The Higher Education Group (HEG) hosted two weeks LMEU Project Teacher Mobility Programme on Feb.6-16, 2018 at the University of Tampere. In the mobility programme six Ethiopian supervisors from the three partner universities participated. The purpose of the teacher mobility programme was to discuss the major result areas of the LMEU Project including, but not limited to, the professional training module development,the PhD curriculum development,the study plan for doctoral students, doctoral seminars, and Africa panel. In line with this, the mobility programme also aimed to discuss the overall performance of the project and to set strategies for future actions.
The day started with a short session where the visiting project partners from Ethiopia and HEG staff introduced themselves. Prof. Hölttä presented an overview of the higher education system of Finland and outlined its key achievements and challenges. A lively discussion followed the presentation, by which the participants drew interesting contrasts with the structure and organisation of the education system in Ethiopia. The discussion touched upon a range of issues pertaining to higher education that helped broaden the understanding of the Ethiopian partners on the roots and peculiar characteristics of the Finnish education system in general and higher education in particular.In the afternoon, a short campus tour was given to the visitors.
Dr. Mehari, the coordinator of the project, presented the progress report on the activities that were accomplished since the second LMEU project event in Bahir Dar, back in November 2017. The official LMEU project website was launched in the presence of the all participants. Some of the project partners also provided suggestion on how to further improve and make the website more interactive. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the result of the needs assessment survey of professional training. The participants from the three Ethiopian universities presented the findings of the needs assessment they conducted as part of developing the professional training modules. In the afternoon, the panel divided into three smaller groups. Each group held extensive discussion on developing key themes for higher education leadership and management that accurately capture training needs areas identified in the needs assessment conducted to develop the professional training modules.
The morning session began with the three working groups presenting the themes they proposed to constitute the fundamental content of the professional training. The participants then dwelled on how to integrate the themes proposed by the three groups in a manner that would help organise the structurally diverse but content-wise similar findings that the Ethiopian partner universities uncovered in their training needs assessment. Through a constructive discussion and identifying the commonalities between these proposals, the participants finally agreed to develop three core modules for delivering the professional training; namely, Module 1: Organizational Dynamics of Universities, Module 2: Higher Education system and policy, and Module 3: Organizational Change and Strategic Management. Each module was designed to cover a broad range of issues in higher education, and aims at enhancing the knowledge and skills of individuals currently occupying or have the potential to occupy managerial and leadership positions in Ethiopian public universities.
In the afternoon, the discussion on the professional training module continued focusing on further developing the content of the training, target groups, modes of delivery, duration of training, and other relevant practicalities. Finally, the participants agreed on the following timelines: First, they agreed to develop the contents outline for each module by March 12, 2018 and share it to all members. Second, the final draft of the three modules should be finalized by the end of June 2018.Third, the first training would be officially started on the upcoming LMEU meeting in Mekelle University by the end of September 2018.
The supervisors meeting commenced on the morning session on Feb.12. The very purpose of which was to discuss the role and responsibilities of LMEU PhD supervisors. The session began by briefly presenting the study plan guideline of the Faculty of Management and the necessity of developing a study plan for each doctoral student. In the session, questions and practical matters related to the study plan for the year 2018 were discussed and agreed upon. In the afternoon, the HEI-ICI Monitoring and Evaluation meeting was held with representatives of Opetushallitus. The session began by brief introduction of the participants. Following the introduction, the opetushallitus delegates briefly introduced the purpose of the HEI-ICI monitoring and evaluation programme. Professor Hölttä presented the overall implementation process of the LMEU project, the results achieved and the challenges faced during the implementation process. Following Seppo’s presentation, thorough discussions were held with the participants on the major achievements, challenges of the project and identified areas of improvements.
HEI-ICI Monitoring and Evaluation continued in the morning session of Feb.13 with the Faculty leaders and staff members. Finally, preliminary feedback session was held where the OPH delegates provided the overall strength and areas in need of serious attention and development of the project activities.
The third LMEU doctoral seminar was held and six LMEU PhD students and one visiting PhD student from Cape town University, South Africa presented their research work. During the seminar, doctoral students received constructive comments and questions from the participants.
On the last day of the LMEU Teacher Mobility, the highlight of the event was the Africa panel. In this event, four panellists presented their research to the participants; namely, Dr. Zenawi Zerihun, Dr. James Anyan, Dr. Theresia Doh and Dr. Yohannes Mehari. On the Africa panel, several issues related to African higher education development, governance, research, equity and strategic planning presented and discussed.