The second LMEU event at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia

The LMEU project partners convened at Bahir Dar, 7-11 Nov 2017, and conducted the second project activities. In this five days-long workshop, the project members focused on discussing a range of issues pertinent to the project, mainly, the development of professional training modules (i.e. result area 2), development of joint PhD curriculum for LMEU project (i.e. result area 1), staff and student mobility programme, budget reporting instruction, second doctoral seminar, and intensive courses. The workshop was attended by a total of 17 participants.

The highlight of the workshop was the joint agreement that the three Ethiopian partner universities will carry out needs assessment as soon as possible which will facilitate the identification of key themes that supports the development of the professional training module. The project partners also stressed the need for actively engaging Ethiopian female academic staff and newly established public universities in the professional training programme, which aims to build capacity in higher education leadership and management.

Meanwhile, after reviewing various modalities of collaboration in international study programmes, the project partners agreed that the LMEU will proceed as a joint PhD programme, in Double degree arrangement, between each Ethiopian university and UTA. Towards this end, the partners agreed to take steps as soon as possible to develop their respective PhD curriculum, by combining it with the four courses from the PhD curriculum of the Higher Education Group (HEG) at UTA, and work towards its approval by the Senate of the respective university. The follow-up discussion will take place during the mobility period at UTA, early February, 2018.

The workshop came to a conclusion in a spirit of shared understanding and collective stance among the project partners on most of the agendas that were discussed. The participants expressed their satisfaction that the workshop was fruitful, and that it indicated a prospect of a more productive collaboration and commitment.

The Finnish LMEU members also visited Dr. Mulunesh Abebe,Vice President for Research and community Services of BDU. The discussion focused on strengthening the collaboration between the University of Tampere and Bahir Dar University in various research areas. Dr. Mulunesh underlined the importance of the LMEU project in the capacity development efforts to improve the leadership and management of Ethiopian universities and further ensured the commitment of BDU to the successful achievement of the project.

On the last day of the Bahir Dar event, the LMEU project also participated the conference, entitled “Women in Society and Development”, organised by the Embassy of Finland in Ethiopia and Bahir Dar University, as part of the Finland 100 celebration. Dr. Yohannes Mehari, the coordinator of the LMEU project, was one of the panelists leading the discussion, and gave a talk on the topic of the role of men in empowering women. In addition, Prof. Seppo Hölttä delivered a short presentation, introducing the objectives and activities of the LMEU project to the audience. The project also took part in poster presentation and distributed brochures that were aimed at enhancing the visibility of the project and reaching out to stakeholders.

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