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The Future of Universities to be discussed in a high level Conference in Kigali

28 Jun 2022

From 5th -8th July, the University of Rwanda-College of Education, under the “Transformative Learning Through International Education for Sustainable Growth (TELLS)” Project will organize, in Kigali, a Conference which will discuss the Future of Universities.

Nowadays, higher education institutions are expected to equip learners with adequate competence for solving today’s societal problems, to be able to tackle issues that are not yet known and create non-existing jobs for addressing challenges of the future world economies.

It was observed that there is an increasing demand for a creative workforce, with high critical thinking capacity, problem solving skills and collaborative working abilities. In this era of technology enhanced teaching and learning, it is fundamentally important that the faculty can effectively apply transformative pedagogy to teach blended learning courses.

It is in this framework that a 5-year (2021-2026) Grant Agreement project, called “Transformative Higher Education and Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Growth (TELLS)” was signed between the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the University of Agder on capacity development in higher education and research (UiA).

NORAD aims to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions in developing countries to produce higher-quality graduates, more and higher quality research, and more inclusive higher education. NORAD supports university partnerships for North-South-South academic collaboration.

TELLS is a joint effort between Makerere University, Uganda, University of Rwanda, Jimma University, Ethiopia, and the University of Agder, Norway. Important topics on the TELLS education and research agenda are life-long learning, new certificate structures, digital inclusion, embracing diversity, gender equality, 21st-century “soft skills”, enhanced capacity by using artificial intelligence, new pedagogical models, virtual student, and staff exchange, and policies for the digital age.
The objectives of this 1st TELLS Conference are :
 To present the experience of our four universities with open distance education and digital education technology
 To address cyberattacks that threaten our research and education infrastructure.
 “Futurists” present possible alternative futures and directions for universities.
 To present “Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for Life skills and Gender Aspects,
 To talk about “XR, VR & AR Technologies : Scenarios of use, Current Design and development Trends” in education
 To address the problem of copyright and digital media in education
 To offer advanced courses for master’s and Ph.D. students.

The Conference will bring together
-  Implementing Team of TELLS project
-  Invited presenters from TELLS Partner universities (University of Rwanda, University of Agder from Norway, Makerere University from Uganda, and Jimma University from Ethiopia)
-  Officials of the University of Rwanda
-  Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students from the school of Education at the College of Education
-  Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students from the school of ICT at the College of Science and Technology.
-  Lecturers from UR-CE and UR-CST
-  Invitees from Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy (RCHA)
-  Invited Presenter from Rwanda Development Board
-  Online Participants, among others.

Generally, the work in TELLS is based on an open and inclusive approach that is characterized by a culture of co-creation. It is committed to research-based education as the basis for the renewal of our study programs. Embracing diversity, gender equality, and digital inclusion are critical success factors.

For the University of Rwanda in general and the College of Education in particular, TELLS will offer high-quality education to a much wider part of society using courses and learning objects that are owned by all partners. TELLS will also enhance existing master programs for teachers and creates programs for lifelong learning for teaching professionals.

Furthermore, TELLS will co-create open Ph.D. courses for future digital education to lay the foundation for new Ph.D. programs.

Story by

NTIRANDEKURA Schadrac
Public Relations, University of Rwanda-College of Education

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