IUCEA interventions are supported by the EAC Partner States and the network of stakeholders including Development Partners from the region and beyond. The following are the current programmes and projects that are implemented or coordinated by IUCEA.
East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education Programme
IUCEA is coordinating an East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education Programme in East Africa. The purpose of the programme is defined to include all types of studies, training or training for research at post-secondary level, provided by universities or other education establishments approved as institutions of higher education by the competent national authority. The framework provides the set of policies, objectives and information central to the organization, implementation and monitoring arrangements. The framework is to be viewed as a convergence instruments of levels for all qualifications of EAC Partner States, which provides comparability, framework of qualifications, obtained in one partner state as well as in other countries and regions around the world. It expands the opportunities for mobility, it recognizes knowledges and skills acquired.
Research and Innovation Coordination Programme
Research and Innovation Coordination Programme at IUCEA is responsible for planning and coordination of implementation of regional research and innovation interventions, considering that Research and Innovation has a crucial role to play in socio-economic development and transformation of society in the East African region. The magnitude and impact of research and innovation is a function of systematic and structured manner in which it is managed and coordinated. The programme promotes the development of high quality research infrastructure and facilities that characterize centres of research and innovation excellence, considering that innovations of commercial value generated by high quality scientific research would motivate industry to support research and take up innovations of commercial value. IUCEA has developed a research and innovation policy framework aimed at guiding and strengthening collaboration and networking among research institutions, promoting partnership with industry and strengthening regional research and innovation coordination for regional integration.
Staff and Students Mobility Programme
IUCEA implement and coordinate Staff and Students Mobility Programmes guided by the academic mobility policies and operationalization guidelines with the aim of sharing of knowledge, skills and facilities among scholars: students and staff, in the EAC based universities. The main priority for the mobility is among the institutions across the EAC Partner States for effective contribution to the EAC Common Market Protocol, and realization of the EAC Common Higher Education Area. The staff mobility programme provides for staff participation in either among the Teaching and Learning, Research and Community Engagement as well as external examination, with beneficiaries being junior and senior academic staff mainly in terms of learning, collaboration and sharing experience. The effectiveness and efficiency of the academic mobility programme is enhanced by the level of compliance of universities with the IUCEA led harmonized Quality Assurance system and the EAC Qualifications Framework for Higher Education. For the past 3 Financial Years, the number of scholars seeking to participate in the Staff Mobility programme has grown from 30 to 150. This implies a great potential for realization of harmonized quality of programmes, inter-cultural understanding and enhanced regional integration prospects.
Due to the effectiveness of the IUCEA academic mobility programme, development of various aspects of academic mobility for upcoming programmes and projects can find a number of engagements that allows for mainstreaming of the IUCEA led systems or synergies among them. In addition to purely academic aspects of mobility under IUCEA, a wide range of activities geared to the EAC integration have been supported, namely associations on societal topical issues, clubs, and sports activities among others.
The Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II)
The ACE II, an initiative of participating African governments and the World Bank, has established 24 Africa Centers of Excellence (ACEs) in the priority sectors of Agriculture, Health, Science and Technology and Applied Statistics and Education. The Centers of Excellence will build and sustain excellence in higher education and bridge skill gaps in the human resources required to address the development needs of the region. The ACE II is designed to identify and address higher skills and innovation requirements for priority sectors in the region. It is also aligned with Eastern and Southern African Countries’ strategy to strengthen competitiveness and employment in Africa through the production of quality high skilled human resources in priority growth sectors.
A regional specialization of higher education through the ACEs will:
(i) Concentrate on the limited available top-level faculty into a critical mass that can attain academic excellence;
(ii) Establish and sustain the necessary number of centers of excellence to support the region’s demand for specialized human capital and knowledge at lower unit costs; and
(iii) Generate increased knowledge and flow of students across borders.
East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP)
The World Bank in partnership with East African countries is developing an East Africa regional skills initiative, the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) to support skills development for the Northern Corridor Initiative Project (NCIP) and other mega projects in the region. The Project is expected to be approved by the World Bank board in or around October 2018 and will be implemented in the next five years or so.
The proposed East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) initially involves three East African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The project’s development objective is to increase the access and improve the quality of TVET programs in selected Regional TVET Centers of Excellence and to support regional integration. The project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs at diploma and degree levels for training of technicians and TVET faculty, as well as industry recognized short-term training, targeting regional priority sectors in transport, energy, manufacturing, and ICT.
East African Center of Excellence for ICT
The political partners, the East African Community (EAC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) agreed to establish a Center of Excellence in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the EAC. GIZ serves as lead implementing agency while the IUCEA is the implementing partner on the East African side and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is supporting the implementation of the academic strand of the project on the German side. This technical cooperation is part of the Regional Economic Integration Programme and under the umbrella of the BMZ’s “Digital Africa Initiative”, an initiative that calls upon the private sector to support strategic partnerships towards a digital Africa. The project runs from April, 2017 to March, 2021. The Center of Excellence shall contribute to reinforcing the teaching and learning capabilities of East African universities in ICT-related fields. It will also foster linkages between universities, the private and public sector as well as civil society. As a result of the cooperation of these stakeholders, employability, employment and entrepreneurship will be strengthened in East Africa.
East Africa Journal of Science Technology and Innovation (CSTI) Forum
Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) is collaborating with the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) and the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) stakeholders in the East African Community (EAC) to establish a biennial STI Conference that will incorporate scientific conference where research papers, reviews, keynotes, and topical scientific issues will be presented and exhibitions and trade fairs, which will provide a forum for the academia, public and private organizations (including industrialists) to showcase their works and interact for formation of linkages and alliances that will result in uptake of products, prototypes, services and processes for translation into usable goods and services. The conferences on science, technology and innovation will be a periodical platform of the STI Forum that facilitate sharing of knowledge, technology and innovation among scientists, industrialists and innovators from the academia, research institutes (both public and private), industry and the community, focused on promotion of human resources development for the socio-economic competitiveness of the EAC region