Transforming teaching and learning in East Africa
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Students at Mzumbe University

Young people have a vital role to play in development, and universities are important sites to nurture their skills and to harness that energy for social change (as I blogged about last week). But there is work to do to realize this potential. In East Africa, the rapid growth of universities (there are now 45 universities in Uganda – and many smaller training institutions, compared to just one university 50 years ago at Independence). A huge expansion in student places – coming after many years of under-investment in infrastructure, learning resources and in academic staff – has had a serious impact on quality. In neighbouring Kenya, a recent audit by the Commission for University Education has revealed the extent of the problem. The content of many courses is out of date, the styles of teaching reflect the ‘chalk and talk’ mode of lecturing, and in many institutions there are few incentives … Continue reading

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Critical skills for change: universities, young people and learning
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Young people have a vital role to play in their countries’ development. There are now 1.8 billion young people (between the ages of 10 and 24, 2014 UN figures)  — out of a global population of 7.3 billion — and nine out of 10 of them live in developing countries. This makes youth a vital dimension of development policy and practice, and more and more, the role of young people is being recognized. In a speech last year, the UN Deputy Secretary General put it clearly: “Young people must be recognized for who they are: agents of change whose contributions will bring benefits both to themselves and to society”. A set of institutions that have long known the potential of young people are universities. It’s through university study that young people can develop the knowledge, skills, ideas and attitudes that will enable them to contribute to their societies and economies, and also through … Continue reading

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Turning the gender lens inwards: INASP’s Gender Audit
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Blog post by Ruth Bottomley, Senior Programme Manager, Research Development and Support, INASP

Over the last few years there has been growing recognition within INASP that a commitment to incorporating gender considerations in our work is critical to meeting our mission to support individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge, which can transform lives. This commitment to gender equity is clearly outlined in the INASP Strategy, but putting the commitment into practice can be challenging.
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Low representation of women in academic publishing is only a reflection of lack of opportunities
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Dr Sabina Bhattarai is an Associate Professor and Vice Principal at Kathmandu Medical College, Sinamangal and Editor-in-Chief, Nepal Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology. The journal is published in NepJOL, supported by INASP. In this post, Thakur Amgai asked her about her experience in journal publishing in Nepal and the challenges she faces as a female journal editor. Continue reading

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How are Higher Education institutions addressing gender issues?
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AuthorAID sponsored gender sensitization workshop creates gender awareness in the work of PASGR staff and partners in Nairobi. —————————————————————————————————————————–                                             – Blog post by Christine Laustsen, Programme Assistant, INASP Women often face far more barriers in pursuing research and academic careers than their male counterparts. Constraining family expectations and balancing multiple roles as wives, mothers and researchers can negatively affect women’s academic career advancement. At institutional level barriers can often include policies that fail to address women’s needs, lack of senior female mentors, campus safety issues, and difficulty in breaking through the glass ceiling of promotion. Over the last year INASP’s AuthorAID project has focused on supporting women in research to address gender inequality in academia.  As part of this work we have awarded a total of 22 grants to support researchers to present gendered research at conferences or organize a gender workshop in their own institution. Raising the visibility … Continue reading

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In their own words: challenges and opportunities for Tanzanian women researchers
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Women researchers from Dodoma University, AuthorAID project meeting, December 2016, Tanzania. ————————- – Blog post by Jennifer Chapin, Programme Manager, Research and Communication, AuthorAID “Everyone had noticed the issues women faced but no one had talked about it before. Only when all of the women came together to discuss it as a group did they realise they all had the same experiences.” – Ruth Bottomley, discussing the Gender workshop at University of Dodoma, 2015 In December 2016, the AuthorAID team had the opportunity to talk to women researchers in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. We spoke to women who are senior lecturers, field researchers and teachers, from universities in Dar es Salaam and in other cities in Tanzania. They told us about their experiences and they spent time thoughtfully answering our questions. We were interested to know what obstacles they saw in progressing in their careers, and in what ways … Continue reading

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