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The Student Voice in African Harmonization Process in Higher Education (Student Voice for short)

The active involvement of students in the Harmonization process in higher education in Africa is essential for the transformation and enhancement of learning and for the mission of the institutions within which they learn.


The participative student voice is integral to the realization of effective student centred learning. In the Harmonisation with Tuning, a Pan Afircan, multi-disciplinary project supported by the African Union Commission and the European Commission, student representatives are involved in contributing to the success and outcomes of the project. They attend the twice yearly Tuning general meetings, between meetings they work with other students on project objectives and key themes such as student workload.  For each Tuning general meeting up to 16 students are selected for sponsorship to cover the cost of attendance. These students participate in their subject group and contribute the student perspective to discussions about the implementation process. Each meeting provides an opportunity to review and develop the role of students in the project. 

Which students can participate and how do they join

There are eight subject areas involving 105 Higher Education Institutions distributed throughout Africa. Normally an institution is associated with only one of the seven subjects and has nominated a member of academic staff in that subject to represent the institution in the Tuning project. Among other objectives the project involves the designing or re-designing of a degree in the subject. Each    phase of the project recruits a balanced cohort of students, taking into account considerations of equality and geographical inclusion.The selected students should all be studying in one of the Project subject areas, on a degree programme at the same level as the one which is either being  designed or re-designed by the subject area group. The longer term objective is to establish student subject area groups in all the regions and universities. 

What will the students do?


The student groups are briefed on the development of the project and invited to contribute fully to the on-going discussion of issues. Students from each country are expected to consult widely among their peers, prepare one contribution for their subject area and send it by mail to mortiz@deusto.es together with the student’s details on the table included in this call. The contributions from this phase of the project will be presented at the plenary project meeting in South Africa, in April 2017.

All selected contributions will be made available on the Tuning Africa website. .

How will the students be selected to attend the Tuning Africa II general meetings


Student travel grants awarded on a merit basis.

The criteria for selection includes:

-          timely completion of work required for the contribution sent to Deusto;

-          respect for the guidelines;

-          quality of the contribution assessed by experts


What each Subject Area Group member needs to do:

1.     Launch the Call for student volunteers.

2.     Meet the colunteers to clarify the processes and explain how to register on the Tuning Africa Students’ Call

3.     Provide appropriate logistical support.


Guidelines for the Students

Guided by the European Union and the African Union and, managed by the Tuning Academy, 105 partner universities from 41 African countries are working, either on revising existing higher education programmes or creating new (often joint) Bachelor and Master degree programmes so that they are genuinely outcome and ‘student centred’. To realise the outcome ‘student centred’ objectives the project is committed to securing effective student representation in each subject area group so that as members of the groups the student voice contributes to the discussion of the formulation of learning objectives and methods.

We invite you to be one of these students and bring your fellow students’ voices into the higher education harmonization discussions in Africa.

By participating you will

-          ensure that the voice of students from your institution and country contribute  to university reform ;

-          participate in a potentially transformational Pan-African initiative  - the African Harmonization process;

-          gain experience of national and international networking, working in inter, multi,-cultural teams;

-          produce creative, innovative reports for presention by selected students at international seminars;

-          potentially prepare work for publication;

-          enhance your CV;

-          have fun.

Participation will contribute to developing of a wide range of graduate competences that future employers will appreciate, including:

●      Self confidence, entrepreneurial spirit and skills.

●      Commitment to preserve and to add value to the African identity and cultural heritage

●      Professionalism, ethical values and commitment to UBUNTU (respect for the well being and dignity of fellow human beings).

●      Leadership, management and teamwork skills.

●      Capacity to use innovative and appropriate technologies.

●      Communication and interpersonal skills.

●      Capacity for critical evaluation and self awareness.

●      Ability to evaluate, review and enhance quality.

●      Ability to work in an intra and intercultural and/or international context.

●      Ability to communicate effectively in official/ national and local language.

●      Ability for creative and innovative thinking.


What questions to explore at institutional level


In this Call we focus on one generic competence validated by the Tuning Africa project: Ability to translate knowledge into practice.


Over 7000 questionnaires showed that this competence was rated and ranked at the highest level of importance for students, graduates, academics and employers in Africa. This is one of the main results of the consultation process developed in 2012 and 2016 by the 8 subject areas included in the project: Applied Geology, Economics, Higher Education Management, Agricultural Sciences, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine and Teacher Education.


However, although this competence was rated at the highest level by all groups, employers and recent graduates did not give a similarly high rating to for the achievement of this competence.  Achievement was rated much lower than importance, presenting a challenge to academics, institutions and students in reviewing curriculum content and learning, teaching and assessment methods. Subject groups in the project are addressing this challenge and welcome the contribution of the students’ voice into this work. Hence you are invited to respond thoughtfully and analytically to the following questions:



Competence: Ability to translate knowledge into practice


1. Which course was the most effective in helping you to develop this competence? Explain why.

2. List the course-related activities which have helped you to develop this competence outside the class, either working on your own or with other students. Which of these activities were the most effective in helping your to develop the competence? Explain why.

3. Which aspects of the competence have you developed through being a member of a club/ an association / a social group? Give some details.

4. In the course guide or in class presentations was there any reference to this competence – if so give further information. Was the competence assessed in any of your units or modules – if so give further information. Will you be able to present evidence of achievement in this competence to an employer?

5. Outside the university which aspects of the competence have you developed? Give some details. Have you done anything else in your life which has helped you to develop this competence? If so, give an example.

6. After reflecting on the different contexts in which you have developed this competence (in class, working on course-related activities outside the class, in clubs and associations, in real life, and any other contexts you have added in your response to question 5), write a short statement on how each of these contexts has contributed to your development of the competence and on their relative strengths.

7. Do you think that you have fully developed this competence? What else can you do to improve your level of competence while you are a student? How do you think you will go on developing this competence when you are working?


Additional question:

Interview either two of your classmates or two graduates who are working and ask them questions 1-5 and question 7 (NB for the graduate Question 7 will read: Do you think that you have fully developed this competence? How do you think you will go on developing this competence now that you are working?).


Finally, summarise any differences or new ideas that you have learned from your own reflections and your interviews.



The students can be asked and can answer in any of these languages: English, French or Portuguese. Note: The language of instruction during the meeting in South Africa will be English.

To be able to join the Call, please send the following information to María Ortiz-Coronado (mortiz@deusto.es)


Format of your contribution

  1. Format of your contribution

The contribution can be in any form(at) you like: essay, report, power point, video. You will need to send the contribution (in English, French or Portuguese) by mail to mortiz@deusto.es .

The deadline for sending the final version of your contribution is 15 January 2017.


  1. What next

All contributions from selected students will be uploaded to the Tuning Africa II website. All students who satisfy the criteria will be considered eligible for sponsorship to attend the 4th Tuning Africa general meeting (South Africa, April 2017) to present their group’s findings. The award of a sponsored travel grant will be based on merit applying the criteria indicated above. A maximum of 2 sponsorships can be awarded per subject area.  In order to secure the widest representation only one student per university will be sponsored.


Following the April 2017 meeting, there will be a final meeting in Europe in November 2017. A similar number of students will be invited to attend this meeting for which new guidelines will be provided.

Fourth General Meeting Johannesburg (South Africa), 3 - 5 April 2017



Contribution of selected students


Third General Meeting Accra (Ghana), 17 - 19 october 2016


  • List of students selected to participate in Tuning Africa II Third general meeting 

            List of students

  • Contribution of selected students

           Agricultural Sciences

            - Adonaï da Matha Sant'Anna - Université Catholique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest - Benin

            - Nigel Yoven   ARMOOGUM - University of Mauritius - Mauritius

           Applied geology

            - Stellina Cynthia  ANDRIATIANA - University of Antananarivo - Madagascar

            - Caroline Wambui  MAINA - Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT - Kenya

          Civil Engineering

            - Elizabeth Nyarkoa  OSEI - Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology - Ghana

            - Jacob Kout Daniel  DOMKOC - Juba University - South Sudan


            - Tsepang Juliet  KHUMALO - National University of Lesotho (NUL) - Lesotho

            - Jacob  Ogari BIYOGO - Masinde Muliro University of Sciences and Technology - Kenya

          Higher Education Management

            - Chidiebere Isaac  OSOUJI - Nnamdi Azikiwe University - Nigeria

            - Novel FOLABIT LENA - University of Yaounde II - Cameroon

          Mechanical Egineering

            - Mohamed Abdelbassir Khalil  ATTIA - Cairo University - Egypt

            - Eyuel   Abate LEMMA - Jimma University - Ethiopia


            - Omnia Sayed Saadeldin Awadallan  OTHMAN - Suez Canal University - Egypt

            - Marie Claire   WANGARI - University of Nairobi - Kenya

          Teacher Education

            - Daniel Tchikoko  VINDOSE - Katyavala Bwila University - Angola

            - Robert Farayi NYABAWA - Botho University - Botswana