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Thu, 11. Feb 2016

Higher education institutions in Africa: developing strategies and professionalising management

University managers complete Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences’ International Deans’ Course in Addis Ababa

To mark the official opening of the International Deans’ Course Africa in Addis Ababa on 8 February 2016, participants and teaching staff gathered in front of the university.

(Addis Ababa,11 February 2016) Thirty deans from eight African countries have now successfully completed Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences’ International Deans’ Course (IDC for short) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. IDC commenced in Osnabrück last summer. 


IDC, a Higher Education and Research Management training programme organised by Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, is held annually, one year for deans from Asia and the next year for deans from African countries. 


The third and final part of IDC focused on developing and evaluating the individual management projects, called “Project Actions Plans” (PAP), that the participants had implemented at their higher education institutions in recent months. 


Topics explored by several deans included developing guidelines and manuals on effective management; improving the quality of teaching; and strengthening the research culture. 


Lectures and discussions about the topic of internationalisation strategies also played an important part. Professor Dr. Peter Mayer, who led the training project, stated: “We should focus primarily on developing regional collaboration between African higher education institutions. Exchanges within IDC demonstrate the importance of knowledge of developments in neighbouring countries and the potential that exchanges offer in the area of teaching and research.”


In Addis Ababa, Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele, Executive Director of the CHE Centre for Higher Education and a professor at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, stressed that the digitisation of higher education presents a challenge for university management. “African universities ought to seek a digitisation strategy; that would improve access to higher education no end.”


Marijke Wahlers, Head of the International Department of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), was also present in Addis Ababa. She commented on the significance of IDC, stating: “Collaboration in university management within the DIES (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) programme, initiated by HRK and the German Academic Exchange Service, promotes capacity development in the partner countries. It also offers university managers from the region an excellent platform to approach current challenges in a joint effort.” 


The next International Deans’ Course will commence at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences this summer, directed at deans from Asian higher education institutions.


IDC is a joint initiative of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the Centre for Higher Education (CHE), Freie Universität Berlin and Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences. The DAAD sponsors the project with funding provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


More information:


Professor Dr. Peter Mayer


Phone: +49 (0)541 969-3466
E-mail: p.mayer(at)