The IHEA Foundation pilot project was conceived jointly with African universities that were already partners of the universities of the Foundation. It was activated in the academic year 2020/2021, amid the COVID-19 health and economic crisis that forced our universities to equip themselves, albeit in a hurry, for distance learning, thus opening new perspectives.
The multilevel virtual training mobility program was designed for students enrolled in 30 universities in 13 African countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Botswana, Ghana, South Africa, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Uganda.
The students, selected in collaboration with local universities, were able to participate in a number of courses delivered online by Italian universities and thus participate in the innovative teaching methods developed and fine-tuned during the last semester.
The first level Specialising Master in “Sustainable Management of Resources for Local Development: Empowering Higher Education in Africa” was launched in the academic year 2021-2022. It started in February 2022 and will end in February 2023.The Specializing Master has mainly provided online. However, in-presence activities might be organized as long as the Covid-19 pandemic remains manageable. The one-year Specializing Master offers 60 ECTS and covers different areas related to development cooperation.
The Specializing Master programme, entirely taught in English, is markedly multidisciplinary as it is specifically designed to strengthen the transversal knowledge needed for teaching and research on strategic themes for the African continent, such as resource management and local development. Teaching modules, therefore, ranges from “Project Research Management – Innovative Teaching and learning methods” to “Sustainable Food” and “Sustainable development and the Africa challenge”, from “Sustainable Energy” and “Cultural Heritage” to “One Health”.
The Specializing Master is targeted at a qualified generation of skilled young researchers and teaching staff of Higher Education institutions in Africa. It stands as an essential means for their professional development.
The Specializing Master envisages a three-fold objective:
In the first edition of the specializing master 35 researchers from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda have been selected among 149 applications. IHEA Foundation – thanks to the financial support of the Italian Ministry of University and Research – has covered all the students fees and has provided some facilities in order to enable them to attend the course.