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Heads and Managers of ARUA Centres of Excellence meet in Mauritius

27th February 2023

A two day workshop of Heads and Managers of ARUA Centres of Excellence has taken place in Mauritius.

The workshop which had over 25 participants from all the 13 ARUA Centres of Excellence took place from February 23-24 February 2023 and was hosted by University of Mauritius.

In his opening remarks, ARUA SG, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey paid glowing tribute to the University of Mauritius for hosting the workshop and said as an associate member of ARUA, he was looking forward to working closely with the UoM in the coming years. He said he was hopeful that UoM will engage with other ARUA universities and ultimately host an ARUA Centre of Excellence.

University of Mauritius Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sanjeev K Sobhee in brief remarks thanked ARUA SG for the confidence reposed in the University to host the ceremony. He said the University of Mauritius (UoM) was doing its best to improve its international rankings, especially in terms of internationalization. He acknowledged the importance of evidence based research which he argued feeds into policy interventions, for the government and for the private sector. While wishing participants fruitful discussions and a pleasant stay in Mauritius, Prof. Sobhee was hopeful the workshop would lead to desirable outcomes to enhance the ideals of ARUA.

Speaking on the role of the Centres of Excellence, Prof. Aryeetey said they are intended to be focal points for aggregating world-class researchers from member countries while providing opportunities for graduate students from the region and elsewhere to work with the researchers. He said that even though the COEs have had varied experiences, they have been mostly positive, adding that despite funding challenges, activities of the Centres are still going forward for some more than others. He reiterated the need for all COEs to be seen as platforms for advancing ARUA’s goals.

During the 2-day workshop, heads and managers of the CoEs provided self assessments of their performance over the funding period. The workshop also afforded participants the opportunity to discuss issues of sustainability and the opportunity to work together. The various presentations also provided the Centres to reflect on their plans for the future, as well as discuss ARUA’s pilot collaborative PhD programmes, and how to strengthen research and capacity building collaboration between themselves.

Other areas discussed were the new focus areas towards the establishment of additional Centres of Excellence and the proposed Cluster of Excellence with The Guild.

At the end of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to tour the campus of the University of Mauritius.

The workshop was sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York.