Building skills and capacity in the next generation of university staff


Developing the academy within universities is one of the central debates facing higher education in Africa. It is essential to have high quality teachers, trained to PhD level, who can conduct research and produce high quality publications and develop their skills in teaching and learning.

There is a clear link between well-functioning higher education establishments and recruitment, training and retention of high-quality academic staff. In the light of decreasing financing in public universities, how can African universities address poor retention rates of high-quality staff? Mobility programmes supported through scholarships are a partial solution, but we need to think about a sustainable, in situ model, to see long term gains for the sector.

Policy recommendations produced by the workshop:


You can find the recommendations in detail here:

Recommendations of Workshop E [PDF 183.54 KB]

Speakers at the Workshop:

Dr. Beatrice Muganda is the Director of Higher Education at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR); a pan-African not for profit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is also the Team Leader of the Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PedaL) project. Dr. Muganda is experienced in facilitating formal partnerships among African universities to design and implement innovative projects that promote excellence, relevance and access in higher education. Through PedaL; she is working closely with multiple partners to drive sustainable change in delivery of graduate programmes so as to strengthen graduate outcomes. She has extensive knowledge of actors, issues, challenges and opportunities in African higher education and has trained over 1000 teaching staff in 40 universities on the African continent in innovative pedagogies. She has also been involved in education policy debates globally: EU-Africa policy dialogue; London School of Economics Africa Summit; Sciedev; University World News; and, the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network and the Association of African Universities. She has contributed to Kenya national policy documents such as the Medium Term Framework on Education and Training for Vision 2030 and the National Manpower Survey. She holds a B.Ed and M. Phil in Planning and Economics of Education, Moi University, Kenya; PhD from the University of Athens, and has received further training at the International Institute of Educational Planning in Paris, France.

“Pedagogical Leadership in Africa” – Partnership for African Social and Governance Research [PDF 931.39 KB]

Dr. Suleiman Babatunde Ramon-Yusuf began his career as Assistant lecturer in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 1987 and had a career change when he moved to the National Universities Commission, Abuja as Assistant Chief Academic Planning Officer and Programme Officer for Veterinary Medicine, in 1997. In the course of his career in the Commission, he has worked in virtually all the technical departments- Academic planning, (Academic Planning & Research) Quality Assurance, Inspection & Monitoring; Open and Distance Education; and Research & Innovation. His work experience covers the entire gamut of the Commission’s mandate as he rose steadily through the ranks culminating in his promotion to the rank of Deputy Director and Head, undergraduate Quality Assurance Division in the Department of Quality Assurance in 2005. Following the creation of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Division in the Commission in the wake of the Education sector reforms in 2007, Dr. Ramon-Yusuf was deployed to set up the new Division which was charged with the responsibility for Quality Assurance of Open & Distance Learning and Cross-border Higher Education provisions. In this capacity, he initiated, organized and coordinated the development of “Guidelines for Open and Distance Learning in Nigerian Universities” and “Guidelines for cross-border provision of university education in Nigeria”.
Following recent reforms in the Commission in 2017 resulting in the merger of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) with the Department of Research and Innovation to an enlarged amalgam – the Directorate of Research, Innovation & Information Technology (DRI&IT), Dr. Ramon-Yusuf was appointed Director of the new Directorate. Dr Ramon currently serves as the Deputy Executive Secretary (Academics) at the National Universities Commission.

National Universities Commission Nigeria presentation [PDF 124.82 KB]

Dr. Jackson Too, B.Ed., MPhil, PhD specializes in curriculum, instructional media, pedagogy and technology with a track record of teaching, research and administration. His research interest is in mediated learning. He is a member of the Commonwealth Association of Educational Administration and Management (CAEAM). Member of East and Southern African-German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and management (CERM-ESA). Project Leader for Partnership for Enhanced Blended Learning (PEBL). Currently he is the Head of Research and Development at the Commission for University Education (CUE) in Kenya.

Commission for University Education Kenya presentation [PDF 273.82 KB]

Dr. Damtew Teferra is Professor of higher education and founding director of the International Network for Higher Education in Africa, earlier at the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College, now at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, for 10 years now. Dr. Teferra was the former director for Africa and the Middle East of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program in New York. He was the (former) founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Higher Education and currently the International Journal of African Higher Education. He is the author of Scientific Communication in African Universities: External Assistance and National Needs (RoutledgeFalmer, 2003) and lead (and sole) editor of the award-winning books African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook (Indiana University Press, 2003) and Funding Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. His other edited books include: African Higher Education: The International Dimension (CIHE, Boston College and Association of African Universities, 2008), Higher Education and Globalization: Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for Africa (University of Maastricht and INHEA (CIHE) 2010), and Flagship Universities in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). Dr. Teferra is an author and editor of more than 10 books and over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and policy pieces on African higher education. Recognized “as one of Africa’s preeminent higher education scholar”, by the African Union Commission, he was appointed by the organization to lead the Higher Education Cluster of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-25). Dr. Teferra closely works and extensively consults for numerous bilateral and multilateral agencies.

“Building Skills in the Skill Builders” – University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa [PDF 120.22 KB]
  • Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary General, African Research Universities Alliance, Accra, Ghana (Chair)
  • John Bramwell, Senior Higher Education Advisor (Systems Reform), British Council (Rapporteur)


Screenshot of map with location of DAAD-office marked