SARUA Curriculum Innovation Network launched

The SARUA Curriculum Innovation Network (SCIN), coordinated by HEMA, was launched on 8 June 2015 at the Spier Conference Centre outside Stellenbosch, South Africa. The launch was preceded by a two-day inception workshop with the University Delivery Consortium (UDC) that has been selected to develop a Master’s curriculum in climate change and sustainable development for the SADC region.

Adv. Johan Naudé and Botha Kruger of HEMA attended the event alongside climate change and higher education specialists who are working on establishing the SCIN as the first of four envisaged networks of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD).

Johan Naudé, MD of HEMA and delegates representing regional universities. Photo by Tim Honey

Adv. Johan Naudé, Managing Director of HEMA and delegates representing regional universities. Photo by Tim Honey

The PCCCD was initiated in 2010 by a meeting of Vice-Chancellors at the University of Mauritius with the following long term vision:

“To significantly enhance the climate adaptive capacity and resilience of the SADC region through the development of a collaborative network of higher education institutions capable of pooling resources, maximising the value of its intellectual capital and attracting significant investment into the region.”

Botha Kruger, HEMA Coordinator of the SARUA Curriculum Innovation Network, presenting at the inception workshop. Photo by Tim Honey

Botha Kruger, HEMA Coordinator of the SARUA Curriculum Innovation Network, presenting at the inception workshop. Photo by Tim Honey

The launch follows on the completion of a regional mapping study in 2013/14 by a HEMA consortium of experts for SARUA and the publication of a two volume Regional Knowledge Co-Production Framework, which recommended the establishment of four collaborative networks among SADC universities to address the impacts of climate change:

  • Curriculum Innovation Network: to develop shared curricula and courseware at a Master’s degree level, with an emphasis on the inter-disciplinary study of climate change issues;
  • Macro Research Network: comprising seven transdisciplinary research clusters, to collaboratively produce new climate change knowledge relevant to the region;
  • Capacity Development Network: to build human capacity within SADC universities related to teaching and learning, research, community engagement and institutional management;
  • Policy and Institutional Development Network: to strengthen institutional leadership and networks in order to better inform and influence regional climate change policy.

The UDC selected to develop the Master’s curriculum comprises the following universities:

  • Open University of Tanzania (TZ)
  • Rhodes University (ZA)
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture (TZ)
  • Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (MZ)
  • University of Cape Town (ZA) – coordinating university
  • University of Mauritius (MU)
  • University of Namibia (NA)
Delegates of the SCIN inception workshop and the SARUA Leadership Dialogue on Universities and Innovation for Inclusive Development. Photo by Tim Honey

Delegates of the SCIN inception workshop and the SARUA Leadership Dialogue on Universities and Innovation for Inclusive Development. Photo by Tim Honey

The launch event and the parallel SARUA Leadership Dialogue on Universities and Innovation for Inclusive Development were reported on by University World News here.

The launch signified the start of the next phase of work for SARUA, the HEMA team and the UDC as the curriculum development will commence in August 2015. Organisations or individuals who wish to participate in the SCIN can register their interest as Participating Universities, External Stakeholders, or Individual Contributors by completing the completing the online registration form at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/scinregistration.