Details and background about the project
The EnRHEd project follows the internationalisation policies of the University of Parma and is part of the activities promoted by the University Centre for International Cooperation (CUCI). The collaboration with both European and Rwandan Higher Education Institutions is mainly based on the awareness that universities in industrialised countries can and must increasingly play a ‘locomotive’ role towards low-income countries, where the demand for qualified higher education is becoming increasingly pressing.
To understand the spirit of EnRHEd project, it is very important to tell how it was born.
Roberto Valentino, the project coordinator, went to Rwanda for the first time in August 2017, following the advice of a Rwandan friend, Mrs Enathe Marekabiri, who invited him to visit her home country.
At the time of departure, he did not know who he would meet or what he would do in Rwanda. He only knew that Fr Innocent Consolateur, a priest from Kigali, would welcome him and put him in touch with some Rwandan universities.
Fr Innocent Consolateur introduced Roberto to Fr Fabien Hagenimana, Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Applied Sciences INES-Ruhengeri. At INES, Roberto met some colleagues teaching in the program of Civil Engineering and was asked to come back for a three-week cycle of lessons.
In the following months, a cooperation agreement was signed between the University of Parma and INES-Ruhengeri. In January 2018, Prof Valentino taught a class of sixty-five Rwandan students for three weeks.
The experience was so rich, both for him and for the students, that Vice Chancellor of INES invited him to return the following academic year to teach again. He returned, this time for six weeks, at the end of 2018. In that occasion, at INES he met also Luciana Stortoni and Thomas Barth from Rheinische Fachhochschule (RFH) – University of Applied Sciences of Cologne (Germany), who were there for a fact-finding mission.
In the meantime, during a visit to Italy, Fr Innocent Consolateur met some representatives of the University of Parma, among which Prof Nadia Monacelli, director of the University Centre for International Cooperation (CUCI). They all agreed to propose a second cooperation agreement between the University of Parma and the University of Rwanda. This idea passed to Ambassador Dr Charles Murigande, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement at the University of Rwanda, who enthusiastically accepted the proposal.
Then, the foundations were laid for an international cooperation project, also thanks to the collaboration of other two Rwandan Institutions, such as IPRC-Musanze and UTAB, and two European universities, namely University of Liège and RFH in Cologne. In the near past, both these European universities have had similar contacts with INES-Ruhengeri and the University of Rwanda to plan cooperation activities in different fields.
The project has been built on a network of meetings and personal relationships and the “weft” has expanded in the same way to both teaching and administrative staff members of the involved Institutions, who welcomed the challenges at stake.
The project aims at improving the quality and internationalization of Higher Education (HE) programmes and the qualification level of both teachers and graduated students in some leading Rwandan Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
In fact, Rwandan Higher Education Institutions are facing some urgent needs today, especially concerning:
In order to train the future highly qualified teachers, professionals and experts, two main educational fields have been selected in the EnRHEd project which include most of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) and which are considered strategic for sustainable growth:
Finally, HEIs involved in the project also support the improvement of the so-called “knowledge triangle”, since a plethora of actions orients to reinforce links between education, research and business.
The EnRHEd project has four ambitious objectives, to be achieved in three years (2020-2023):
The EnRHEd project involves 7 Partners:
Click on work packages headers to expand description.
WP1 – PREPARATION
The preparation phase considers two tasks that are supposed to be performed:
WP2 – DEVELOPMENT: Revision of current curricula and set up of new programmes
The development of the WP2 considers three tasks that are supposed to be performed:
WP3 – DEVELOPMENT: Training of administrative staff members in internationalisation activities
The development of the WP3 considers one important task that is supposed to be performed: staff members in charge of internationalisation activities from all Rwandan HEIs will have hosted at the University of Parma (Italy) for a training period in order to improve their internationalisation practices.
WP4 – DEVELOPMENT: Digital infrastructures
The development of the WP4 considers four tasks that are supposed to be performed:
WP5 – QUALITY PLAN
The quality plan considers three tasks that are supposed to be performed:
WP6 – DISSEMINATION & EXPLOITATION
The dissemination & exploitation considers four tasks that are supposed to be performed:
WP7 – MANAGEMENT
The whole development of project activities needs to be directed by a lead organization (University of Parma), since the administrative management of the project is needed for the entire project period. The University of Parma will assume the responsibility of connecting different partners, organizing activities, checking deadlines, checking quality, administrative practices.