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ARUA Holds Capacity Building Workshop for Institutional Research Managers

25th June 2024

Over 50 institutional research officers from all 23 ARUA member universities converged in Nairobi, Kenya for the third Capacity Building Workshop, hosted by the University of Nairobi. The two-day workshop, which took place on June 24-25, 2024, formed part of activities planned under Phase 3 of the ARUA-Carnegie Data-Gathering & Benchmarking Project to allow for peer learning and the establishment of best practices for institutional research at ARUA universities.

In his welcome remarks, the outgoing ARUA Secretary-General, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, expressed satisfaction about the participation of six newly admitted member universities in the workshop. He noted that the project was a means by which ARUA was able to monitor how coming together as a network was changing institutional performance at member universities. Prof. Aryeetey emphasized the need for reliable and credible data to aid decision-making at universities. He said “The African university has to change, and it has to change to make itself competitive in a changing world. And the only way to show that change is taking place is by providing the data.” He challenged universities that did not already have systems in place for systematic data-gathering to build structures that collect data on a sustained basis.

Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, ARUA Secretary General

Prof. Stephen Kiama, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, who officially opened the workshop, underscored the importance of data for the management of a university and advocacy on the critical work that universities do. He expressed excitement at the opportunity for peer learning afforded by the workshop and reiterated his university’s full support for the project.

Prof. Stephen Kiama, VC, University of Nairobi

Over the course of the workshop, data teams peer-reviewed the data submitted for phase 3 of the project while sharing experiences and best practices for institutional research. Additionally, a team from Stellenbosch University presented a secure online portal currently under development, to facilitate data-gathering for the project and simplify benchmarking and analysis of the data by ARUA. Prof. Ernest Aryeetey was very pleased with the implementation of the portal and how it utilises Power Bi for interactive analytical graphs.

Phase 3 of the Data-gathering and Benchmarking project will culminate in the publication of a research profiles report on ARUA universities for the period 2015 – 2023. ARUA is grateful to the Carnegie Corporation of New York for supporting the project.