FIRST GENERAL MEETING OF TUNING AFRICA PHASE II CONVENES IN CAIRO
African systems of HE are diverse, said Yohannes Woldetensae during the opening session. This diversity limits recognition of university degrees, thus restricting mobility. The harmonisation strategy is a response to this. Tuning fits in here by improving the comparability of learning outcomes.
Participants from 110 universities in 42 African countries gathered in Cairo between 12 and 14 October to start work on the second phase of the Tuning Africa project, which explores novel methods of developing outcome-oriented study programmes in international working groups of specialists, based on a definition or 'meta-profile' of current needs in specific subject areas.
Project Coordinator Pablo Beneitone explained that the three expected outcomes in Tuning Phase II are design, implementation and credit transfer.
Secretary-General Etienne Ehile of the Association of African Universities identified Tuning Africa as one of the three main pillars on which the current drive towards harmonisation in Africa rests, the other two being the African Quality Rating Mechanism and the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework.
International mobility supports active citizenship, he said. He also said that the pilot phase of Tuning Africa had exceeded expectations in terms of ownership, which was why it was so important to upscale now. In agreement, Diego Escalona Paturel of the EU delegation in Cairo called internationalisation one of the ‘smart investments’ in times of budget pressure.
Tuning Africa is one of the measures that together make up the joint push of the African Union and the EU for harmonisation in African higher education.
Student workload and credits will be the focal area of a new Tuning Africa Project Advisory Group.
Programme design was already an aim for five subjects in the first phase of the project, but three new subject areas have been added this year: applied geology, economics and higher education management. These groups will not only design a new programme but also plan its implementation.
Originating in Europe, the Tuning methodology has increasingly been employed worldwide, with large projects in, for example, Latin America, Russia, Central Asia, Japan and the Southern Mediterranean.