Are graduates from VLIR-UOS ICP programmes making a difference?
The Alumni Barometer Research project seeks to study precisely this highly relevant, yet complicated question. A team of 17 alumni researchers from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam and two IOB staff members were engaged to enable robust data collection through participatory action research. The study utilized a mixed-method approach and jointly designed and employed several research instruments such as an online alumni survey, employer survey, alumni impact stories and social network mapping. Using this mixed-methods approach, the study maps the impact of an international study experience on the individual graduates, the organizations they work for, and the broader society.
As such the barometer project set out to :
a) develop tools to map the impact of international study experience
b) gain insight into the contributions of graduates to development
c) based on these insights improve the quality, relevance, and impact of international study programmes;
d) and build capacity in evaluation and alumni policy
In a challenging economic context, promoting private investment and stimulating entrepreneurship are becoming essential to address the major unemployment issues, especially among youth. It is, therefore, crucial to foster synergies between the various supporting entities, to create, improve, nurture and evolve a geographically clustered ecosystem that is conducive to successful entrepreneurship. This will contribute to the development and emergence of more businesses, and to the dynamization of the regional economy and entrepreneurship.
A circular note from the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education was sent in 2019 to the University Presidents to initiate the establishment of the National Status of the Student-Entrepreneur (SNEE). The SNEE will be a facilitating tool for students to build relationships with the various stakeholders in the business world (bankers, suppliers, customers, etc.) while embedding an entrepreneurial project in the training curriculum.
Accordingly, and to support this endeavour, we were able to initiate, through the institutional university cooperation program at Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, with the support of VLIR-UOS and the Flemish universities of Belgium, an entrepreneurial dynamic among students, young researchers and professor-researchers through a number of coordinated initiatives :
This Community talk will shed the light on these initiatives and will present the strategic framework we developed and which provides structure and guidance for students, start-ups and cooperatives, that sell innovation and growth opportunities through ecosystem collaborations. We will also give a brief about the initiative we are starting toward developing a collaborative online platform for Entrepreneurship in Africa (ENTRAFRICA). To make the content more engaging and add practical insights, the CT-Talk Morocco will include testimonials from people with different backgrounds, but all have one thing in common – insightful thoughts on entrepreneurship.
More information here
Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda
Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
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