Association of African Universities bemoan inadequate funding of tertiary institutions

The Association of African Universities (AAU) has raised concerns about the continent’s poor funding of tertiary institutions particularly the universities.

According to its Secretary-General, Professor, Etienne Ehile, most African universities have over the years failed to mount special programmes in line with international standards due to poor funding.

This was captured in a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the AAU’s week-long workshop held at the Tamale City campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS).

Professor Etienne Ehile said no African nation could meet and sustain all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) without quality and affordable education, hence the need to adequately resource tertiary institutions on the continent.

‘No nation could progress sustainably without contribution from its higher education sector which should provide the needed quality education to sustain socio-economic development especially on the African continent at large.”

“As the poorest continent, Africa needs to revive its higher education systems to produce home-grown solutions to overcome its myriad of developmental challenges.

He maintained that, “Some African tertiary institutions produce graduates who are not fully trained for the world of work. Generally, proper teaching with relevant research that focuses and attaches emphasis on the issue of quality assurance, helps a lot in improving the graduate quality and our socio-economic status.”

The Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, urged managers of African universities to adhere strictly to quality assurance measures in line with globally accepted standards.

“The dwindling allocation of state funding to African universities could lax quality assurance measures instituted by universities on the continent.”

Professor Ayum Teye appealed to the international donor community to support African Universities to achieve their desired goals.

“Quality cannot and should never be compromised so as to guarantee quality tuition, research and the future of students from the continent’s universities who would be competing with others from elsewhere outside Africa on the job market.”

“When we adhere to quality assurance measures in all areas of our academic work, the end result is that they will be able to compete with other graduates from other parts of the world, their certificates will be accepted wherever they go looking for job.”

The week-long event was christened, “Quality Assurance Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century Higher Education Personnel.”

Directors of Quality Assurance Departments of universities in Gambia, Zambia, Somaliland, Ghana and Nigeria attended the event.

Among other expected outcomes, the workshop sought to promote the quality of higher education in Africa.

The AAU’s mission is to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development.

It is also mandated to foster collaboration and provide support to its members’ core functions of teaching, learning, research and community engagement and facilitating critical reflection on consensus building around issues affecting higher education and the development of Africa through various networking events.

The AAU has over 400 membership spread across five regions of the African continent.

Currently, the AAU has been appointed by the African Union Commission as the Coordinator of the Continental Education Strategy for African Higher Education from 2016 to 2025.

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