This project promotes a network of universities with the purpose of harmonisation of higher education programmes in "Applied Human Nutrition" in East Africa. The rationale is the belief that such an initiative will help to foster cooperation in information exchange, harmonisation of procedures and policies focussed on higher education, attainment of comparability among qualifications, and possibly the standardisation of curricula, so as to facilitate professional mobility for both employment and further study. This is expected to increase the capacity of East African countries to contribute to enhanced nutritional practises through well developed and harmonised nutrition programmes, to promote the capacity of nutrition faculty members, to procure and upgrade required nutrition resources and to establish internet-based network communication.
Creation of a Nutrition Task Force
A Nutrition Task Force composed of members of the partner HEIs (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Germany) will facilitate and coordinate the development and harmonisation of the Applied Human Nutrition Curriculum and its evaluation by national/international expert groups and related stakeholders. The Nutrition Task Force will advocate and foster cooperation among various stakeholders and promote the role of nutrition in national development efforts.
The first major activity of the Nutrition Task Force will be to accomplish a needs assessment. A review of nutrition curricula will be conducted and a conceptual framework for Applied Human Nutrition will be developed. An assessment of training needs both for the labour market and identification of students’ interest which will be conducted and followed by curriculum review workshops involving all stakeholders. Feedback from curriculum review workshops will be used to cross-nationally accredit, harmonise and implement the curricula in Applied Human Nutrition.
Development and Harmonisation of Curricula
In the next phase of the project the development and harmonisation of curricula will be jointly worked out: Innovative, internationally-recognised Applied Human Nutrition curricula with due emphasis on East African nutritional problems will be developed through the network and adjusted through national and international symposia. Course delivery mechanisms involving qualified faculties and examiners will be established. Formulating common research protocols for cross-country comparisons and co-publication will be established.
Creating nutrition capacities in faculties
Faculties and staff exchange activities among partner countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Germany will be included in the programme. Faculties from collaborating institutions will be involved in developing lecture notes and teaching materials, block teaching, joint research, joint examination and student supervision. Collaboration and networking skills will be developed through short- term trainings and workshops. Faculty members will be trained in innovative educational methods using relevant multi- media tools. This will facilitate information sharing and benefiting from current and evidence-based knowledge in Nutritional Science. Training for interdisciplinary research collaboration and networking skills will also be included. Faculty members will also be trained in selected areas such as the use of internet platform, nutrition software, e-learning, writing for scientific publications, problem-oriented learning and the use of other innovative educational methods. Faculties and staff will participate in scientific and community seminars which further promotes networking.
Procurement and Upgrading of Resources
Resources for adequate running of the Applied Human Nutrition curricula such as procurement of recent literature, books, journals, laboratory facilities will be made available to the partner HEIs and adapted to their specific needs. Professional nutrition clubs will be established, and outstanding students will have the opportunity to present their research findings in African Nutrition Society meetings. Furthermore, the existing infrastructure for internet use in the African partner countries will be assessed and an internet-based platform for exchange of knowledge, teaching materials, project data and information will be established. Critical review of literature, sharing of library resources, improved communication and advisory networking will be attained through the platform. A sustainable mechanism will be established for continued running of the enhanced Applied Nutrition Programme through the network and already established protocols.
|Project Coordinator||University Justus Liebig, Giessen, Germany|
Prof. Dr. I.-U. Leonhäuser
University of Giessen
Centre for International Development and Environmental Research
Entwicklungs- und Umweltforschung Zeughaus
Tel: 0049 641 99 12700/39081