Prof. Bekele Gutema

Director, Addis Ababa University Graduate Programs Office

 E-mail: bekele.gutema@yahoo.com

Summary

The Directorate of Graduate Programs of Addis Ababa University has a long standing support from Sida. Without the support of Sida it would have been impossible for some PhD students to complete their dissertation since their research required working in well-equipped laboratories of universities in Europe, North America and so on. In the year that is ending shortly we have sent over 90 students and we are still sending as long as the fund allows.

By making reference to the experiences of the last few years,it is proposedhere that 288 students will travel internationally, each for three months. Although Sida has generously offered AAU to send students for six months within the given budget limits for AAU, AAU opts to maintain the previous tradition of sending students each for three months so that as many students as possible will have the opportunity of visiting international research facilities and consultations within the bounds of the fund allocated for AAU by Sida.

The support of Sida for external examiners and professors who do block teaching is also pivotal in maintaining the quality of our programs. It is playing a key role in capacity building. The support given in the areas of teaching-learning and quality enhancement hopefully will address the issue of improved learning-learning process.

Ethiopia is one of the countries where females and people with disabilities have been neglected for too long. This has been acknowledged by Sida and they have been receiving some support. As there are a large number of these students on AAU campuses and the support from Sida is limited, AAU extends the support of Sida to these students on a competitive basis.

2018/2019 Achivements

Visiting Professors

To discharge the responsibility of building the Capacity of 72 Universities in the country that was bestowed upon it by the government, AAU has been designing different PhD programs that are believed to meet the human power need of the country. In these diverse programs of notational needs, AAU has been accepting graduate applicants for the PhD programs of the newly emerging universities across the nation to meet the human resource needs. Enrolment of PhD students along with the opening of new programs has increased significantly in the last few years. This expansion has created shortage of senior faculty that can handle courses and supervision of research activities. To successfully run the in-house PhD programs and research endeavors, the University established collaborations with many internationally acclaimed universities.

In this report from July 08, 2018 – June 30, 2019 period, SIDA projecthas planned8 visiting professors from those 6 visiting professors came from different international universities and provided courses in different colleges, institutes and academic units.

External Examiners

The other involvements of the international scholars in the graduate programs were through engaging them in the final examinations and advisement of the PhD students. In the period reported, July 01, 2018 to June30, 2019.SIDA projecthas plannedexternal examiners professors from those 3 distinguished professors were involved in the PhD programs as external examiners and advisors. These undertakings, too, are believed to be mechanisms to maintain international standards of the programs as well as the students.  Similar to the visiting scholars, engaging these experts had contributed to strengthen the PhD programs by fulfilling the gap that would not have filled with the current national capacity

Short-term International stay for PhD candidates

Addis Ababa University addresses the request of its PhD students who ask for research visit in order to enrich their research by the state of the art laboratories and equipment that are not available in the country and their desire to work closely with their advisors abroad for close supervision and support.

In the implementation of this, budget period, from 01 July 2018 to June 2019, SPCO has planned to send 25 students for this purpose.Only 18 PhD students were able to travel abroad to use modern laboratories and get close assistance from their advisors. The University financed the travel of these PhD students for short-term exposure to universities abroad when their departments or program units recommend such travel as important for enriching the research of the PhD students.

Female and Special Needs Graduate Students Scholarship

The number of female students in the graduate program has been very small at AAU. In order to alleviate this problem, AAU has launched the graduate female scholarship scheme supported by SIDA.  The scholarship has been fruitful as it has now raised the number of female students in the graduate program from 10 to around 20% of the total graduate student population.  The scholarship opportunities target MA or MSc female students and also students with disabilities that have good academic achievements, and as a result who are likely to join the PhD program in the future.

During this budget periodout of the total 800 female and 15 students with disability scholarship awardees who are currently studying in the graduate programs of the University, 100 female and 22 students with disability are provided the opportunity within this budget period.The screening and identification of the students who critically need to get financial support from those who can sustain their studies without taking longer time since some of the students had to present their evidences from their home town out of Addis or different regions.  Thus, the entire selection was completed the pace of utilization will be enhanced as of this month. With regard to this sub title, the large number of candidates in the female scholarship schemes was a major problem that needs more attention since the number of applicants is increasing significantly with the increase of the female students in the tertiary education system of the country.