deliver teaching activities based on the model of the German University of Applied Sciences (UAS), adapted to Kenyan requirements
- Intercultural understanding is strengthened on both sides
The programme runs until end of 2019 with visits, workshops and guest lectureships in Neu-Ulm and Ingolstadt, Germany.
Building on these program objectives, HNU and THI are pursuing the following specific project goals:
- The qualification objectives should cover both, business management as well as technical-engineering. For this purpose, HNU and THI pool their expertise in the area of business administration and engineering sciences / technology and cover the specific features of both disciplines in the qualification measures. THI will cover especially the field of renewable energies in this project.
- The qualification measures should not just provide application-oriented teaching but also the elements of application-oriented research and knowledge & technology transfer. Application-oriented research and research-based learning are key elements for the German UAS and are depending on each other. The university and the regional anchoring of the universities with companies and diverse interest groups are central goals of a transfer strategy for German UAS.
- Another important goal of the project is the sustainability of the qualification measures. Therefore it should not only be a transmission of the German UAS system but also enable the participants to generate individual concepts to introduce concepts for UAS in their Universities. Therefore specific transfer workshops at the end of the two years program are planned.
- Finally a platform will be established, where experiences with the UAS model can be discussed and best practice can be exchanged, to intensify the personnel and institutional contacts between Germany and Kenya, and to strengthen a network between the participants.
- Project Approach
The project is divided into three phases: initiation, qualification and transfer.
17 participants from different Kenyan universities have been selected
This phase includes the qualification of selected Kenyan university teachers through seminars and short-term stays in Germany to convey the three pillars of the model of German universities of applied sciences. In order to promote this model in Kenya’s higher education sector, HNU and THI will offer three workshops in application-oriented teaching, applied research and knowledge and technology transfer.
Other measures in this phase will include short-term stays in Germany for Kenyan university teachers as well as for administrative staff. The main focus is on employees from the library, internship and carrier center.
The transfer phase is an important factor for the qualification program to ensure sustainability and to create a collaborative network, to share and discuss about concepts, experiences and best practices in the introduction of essential elements in the German model of applied sciences.
This phase should enable participants to develop first ideas for the implementation of models of applied sciences in Kenyan universities.
The transfer will be supported by two workshops which are specifically dedicated to the fields of technology and business administration.
At the end a technology-based collaborative platform will be set up, to enable the participants also after the end of the project, to have further exchange of ideas and to support each other in the implementation of measures.
- Project Team
Prof. Dr. Olaf Jacob
Prof. Wilfried Zörner
Transferring Project Outcomes
From 9 to 11 July, 2019, the second transfer workshop in the UAS project took place in Nairobi. The project participants presented the developed concepts and the advantages of the model of applied sciences to the vice chancellors of their universities. Furthermore, they discussed how the cooperation between universities and industry can be strengthened with a representative of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the company Krones .