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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

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Wednesday, February 16 • 13:00 - 14:00
(Ref 171600) Mutual Bridges from basic to higher education: The role Universities play in universal-quality education.

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Mutual Bridges from basic to higher education: The role Universities play in universal-quality education. 
Basic and secondary level education is undisputable to higher education and national science training and policies. A recent study with African potential star scientists who outperform in the world centres of learning, attain achievements well beyond established scientists in their home countries and universities abroad, show that the fellows built the talents at an early age in Africa. Besides being gifted they demonstrate different approaches and factors which influenced them from childhood in their home African countries. The majority state that the funding and excellent research environment in the centres of excellence were merely facilitation. While this “context-based” research merely confirms other previous ones and it is known that universities and science and technology build on the previous levels, the bridging especially for developing countries remain under-researched, unattended to in policy and development cooperation and funding discourses.

One of the success factors for renowned education systems like Finland is the extent to which these three levels are connected, integrated into the national policies and feedback on each other. While the unidirectional upward input from basic to tertiary education remains clear and obvious, the feedback influence of the university to the basic and secondary education are unclear and unattended. Universities train and build capacities for the lower levels, talk less of an entirely quality education system, the cited case of Finland where primary and secondary school teachers hold at least a master degree obtained from universities. Universities conduct research on basic and secondary education which feed into the system. In the most integrated systems, universities provide mentoring, review primary and secondary education policies, and make recommendations.

Despite the above, the past half a century have witnessed similar repeated errors in international education and science agenda setting. Up to early 2000, the World Bank rate of return analysis influenced under-investment in developing countries’ higher education, in favour of basic education. This was the case for many development cooperation agencies and even national governments for close to two decades. Though subsequently, there was a theoretical and policy reversal following demonstrations of the new knowledge economies (South Korea, Finland, North Carolina etc), in favour of holistic and balanced education policymaking and financing, the Millennium Development Goal understated the role of higher education. This is similar to the SDGs, not least as a reinforcer of SDG4 and vehicle of SDG9 (innovation) and a cross-cutting and transversal sector for all the 17 SDGs. Ever since the covid19 a lot of multilateral donor partnerships have been initiated. Perhaps a lot of funds were deployed to university-related organisations and laboratories in the industrialised countries, given the urgency to find vaccines and other solutions to the effects of the pandemic.

A large majority of the partnership mostly focus on basic and secondary education in developing countries.
This panel brings together higher education and education experts to identify different channels and how to bridge the already existing bridge between basic, secondary and tertiary education in development cooperation policymaking. On the other hand, panellists will examine the different roles, channels and pathways in which universities support the development of a robust and quality basic and secondary education. At the end of the debate, participants highlight the different channels and make a case towards a more holistic and bridging education and science capacity-building funding in the EU-Africa partnerships

avatar for Pascal Doh

Pascal Doh

Senior Researcher, Diaspora Academic Network for Africa
Dr. Pascal S. Doh is Founder of a Finland-Africa Platform for Innovation in 2019 and of A Europe-Africa Diaspora Professional Network. He is specialised in Higher Education (HE) Management and Governance and resident in Finland. He holds a Ph.D in Higher Education Management from... Read More →
avatar for Prof. Hortense Atta Diallo

Prof. Hortense Atta Diallo

Vice President, University Nangui Abrogoua
I am a full Professor of Plant Science (Plant Health). As a Vice-President at the University NANGUIABROGOUA, my interest is in establiishing cooperation with other institutions (Universities, industry,  Agencies dealing with mobilities, scholarships, grants, helping with setting... Read More →
avatar for Fred Awaah

Fred Awaah

Vice President (Africa), Diaspora Academic Network for Africa ry
Dr Fred Awaah is an African academic of Ghanaian origin. He is a lecturer in Public Administration, Entrepreneurship Development, Leadership and Global Dimensions to Business at the University of Professional Studies – Accra, Ghana. He is an adjunct researcher with the University... Read More →

Marcelline Djeumeni Tchamabe

University Pedagogy-Digital Pedagogy Expert, University of Yaounde 1 Cameroon
Marcelline DJEUMENI TCHAMABE est enseignante -chercheur  en Sciences de l'éducation. Elle est titulaire d'un postdoctoral de l'université laval au Canada, un doctorat de la Sorbonne en France et d'un diplôme de professeur des écoles normales d'instituteurs. Ses interêts de recherche... Read More →
avatar for Marjo Vesalainen

Marjo Vesalainen

Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland
MARJO VESALAINEN (PhD) is Senior Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. At the Ministry, she works at the Department for Higher Education and Science Policy. Her responsibilities include especially issues related to teacher education and to pedagogical... Read More →

Wednesday February 16, 2022 13:00 - 14:00 CET