Over 50 PhD and 20 master’s study opportunities from the IUC program in only 10 years

The management of the IUC programme with Jimma University, Ethiopia and of the University Collaboration for Better Health in Ethiopia (UCBHE) network is organizing a closing event of JU-IUC and launching of VLIR-UOS NETWORK Ethiopia Programme that will take place in Jimma from 15 to 16 September 2017. Consequently, the closing event will be followed by the launching event of the UCBHE network that will take place from 17 to 20 September 2017 at the different partner universities.

Jimma University IUC Program (JU-IUC) has been one of the most successful VLIR-UOS programs. Its contributions have changed the teaching and research landscape of the University and have contributed good practices and policy inputs that were used by other universities in the country and the higher education of the country at large. Nearly every university in the country has paid visit to the program for experience sharing, the achievements of the program were presented on national forums prepared by MOE, and the program inspired many universities in the country to apply for VLIR calls and initiatives.

Institutionally, the IUC program has directly created over 50 PhD and about 20 master’s (including the Flemish students) study opportunities thereby enhancing staff profile of the University; has published over 120 articles on peer reviewed journals; has transformed ICT and library services; has created six centers of excellence and six field sites; has established two masters and four PhD programs that has so far enrolled over 150 masters and 90 PhD students from JU and other universities in the country; over 1000 staff from JU and other local partner universities have attended short course training opportunities organized by the program. The program has also enhanced the reputation and competitiveness of the University. 

Jimma University was the leading university for five consecutive years. The program has also improved institutional management capacity of the University through development and application of ICT technology to automation of planning and monitoring, human resources, finance, procurement and property administration, transport, health care, institutional repository, and many other areas.

Moreover, the IUC program and its projects attracted nearly 30 local and international partners who have allocated different level of funding. These partners are government institutions, local and overseas universities, civil society organizations and international institutions. 

The achievement of the program has attracted the attention of different sectors of the University including its leaders and managers. As a result, success stories and good practices of the program were adopted by the university and its constituencies. Experiences of the program that are thought to be impressive such as core lab development, thematic research, use of open-source software, good laboratory practice, joint PhD programs, use of centralized data center, team work and many other experiences of IUC are being used by the University for institutional policies and strategies. 

The program has also benefitted other universities in Ethiopia. Faculty from other universities in Ethiopia is enrolled in PhD and masters programs initiated by IUC; they participate in short term training programs; nearly 20 universities in Ethiopia have benefited from ICT capabilities of JU including networking and training of staff. Fifteen of these universities had their ICT system set up from scratch including physical work, network configuration, development of applications and training of their ICT staff. 

Overall, the IUC program has contributed to institutional image and reputation of Jimma University; the University is now better networked and is attracting partnerships in colleges and departments that were not beneficiaries of IUC program.