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KTH knowledge sharpens African universities

In March, teachers from African universities participated in a workshop on Student-centered learning at KTH. Here they visit the Visualization Studio at KTH. (Photo: Sara Nyberg)
Published May 27, 2019

The ITM School helps five African universities to excel in entrepreneurship and teaching methods. Together with a handful of European universities, KTH will increase their competence in various fields of education.

The ambition is to increase knowledge in areas such as entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability in the curricula of the five participating universities from Ghana and Tanzania. What is taught at the higher education institutions today in Africa is often weakly linked to the real socio-economic challenges in the country, and pedagogy is outdated.

"In many parts of Africa unemployment is high, even among the many young people who have an education. To teach entrepreneurship, to find solutions to local problems and needs - and to think sustainably at the same time - is important in these regions", says Sara Nyberg, who leads the KTH part of the project.

The ITM school contributes with knowledge in Student-centered learning, E-learning and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. In a number of workshops, teachers teach other teachers – also in teaching methods - and the focus is on e-learning has an important purpose:

"With digital teaching methods people living in rural areas get access to the univeristies", says Sara.

During the first part of the project, two representatives for each subject at each African university, travel to Europe to attend workshops. In December a group of teachers from Africa visited KTH to get training in entrepreneurship and innovation at the Department of Industrial economics and management, and in March, ten people arrived to get acquainted with "student-centered learning", a course that was highly appreciated:

"In particular 'Peer training' and challenge-driven training was an eye-opener", Gabriel Asare Okyere, from KNUST in Ghana said.

Workshop on the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). (Photo: Jonas Thorén)

During the last phase of the project, the African teachers train their colleagues at their own universities, supported by the European teachers. Recently, two representatives from ITM, Jonas Thorén from Learning and Kristina Nyström from Industrial economics and management, went to Zanzibar to coach the participants. And the African teachers have great expectations on what, among other things, E-learning can lead to:

"It is something that can really make a big difference in our curriculum. It saves both money and time and gives more people the opportunity to take part in for example lectures - no matter where you are. Perhaps our university in the future will be able to compete with others, such as Copenhagen’s", says Dr. Haji at the university Suza.

Text: Anna Gullers

Facts

Project name: Improved entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability in higher education in Africa (EEIS-HEA)
Financing: The EU
Time scope: 2017-2021
Participating universities: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center College (Tanzania), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), University of Energy and Natural Resources (Ghana), State University of Zanzibar
Project team at KTH: Sara Nyberg, Department of Learning, Kristna Nyström, Industrial Economics and management, Jonas Thorén, Department of Learning, Gunaratna Kuttuva Rajarao, Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health

Contact person:

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