By the SPHEIR team

11 May 2022 - 12:48

Mohamed Mukhtar Ali, University graduate, Prepared for Practice

“I gained greater confidence when approaching patients”

The Prepared for Practice (PfP) project is enabling us to connect with experts from around the world who are teaching us important skills which we do not cover at university, such as how to read and understand medical research and clinical trials. Discussing personal growth and being able to ask questions to specialists was very important. When I was allocated to a hospital ward, I learned how to approach patients confidently, how to take a patient’s medical history and conduct a physical examination. This practical experience was invaluable.

“This project is important long-term to our country”

We learned about the importance of collecting data and doing studies when patients come to the hospital. This will help us to understand some basic environmental and ecological determinants of diseases that are commonly occurring in our community. This project is important long-term to our country as our generation of doctors will be able to transfer the skills we learned to the next generation. 

Kale Lydia Mukhwana, University graduate and LEAP Fellow, The Lending for Education in Africa Partnership

“Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my degree”

It was a relief for me to find out about the Lending for Education in Africa Partnership (LEAP) because – after putting my education on hold to look after my siblings – I didn’t know how to pay to continue my education. Thanks to LEAP I didn’t have to worry about financial problems while studying. The programme also enabled me to develop financial literacy skills and access a supportive group of peers. This provided me with a sense of belonging, I felt heard and helped.

“Empowering people with education will eventually build the economy”

LEAP is a unique programme which allows people to reach financial empowerment. While I was studying, I started working as an accountant in the farming industry, which is an area that is growing. Long term my dream is to open a shop, employ someone, invest the income and pay taxes and this will ultimately improve the economy. It makes me feel good to be part of a bigger picture – paying back the loan will help someone else.

Sullayman G. Mansaray, Lecturer, Eastern Technical University of Sierra Leone, Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone

“I started to facilitate learning instead of lecturing”

My background is in civil environmental and structural engineering, and I had no background in pedagogy. I used to lecture my students but after going through the Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone (AQHEd-SL) pedagogical training, I started to facilitate and use active learning processes. I can now establish learning outcomes using Bloom’s taxonomy and align activities and assessments. My way of teaching moved away from being teacher-centred and has become student-centred.

“The knowledge we developed in curriculum revision enabled our polytechnic to gain university status”

Curriculum development is another key area of the AQHEd-SL project. We learned how to use templates to ensure that curricula are relevant and aligned to international standards. After taking part in the training, I became part of the team who led the process of revising 55 programmes within the institution to ensure they are aligned to the requirements of the Tertiary Education Commission and meet international standards. This enabled our polytechnic to gain university status. The professional gain is that I became a curriculum expert, and I am now consulted by other institutions to develop their own programmes.

Dr Tupokigwe Isagah, Lecturer, Mzumbe University, Transforming Employability for Social Change in East Africa

“Students became part of the learning journey”

I took part in the Transforming Employability for Social Change in East Africa (TESCEA) workshop on how to facilitate learning. I was able to develop new strategies to ensure that students acquire the right skills. For instance, we have class discussions and encourage students to bring material. This approach is changing the way students respond and think in the class: students are more open and engaged, contribute with new ideas and feel they are part of the learning journey. We don’t just build the technical skills, but we create confident graduates who can compete and create opportunities for themselves.

“The link with the industry created by the project allowed me to understand the challenges that employers face and address them when redesigning courses”

The Joint Advisory Group – linking academia and industry – was an opportunity to hear from employers about the challenges they face and what they expect from graduates. We came back to our academic unit and tried to address these challenges when redesigning courses. By building the capacity of academics, I believe that graduates can acquire the right competences and we will have a better society.

Find out more

The Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) programme was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and was managed on behalf of FCDO by a consortium led by the British Council that includes PwC and Universities UK International.