A new policy direction for African universities to accelerate the pace in charting their own identity, to innovate and reorient themselves to meet the socio-economic and political developmental needs of the times is imperative for the continent’s higher education institutions, going forward. This was the sentiment at the Times Higher Education (THE) Africa Universities Summit 2016 held at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.
Under the theme Globalisation and Policy Directions for African Higher Education, the two day summit (27-29 April), an initiative of THE, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) as founding-partner, and University of Ghana, saw delegates from UJ led by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Ihron Rensburg and Executive Director of Internationalisation, Dr Pinkie Mekgwe, as well as Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof Ernest Aryeetey, and Editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Phil Baty deliberating on shaping the future, internationalisation and collaboration of higher education on the continent.
In his opening remarks, Prof Rensburg gave insight on maintaining the momentum of the inaugural THE Africa Universities Summit which was held at the University of Johannesburg, in July 2015. The summit was the follow-up to the TrustAfrica, African Higher Education Summit, held in Dakar of March 2015, where a number of resolutions were reached with direct implications for Africa’s Education in the requisition of development on the continent.
Prof Rensburg reflected on aspects of excellence for institutions and the definition of international excellence, whilst also maintaining local relevance, graduate employability, and the role of universities in producing young African academics that are in touch with the needs of Africa.
The Summit also called on governments to support the internationalisation drive of universities, and stressed the need for institutions on the continent to develop clear policies on internationalisation, research and teaching collaboration with institutions within and outside Africa.
Watch the closing video for the THE Africa Summit 2016.