The ACCESS network commenced 2024 with the ACCESS International Summer School in Kigali, Rwanda. The event is hosted by the Institut d’Enseignement Superieur (INES) in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, from February 4th to 10th. With a focus on “Universities and businesses as agents of change: Embracing transformational learning approaches,” the event delved into vital topics concerning the role of universities in preparing students and graduates for the job market while upholding academic standards and the needs of industry. Speakers emphasized the importance of practical learning methods bridging theory and practice, and the mutual benefits of university-business partnerships.

Prof. Dr. Robert Kappel, professor emeritus of Economics and Politics in Africa and founder of Leipzig University’s SEPT MBA programme, delivered a keynote highlighting the pivotal role of innovation in societal progress. He stressed Africa’s potential to harness innovation, especially in ICT and digital transformation, for economic growth and improved quality of life. Prof. Kappel urged increased investment in R&D and human development to capitalize on this potential, emphasizing education and skills development as key components.

Rwanda Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion Summer School Rwanda

In subsequent discussions involving academia, industry, and government representatives from Rwanda, the symbiotic relationship between universities and businesses was emphasized. Strategic partnerships were lauded for their transformative impact on innovation and societal change. However, to fully exploit this potential, it was recognized that academic staff must acquire relevant skills, moving towards dynamic teaching methods that encourage active learning. Addressing the challenge of aligning academia with evolving industry needs, particularly in fields like ICT, emerged as a crucial priority for further exploration and adaptation.

Group photo ACCESS Summer School Rwanda
Group photo ACCESS Summer School Rwanda 2024

The ACCESS Summer School is being implemented under the ACCESS project funded by the DAAD under the EXCEED Initiative. About 85 participants joined the opening event in Kigali. Participants include academia, industry, public sector and students from Rwanda, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Germany. The summer school continues at the INES campus in Ruhengeri with further discussion formats, workshops, and field trips.

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner