Former African students of the University of Bayreuth in Germany and those sponsored in other universities in Germany by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, will soon establish the Bayreuth International Alumni Network for West and Central Africa and also discuss new ways of initiating projects in development and management
Participants from ten African countries and Germany will today July 29th 2013 end weeklong workshops in the Universities of Yaoundé I and Buea respectively.
According to Dr. Eric Anchimbe, Cameroonian-born Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the University of Bayreuth:
“After similar gatherings in Bayreuth, Germany, Eldoret in Kenya, we are in Cameroon to identify with one another, share experiences while in Bayreuth and ensure that we get the common people know what we are doing in the area of research, especially on renewable energy, environment that touches everybody and other issues of relevance that cut across,” he said.
Dr. Gratien Atindogbe, Bayreuth Alumnae and Lecturer in the University of Buea, UB, said the meeting is enriching and beneficial to the students of UB since they have the opportunity to build capacity, while exchanging with fellow scholars, develop projects that must be professionally managed, do research while teaching is ongoing and to ensure that results of the research are made available to the students to help society in general.
“Without projects a university will not survive, so, in UB, we have done projects on the documentation of two endangered Bantu languages of Cameroon. It was a three-year-project funded by a German funding agency. The project is called TOVES – Documentation of Endangered Languages. It ended in March 2013 and plans to write more projects are underway,” he noted.
From the University of Yaoundé I, Dr. Rosalyn Mutia said it is necessary to acquire the tools to do good research.
“Thanks to collaboration from DAAD and the University of Bayreuth we have learnt that as alumni and this is the moment to know that a research is a project, which must be properly managed and progressively developed,” she added.
Dr. Mutia mentioned that her university is leading change across the higher education landscape in Cameroon in the areas of professionalization, internationalisation of courses, employing diversity in their courses, which must come to fruition thanks to newfound knowledge on project development and management. “Our students need to write projects on how to acquire scholarships. If you wish to apply for a DAAD scholarship, you must do a good research project. Learning all these will help me to transmit the knowledge to my students. That is why we invited those at the post graduate level to attend the conference during the Yaoundé stopover.”
Dramatist and Artistic Director, Dr. Emelda Ngufor Samba of the University of Yaoundé I noted that in project writing, one has to be concrete and know the needs of the community, who are the ultimate beneficiary of the work of a researcher and project manager. “There is a difference when you are studying and when you are operating in the field after studies. Now, it is the time to run projects, how to develop and manage them are critical. Hence, there are reasons for us to learn those skills. Those of us in theatre must be involved as lecturers and students because we cannot operate without the community,” she explained.
Earlier, the UB Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Cooperation and Relations with the Business World, Prof. Victor Julius Ngoh, sitting for UB VC, said the series of workshops christened Project Development and Project Management constitute the surest way to achieve research and teaching programmes of the highest standard. “I am convinced that members of this conference will design quality research projects for a better university. UB is known for promoting and supporting project development and training in numerous ways with its partners,” he said.
Prof. Maurice Aurelien Sosso, Rector of the University of Yaoundé I, recognised the University of Bayreuth and DAAD as initiatives aimed at developing and implementing collaborative educational programmes, corresponding to the present day challenges and requirements. He will add that the aforementioned institutions have impacted his university in positive ways, saying it can be seen in the area of teaching, capacity building of staff and exchange programmes involving students too.
The other DAAD and Bayreuth alumni, from Africa, taking part in the workshops come from Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Nigeria