DEVELOPMENT AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF AN INTERVENTION TO INCREASE STUDENTS’ RESEARCH COMPETENCES IN MOZAMBIQUE
Ghent University (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Over the past 15 years, Mozambique has experienced higher education reforms in a fast-forward mode. Presently, the country has 18 publicly and 28 privately funded institutions , offering bachelor’s, master’s, and postgraduate courses to approximately 290,000 students (2015). Despite the growth in HEI, research points at weak research qualifications of university staff  and low input and output from flagship universities in Africa . This is also reflected in research competencies of undergraduate students as reported in a recent study . Research competences are below a mastery learning benchmark. To counter this, the present study invests in an innovation to engage undergraduate students in research activities. Studies have shown that involving students in research has the potential to positively influence the students’ epistemological, intellectual and skills development (,,,). In the present study, two versions of a 12-week course have been set up. Version A involves students in research processes as key stakeholders. This version is labelled as Research-Based Learning(RBL) . Version B involves students in a parallel version labelled as Research-Led Learning (RLE). Research activities in both versions are linked to a regular university undergraduate course. The differential impact of RBL/RLE is studied by looking at the quality of research self-efficacy, the actual development of research competencies and research motivation; both before and after the intervention. During the intervention, students are involved in focus group discussions to collect qualitative data.
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Keywords: Students’ research experiences, research-based learning, Mozambique.