Higher Education for Integration - WAI-CEDIR Project

WAIheadquarters1The WAI-CEDIR collaboration on Higher Education is a bi-regional collaborative research initiative between the West Africa Institute (WAI) and the Centre of Studies on Regional Integration and SADC Law (CEDIR) of Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), Mozambique, to support academic research to further the integration process in both regions. The collaboration aims at critically exploring potential areas of research on the nexus between regional integration and higher education in West Africa and SADC.

LOGO UEM 1Regional Integration and Higher Education are both critical to socio-economic development and are mutually supportive. Regional integration provides the opportunity for member states to pool their resources, thereby reducing the cost of implementing projects, programmes and policies. In this regard, regional integration can reduce the cost of higher education, research and innovation. On the other hand, higher education provides the platform for research and innovation to support the integration process and socio-economic development on member countries. However, integration among the higher education institutions in the various regional economic blocks in Africa is very low. Resolving this problem must begin with scientific research on the inter-relationship between the two fields. The WAI-CEDIR academic cooperation responds to this challenge. It aims at building capacity for research to support the regional policy making process in West Africa in particular, and regional integration in general.

Logo CEDIRThe West Africa Institute (WAI) focuses on undertaking academic research on regional integration and social transformations in West Africa. On the other hand, the Centre of Studies on Regional Integration and SADC Law (CEDIR) of Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) focuses on regional collaborative research and capacity building to support the implementation of protocols and projects in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). For many years, both the West Africa Institute and the Centre of Studies on Regional Integration and SADC Law have developed experience in academic cooperation and networking for research on regional integration issues in their respective sub-regions. Pooling the experiences acquired and the capacities built over several years of research on regional integration will ensure cross-fertilization of ideas, which will be useful for not only regional integration in these regions, but regional integration as a whole.

 Topics:

The fellowship analyzes a series of questions relating to regional integration and higher education including:

  • How does higher education and research policies contribute to the process of regional integration in West African?
  • What are the opportunities for and the challenges to introducing regional integration as a topic in the higher education curriculum in West Africa?
  • What political measures can be adopted to close the gap between the national higher education and research policies and the relevant actors on the ground (students and researchers) with the aim to facilitate a fruitful exchange and better research results?
  • How can support for a regional approach of higher education and research in West Africa be mobilized?
  • How can gaps between Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone higher education systems be bridged?

Structure:

  • Initial workshop to identify the main research areas: 29th and 30th September, 2014, kindly find the draft programme here
  • Collaborative academic research on higher education and regional integration
  • Publication and dissemination of research results (both hardcopy and electronic)
  • Advocacy: preparing policy briefs for national and regional stakeholders (institutions engaged in regional integration and higher education)
  • Organizing seminars and workshops targeted at regional and national public servants, policy-makers, elected officials and legislators, civil society organizations, private sector, media

Project’s Outcomes

  • Academic paper: “Analysis of the role of higher education and research policy in the process of regional integration in West Africa”
  • Detailed project proposal for a long-term bilateral cooperation between the two institutions: WAI-CEDIR

Fellow in charge of the coordination

Charles Edward Minega (CEDIR)

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