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23 August 2017
Building Research Capacity: The African Universities Research Approaches Programme Print
Friday, 01 May 2015 16:46

A new programme aimed at building capacity in both teaching and research practice is in its start-up phase. Its conceptualisation and its broad objectives are similar to those of  DRUSSA. Both programmes strengthen the research capacity of Universities research support capacity in order that universities can contribute solutions to socio-economic challenges.

The African Universities Research Approaches (AURA) programme, funded by UKAID, is taking a multi-pronged approach and aims to build research and teaching capacity in universities, specifically in the areas of health, agriculture and the environment. The selection of these three focus areas is not by chance – each area has been identified by the African Union as key areas for development. The challenges and social consequences in these three areas are overlapping and intertwined - making a multidisciplinary research approach essential. African universities’ capacity to deliver high quality, policy relevant research is critical if these problems are to be adequately addressed.

"The programme conceptualises teaching and research an integrated cycle"

Teaching, learning and research – an integrated cycle

The programme conceptualises teaching and research an integrated cycle,  which is reflected in the overall objectives:

  • Improve research practice, by designing an education programme that explores research philosophies, methodologies and techniques; research communications and ethics.
  • Improve research teaching practices, looking specifically at the theory and practice of teaching; learning assessment; and curriculum design.
  • Enrich faculty curricula in health, agriculture and the environment, in order to integrate teaching and research and embed research capacity
  • Strengthen internal structures so that they can support curriculum development. These structures include the IT Departments, Libraries as well as teaching and research support units.
"AURA will work with specific faculties and at institutional level, strengthening not only faculty research capacity but also overall research support capacity"

The programme also aims to draw on the experience and expertise of senior academics in the global south and north to build capacity of academics, such as junior researchers, through mentoring and online discussions and knowledge exchanges. AURA will work with specific faculties and at institutional level, strengthening not only faculty research capacity but also overall research support capacity. Working within each university AURA will implement a pilot which will then be rolled out to other departments in the university. 

 

The implementing partners are the Institute for Development Studies, Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa and Loughborough University.

For more information contact Siobhan Duvigneau at the IDS  s.duvigneau@ids.ac.uk


Alison Bullen is the website content manager for DRUSSA alison.bullen@drussa.net

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