Professor Rahmon Ade Bello, Vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, Nigeria honored PASGR with a private visit on October 10th 2016. He was received by PASGR staff led by the Executive Director, Prof. Tade Aina who thanked him for the University’s contribution to the collaborative Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP) programme.
The University of Lagos is one of the founder universities that led the conceptualization, design and development of the MRPP from early 2011. Currently, the university hosts the programme in an exquisitely furnished lecture room. This kind of support accorded to the programme on a vast campus with high competition for space affirms the special place of the programme. University of Lagos teaching staff have also participated actively in programme-wide activities such as writing electronic case studies, professional development of teaching staff and the staff exchange programme.
Appreciating the MRPP, Prof. Bello acknowledged the need for university graduate programmes that integrate rigorous research key in solving current and future issues in Africa. He further praised MRPP features that set it apart from other programmes especially the emphasis placed on innovative teaching and learning practices. He further supported the tooling and retooling of teaching staff in content and pedagogy. He promised PASGR that he would pay special attention in ensuring more teacher participation. In addition, he supported suggestions by PASGR to launch intensive training workshops for teaching staff at the University of Lagos. On the potential impact of an inter-generational gap on programmes, Prof. Bello advised PASGR to have a succession planning strategy that will empower the younger teaching staff to steering the programme in the coming days.
This is the first high profile private visit by the leadership of partner universities. This personalized attention to PASGR’s work reinforces a shared vision as well as commitment to mutual obligations to strengthen higher education in the continent. From initial ideas conceptualized in 2011, the MRPP programme is now on offer in 11 universities, the University of Nairobi will be opening its doors to students in early 2017. Several universities across the continent have also expressed interest in joining the MRPP network. It was therefore refreshing to receive honest feedback from the Vice-chancellor of a partner university and to know that we are on the right track. This visit has also provided impetus for continued innovation and diversification of joint activities with partner universities even as we strategise to expand membership of the partnership.