ACE TRAINS LUANAR ACADEMIC STAFF ON FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
Participants soon after the opening of the training
23 Sep, 2017
Academic Members of Staff at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) were trained on a faculty development course through the African Centre of Excellence (ACE) in AquaFish at LUANAR.
The training focused on supervision policy, co-creation in education and research, cultivating synergy between teaching and research as well as active learning and student-centred learning.
According to the facilitator Mun’delanji Catherine M. Vestergaard from Kagoshima University in Japan, faculty development is mainly used in academic arena, and is similar to staff development and professional development, saying it is mainly used to describe on-going professional learning for educators.
She said the training is necessary for LUANAR as it aspires to be a world class university, saying staff and professional development is one of the attributes for the institution in achieving this.
She further emphasized on the need for LUANAR to have a supervision policy, a document meant to provide doctoral students, faculty members, schools and centers with guidelines that encourage, enrich and promote a healthy environment for advancement of graduate education and research.
“This can only be realized when there is a good supervisory structure in place. In addition, it is important that there exists a mutually respectful and trusting relationship between the students and supervisors – founded on academic integrity, openness, freedom of inquiry, lack of discrimination, harassment and intimidation,” said Vestergaard.
She said the guidelines provide general direction and information that supports excellence in supervision, and enjoyment of learning.
According to Deputy Director of the AquaFish Centre, Dr. Daud Kassam, the training aimed at building capacity of the LUANAR faculty.
He said AquaFish has planned several of these capacity building or refresher courses for LUANAR faculties just to ensure that the institution uphold excellence.
He further said as one of the ACEs, AquaFish is expected to build institutional capacity to provide quality post-graduate education with relevance to the labor market, build institutional capacity to conduct high quality applied research, relevant to addressing a key development challenge/priority, develop and enhance partnerships with other academic institutions to pursue academic excellence and create an impact, to society by delivering excellent teaching and producing high quality applied research among others hence the training.
Apart from the trainings, AquaFish provides an opportunity to train postgraduate students locally and within the region which is important to capacity development in the country and the region at large.