New university governance diploma and ‘e-labs’

International partnerships are setting up the first masters degree course in university governance for Francophone African universities, and a project to develop a network of distance education laboratories for teaching engineering in North Africa. The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, or AUF, is involved in both initiatives.

The university governance programme is being developed jointly by the University of Yaoundé-II Soa in Cameroon, the Université Panafricaine, the University of Tampere in Finland and the Institut de la Francophonie pour la Gouvernance Universitaire (IFGU).

The latter is an institute based in Yaoundé and created by the AUF with support from the Cameroon Higher Education Ministry to help universities modernise their scientific, academic, administrative, financial, social and digital governance.

The course, due to start in the near future, will develop teachers’ governance skills, and it is planned to extend studies later to doctoral level. It will be taught on the campus of Yaoundé-II Soa and online through Formations Ouvertes et à Distance, distance courses disseminated through the Campus Numériques Francophones, the digital network of the AUF.

The other new project in which the AUF is a partner is Tempus e-Sience, operated through the agency’s Maghreb regional bureau in Rabat, Morocco.

This “Réseau maghrébin de laboratoires à distance (2012-15)” aims to set up a network of distance education laboratories in the Maghreb, associated with modernisation of higher education in engineering and taking into account the expectations of the world of work.

e-Sience is based on e-learning to complement traditional face-to-face teaching, integrating practical work accessible remotely for large numbers of students through three distance education laboratories in the Maghreb.

It will enable resources to be shared efficiently, create updated programmes and put online 15 course units compatible with the ECTS, the Bologna process credit transfer system. A learning management system will store educational material.

The three-year project is coordinated by the University of Bordeaux-1 and brings together 16 university and industrial partners in the Maghreb (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) and Europe (France, Greece, Austria and Romania).

Integration into partner universities’ accredited programmes should ensure its longer-term sustainability.

All courses will be distributed at national level through virtual universities, and internationally through conferences and workshops.