INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AMONG UNIVERSITIES FOR PROMOTING HIGH QUALITY AND RIGHT ATTITUDE GRADUATES IN ENGINEERING DUE TO SUPPORT LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
In the Third Millennium, the development issue involves the whole world. In this view, the international cooperation may come to be a true and mutual learning. In the complex challenge, represented by the 8 Millennium Goals, technology and innovation driven by human factors and coupled with the principle of social responsibility and ethics, may represent a proper setting that needs to be used and a joint and bidirectional cooperation between African and European players may offer interesting chances to promote it: Europe may grant an external support and a historical lesson learnt to build and enforce internal processes in Africa which can offer, on the other side, the right stage for launching high impact programs able to support an economic and sustainable growth. Higher Education in Engineering needs to be enforced, starting form the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which represent the open windows of the region over the fast changes occurring worldwide in technology and innovation and the launching-pads for the next generation of African professionals due to work as relevant players in the global context supporting local growth.
The foundation of the project is based on the consciousness that the way to reduce poverty and inequality is by long-term sustained socioeconomic growth which addresses equitable income and wealth distribution, improving access to social services, human rights and political participation. This vision, consistent with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is shared by the Governments of Kenya (GoK) and Tanzania (GoT). To address such complex issues, at national and regional level, a strong increase of the number, the quality and the right attitude of S&T graduates and engineers is mandatory and therefore one of the leverages to be pulled is the enhancement of higher education and HEI’s capacity in delivering appropriate, market driven and high quality programs. The low number, weak labour-driven, not enough innovative and gender balanced graduates in engineering not able to support the economic growth of the region are consequences of some upward causes on which the partners would stress their attention: lack of adequate curricula for the current and local market, weak system for monitoring the quality of the academic programmes and weak involvement of stakeholders; lack of updated capacity, enterprising predisposition and attitude towards innovation both in the teaching and administrative staff; general tendency of the HEIs to isolation and poor linkage with public and private sector.
The partner of the projects are the Politecnico di Milano, the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, the Kenya Polytechnic University College and the Mombasa Polytechnic University College. The final beneficiaries of the project are the students of the HEIs since they will attend their studies in a greatly improved environment, closely linked to the best international practices. In the same manner the Faculties of the partner institutions will be beneficiaries since they will be strongly reinforced by the created environment.
Human capital is central within the project and therefore proper attention is assigned to the participatory process which enforce local ownership and commitment and is able to mitigate possible risks.
In the paper the action in place with the partner will be described and some output and outcome already obtained will be given to prove the effectiveness of the cooperation.