UNILAK emerged among the 3 winners in a competition that brought together 33 universities across Africa. The competition was on employability promotion in higher education institutions in Africa.
The Organizer of the event was ACCESS (the African Centre for Career Enhancement & Skills Support) at the Leipzig University in Germany, together with its African partners, a consortium of 6 universities, namely IRGIB (Benin) KNUST (Ghana), Mount Kenya University (Kenya), INES Ruhengeri (Rwanda), University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Tunis University (Tunisia).
The rationale behind the competition was that University staff and especially lecturers are crucial actors for teaching the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs, and are endowed with the capacity and creativity to develop innovative concepts that impact the employability of graduates.
In this regard, the competition revolved around this question: How can employability skills be developed and implemented in future university curriculum?
The ideas presented were analyzed on the basis of 5 criteria, namely feasibility, adaptability (simplicity or ease of use), degree of innovation (novelty), attractiveness (for different actors, such as students, teachers, companies), and costs (resources).
The selection went through 2 stages: In the pre-selection stage, 10 best ideas were selected from 34 ideas presented by 33 universities across Africa with 79 participants, as universities were also allowed to work as a team. In the final stage, only 3 winners were selected for award.
The first winner was HOUINSU Dedehouanou, lecturer at University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. The next winner was Innocent NDIKUMANA, Lecturer at University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK) in Rwanda, and the last, but not least, was Nashon Adero, lecturer at Taita Taveta University in Kenya.
Besides a participation certificate and possible publication of winning ideas on the upcoming ACCESS Wiki platform, the 3 winners will get the opportunity to get a 3-month scholarship to further develop their ideas and transfer information to other universities of higher learning institutions to improve the teaching methods, geared towards employability promotion.
The African Centre for Career Enhancement & Skills Support (ACCESS) at the Leipzig University seeks to address the paradox of a growing and improved formal education system in Africa which does not improve access to the labor market, but rather contributes to increasing unemployment rates among university graduates.
ACCESS therefore aims to improve access to the labor market in African countries where graduate unemployment is usually very high – over 30 percent in some instances. Within the framework of ACCESS, new interdisciplinary concepts will be developed and piloted to contribute to increasing the employability of students and graduates of African universities.
ACCESS is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) under the “Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation – (exceed)” programme. With “exceed”, DAAD supports the establishment of international university networks on four continents with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).