Four ARUA Universities are currently meeting at King’s College London with the PLuS Alliance (4-5 February) to discuss possible collaboration at an Africa Roundtable. The Vice Chancellors of the Universities of Ibadan, Ghana and Makerere and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) for Nairobi are discussing with the PLuS Alliance, made up of Arizona State University, King’s College London and University of New South Wales, Australia ways in which they can work together. They are looking at developing values-based initiatives for engineering education/research, the health sciences and online education. It is hoped that the lessons from the partnership would be extended to other African universities.
Speaking at the opening of the Africa Roundtable, Professor Idowu Olayinka, Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan and Board Chair for ARUA, emphasized the need to focus on the strengths of each university and explore how they can leverage these strengths for the common good. He mentioned various initiatives at Ibadan that could be capitalized on by ARUA and the PLuS Alliance. Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor of Makerere University also pointed to his university’s leadership role in the region and the partnerships that made this possible. The VC of University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, highlighted the link between his university’s strategic plan and the PLuS Alliance’s areas of interest. Professor Madara Ogot, DVC for Research, Innovation and Enterprise at University of Nairobi presented new developments at his University that were relevant to the proposed collaboration.
Professor Ihron Rensburg, former Vice Chancellor of University of Johannesburg is the Senior Adviser to the PLuS Alliance and has been instrumental in arranging the partnership and leading the discussion. The President and Principal of King’s College London, Professor Ed Byrne, opened the meeting with an assurance of the commitment of the PLuS Alliance to the goals of the Africa Roundtable.
The Africa Roundtable is expected to lead to specific projects that will cement the partnership and lead to greater effectiveness of the participating universities in influencing higher education outcomes.