GREAT LAKES: Partnership signed with AUF

The French-speaking University Agency, AUF, and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries have signed a partnership agreement to support higher education and research in the community's three member countries - Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

The agreement was signed last month during the launch of the Pan-African Institute of University Governance in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The aim of the four-year partnership is to give a boost to higher education and scientific research in the community, known by its French acronym CEPGL.

Specifically its objectives are to:

* Establish centres of educational and research excellence, developing within institutions "good practices of university governance".
* Develop information and communication technologies in universities.
* Integrate educational technologies into institutions' teaching practices and support lecturers and researchers in their considerations of the educational role of ICTs.
* Promote research activities in the states' priority areas of law, governance, protection of the environment and sustainable development.
* Focus on professionalising courses within 'LMD' (higher education structure based on the Bologna process).
* Strengthen the teaching workforce of French-speaking universities in the CEPGL, and promote transparency and the mutual recognition of qualifications and study periods.

The Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries is based in Burundi. Founded in 1976 with the aim of economic cooperation, it operates through three specialised agencies - the Banque de Développements des Etats des Grands Lacs, the Organisation de la CEPGL pour l'Energie and the Institut de Recherche Agronomique et Zoologique.