East Africa region to harmonize higher education

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The East African Community (EAC) heads of state have signed an agreement to harmonize higher education curricula during the EAC Heads of States Ordinary Summit in Dar es Salaam.

All member countries – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan – will recognize academic certificates from universities and higher learning institutions in the region, and students will be able to transfer credits across universities in the region, reports the East Africa.

Students in the region will have the opportunity to join universities of their choice among the more than 110 in the partner states, either as undergraduates or at the postgraduate level, according to Alexandre Lyambabaje, the executive secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA)

“Under this arrangement, universities in the region will recognise qualifications attained at universities in any of the EAC partner states because of the mutual recognition of credits and qualifications, easing employability and in line with the free movement of personnel as enshrined in the EAC Common Market Protocol,” said Prof Lyambabaje, adding that this will also provide an enhanced interest among non-traditional higher education sponsors from within the EAC region because of evident benefits.

The joint education system will allow for development in higher education teaching, research and community engagement. Although each partner state will retain its national framework, it must be based on the regional framework.

Universities in the region will also have a harmonised system of assessing and awarding credits and naming degrees.

Under the arrangement, the IUCEA, in consultation with regulators of national higher education has developed an East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education that provides guidelines on the different levels of education, volume of learning and recognition of prior learning. It will also guide the credit system of universities and colleges, as well as credit accumulation and transfer and programme benchmarks.

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