TU-K Selected To Host Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow

Nairobi, May, 2016 –

Collaborative Project will focus on Strengthening the Newly Co-Developed Curriculum in Medicinal Chemistry and Mentorship of Female Students in Science and Technology.

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to Support 57 Projects in Africa

The Technical University of Kenya (TU-K) was selected by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) to host an African Diaspora scholar from the United States to work with on a collaborative project on strengthening the newly co-developed curriculum for the Bachelor of Technology in Medicinal Chemistry by making the programme practically oriented to produce graduates with extensive hands-on experience. This is in line with TU-K’s motto of “Education and Training for the Real World”. In this endeavour, the scholar together with the department of Chemical Sciences and Technology will design and incorporate relevant practical experiments in line with international best practices, taking into account local market demands and expectations. In addition, the Scholar will facilitate the adoption and utilization of various instructional delivery methods that are meant to increase student engagement and participation; that are tolerant to the diversity of students’ needs; that motivate students; and that allow students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. The scholar will also participate in the mentorship of female students at the TU-K and without in matters science and technology. Professor Paul M. Shiundu will lead the project, together with Professor Rachel M. Ndonye, a Fellow from Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

The key goals of the project include: (i) design and incorporation of relevant practical experiments for specific course units in the B. Tech. in Medicinal Chemistry programme to strengthen the learners' understanding of the theoretical aspects of the programme; (ii) develop clear practical activities for a 12-weeks period that would support Internal Industry-Based Learning part of the curriculum in line with international standards taking into account the local market demands and expectations aimed at producing medicinal chemistry graduates who have extensive hands-on experience to compete in the global market; (iii) endeavour to adapt and utilize appropriate instructional delivery methods that increase student engagement and participation, that are tolerant to diversity of students' needs, that motivate students and that allow students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; and (iv) mentorship of female students in science and technology.

The impacts of the collaboration on campus and the community shall include, a co-developed four (4) year curriculum for B. Tech. in Medicinal Chemistry that is practically oriented and relevant to the needs of the labour market with well defined programme objectives and learning outcomes; TU-K has improved its teaching methodologies among teaching and technical staff in pedagogical skills and student-centred approaches to teaching and learning; TUK has an operational inquiry-based experiments for the B. Tech. in Medicinal Chemistry Programme; TU-K has strengthened its outreach activities and has a robust industrial attachment programme where proper partnerships are established between TUK and relevant industry players; Expanded cultural and educational opportunities connecting learning and discovery with the needs and priorities of the communities that TUK serves;  Expansion of the institution’s portfolio to cover training of technologists as well as fully fledged professionals in specialized programmes  with a strong practical component to ensure that its graduates are well prepared for the world of work in line with the institution’s motto of “Education and Training of the Real World”; Nurtured networks and created champions for outreach as integral in positively influencing female students in high schools to undertake science-based programmes at the TU-K; and TUK has the opportunity to engage in collegial work with an international institution that has experience in offering certificate and pre-degree programmes in technical education and training.

The Technical University of Kenya project is one of 57 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with one of 41 higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities in the coming months.  The collaborating fellow, Professor Rachel M. Ndonye is one of a total of 169 African Diaspora scholars who have been awarded Fellowships to travel to Africa over the first three years of the program.  The projects span all disciplines from agroforestry to e-learning modules for nursing, and from ethnomusicology to military mental health.

This innovative fellowship program facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, who chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) Advisory Council, comprised of academic leaders from Africa and prominent African Diaspora academics, has remarked on the quick growth, quality, impact and uniqueness of the program, which allows African universities to take the lead in proposing projects that meet their needs and hosting African Diaspora scholars at their institutions

According to Dr. Zeleza, Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa, who chairs the program’s Advisory Council, “Diaspora knowledge networks that bring together academics across disciplines and help to facilitate scholarly collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and networking opportunities are an important component of brain circulation. Diaspora academics constitute a critical facet of higher education internationalization. The connections fostered through them ultimately support capacity building and innovation in home and host countries. Unique in its organization, CADFP offers opportunities for truly collaborative, innovative and transformative engagements between African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States and African higher education institutions in six countries.”

Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda were eligible to submit project requests to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days; prospective hosts were invited but not required to name a proposed scholar in theirproject requests. The proposed scholar and project requests were each evaluated by a review committee and were approved by the Advisory Council. Scholars born in Africa wholive in the United States or Canada and work in an accredited college or university in either of those two countries were eligible to apply to be on a roster of available candidates. IIE maintains a scholar roster to facilitate matches, according to the discipline specializations, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request. The fellowship for the project visit includes a daily stipend, transportation, visa funds and health insurance coverage.

Eligible universities can submit a project request via the online portal to host a Fellow for projects starting December 1.  The application deadline is June 5, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.