Project Kick-Off Webinar meeting held

WU, together with partners Jimma University, University of Stavanger, Norway have kicked-off digitally a collaborative project:" Institutional Network for Design and Manufacturing Education & Training (ENDMET)". A project funded for the next six years by the Norwegian programme for capacity development in higher education and research for development (NORHED II) Project

Project Kick-Off Webinar meeting held

$1.      Introduction

INDMEET (Institutional Network for Design and Manufacturing Education & Training) project is a 6-year partnership project between Faculty of Science and Technology of University of Stavanger (UiS) in Norway, College of Engineering and Technology of Wollega University and Institute of Technology (JiT) in Jimma University (JU), Ethiopia. The project aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of partners in south to improve the quality of engineering education, and technical and vocational training. Project activities will focus on Design and Manufacturing Engineering and outreach activities to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The project uses experience from UiS team on applying problem-based learning approaches for better learning, creativity and self-employability in the south. The project has four parts: Education, Research, TVET (Industries) and Institutional capacity building. The education component will develop workforce within Design and Manufacturing Engineering. New PhD programs in Mechanical Design and Manufacturing and MSc program in Design Eng. will be developed and launched at JU and WU. Existing programs will be revised and diversified for TVET teachers.

 2. Objectives and target group

The main objective of INDMEET project is to enhance teaching capacity at Wollega and Jimma University by strengthening the quality of teaching in Manufacturing, Mechanical design and product development courses/programs in order to stimulate innovation and employability through; improving laboratories, workshops and smart classrooms and improving the human resource through training for research capacity building and engineering skills.

The project is designed to address the needs of the country focusing on six target areas, namely:

 1.      Staff capacity building to enhance teaching and research quality

 2.      Promoting innovation and creativity skills within new product development approach supported by 3D printing.

 3.      Module preparation for online teaching-learning and assessment with quality assurance.

 4.      Developing self-testing and soft-skill modules for improving employability

 5.      Capacitating TVET teachers through training, outreach, and continuous engagement

 6.      Gender mainstreaming with early-stage guidance, counseling and support

3.      Key INDMET Project Output

In general, this INDMEET project has four parts: Education, Research, TVET (Industries) and Institutional capacity building.

3.1  Education and Teacher Training parts of the project

Education in this context means engineering education and teacher training means training of TVET teachers and instructors of engineering. The purpose of the education element of the project within mechanical design and manufacturing is to strengthen the teaching capacity of the institutions in the field of design and manufacturing, which are crucially needed for the manufacturing industries of the country. In addition, strong background of graduates in design and manufacturing contributes in self-employability. The education part is designed to produce 25 MSc graduates. Among those, 25 graduates are from employees of the south partners (15 from JU and 10 from WU). Similarly, the purpose of the training element of the project is to enhance quality of education. The training will have impact on producing better and competent graduates who can serve the regional and national needs effectively. The outcome is confident and productive graduates as well as satisfied stakeholders. The output of the training will be knowledgeable and skilled teachers and instructors who can deliver lessons effectively. In addition, training programs or workshops are organized for engineers for industries in the region and laboratory technicians of the partner universities.

3.2  Research part of the Project

Research part of the project Research in this context is conducted through qualifying academic staff of the south partners with Ph.D. degree, involvement of PhD holding academic staff in postdoctoral research of two years’ time and collaborative research among researchers from all partners including joint research proposal writing on Mega projects during the project period and beyond. The postdoctoral candidates are recruited from academic staff for two years with one year residence at University of Stavanger. The doctoral and postdoctoral research topics will focus on solving local problems and the topics are intended to be defined early in the project start phase, i.e. spring 2021. Specifically, the research part of the project will produce - 8 academic staff with Ph.D. degree - 3 academic staff involved in postdoc research for two years. Each researcher is expected to produce at least 3 articles in open access journals and at least 2 peer reviewed article in conference proceedings or book chapters during his/her engagement in the project. In addition, each master thesis student is encouraged to produce at least 1 article from the MSc thesis work.

4.      Sustainability and local ownership

The INDMEET project has its foundation in the participatory approach defined in order to increase and maintain local ownership. In order to ensure this local ownership, south partner’s authorities both at has to actively engage   in the project implementation. The crucial problem areas in baseline analysis, the defined objectives and target groups were established through brainstorming discussions with the project leader and project coordinators at south partner institution. Therefore, the project target groups are defined based on the critical needs of the institutions to improve institutional capacity in line with the program impacts and outcomes. In this direction, there exists strong commitment from partner institutions and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MOSHE) side to strengthen the academic capacity of HEIs in the country, among others, through international collaborations and knowledge transfer. All partners in the south-south collaboration are committed to collaborate and share available resources to each other in order to achieve the planed outcomes sustainability. In the same way, the north-south collaboration that was started more than 10 years ago and sustained till present indicates that there is high motivation to sustain the collaboration.

5.      Project Management and Implementation strategy

The overall activities of the project will be managed by a Project Management Committee consisting of SEVEN members (three male and four female): Two from UiS, three from JU and two from WU. A project team of FIVE members at each institution will coordinate project activities, monitor the performance and contribute in the implementations such as teaching, training and supervision. The project Management Committee consists of the following members:

1.      Prof. Hirpa G. Lemu (PhD, UiS): Project leader.

2.      Ass. Prof. Endalkachew Mosisa Gutema (WU, PhD), Member of Management Committee and coordinator of project team at WU.

3.      Assoc. Prof. Mesay Alemu Tolcha (JU, PhD), Member of Management Committee, and coordinator of project team at JU.

4.      Mrs. Vanessa Grace Ochon Booc (UiS) – Administrative support advisor, Member of Mgt. Committee.

5.      Mrs Hana Beyene Mamo, (JU, MSc), Member of Member of Management Committee

6.      Ms. Abeba Negewo Tadese, Ass. lecturer (BSc), Member of Management Committee

7.      Mrs. Sena Gonfa Negassa (WU, MSc), Member of Management Committee

6.      Conclusion

In the upcoming six years the project produce 25 graduates awarded full scholarship for MSc studies (15 at JU and 10 at WU), 50 TVET teachers and engineers from local industries every other year trained (3D modeling & digital tools) through annual summer schools; One semester mobility grants for 12 female or marginalized students, 8 PhD researchers (4 from JU and 4 from WU) and 2 Postdoc researchers (2 from JU and 1 from WU). Ph.D., Postdoc and collaboration researches will focus on local problems by infusing innovation using rapid prototyping technology test center in Mega research and gender-responsive innovation in product design and development.

Project Kick-Off Webinar meeting held1

Project Kick-Off Webinar meeting held2

Project Kick-Off Webinar meeting held3

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