Development of Digital Literacy Skills

Academics Without Borders (AWB) is a Canadian non-profit organization. Its mission is to help low and middle-income countries improve their universities, so that they can train their own experts and conduct research to promote their countries’ development.

AWB’s projects are involved in the full range of university activities, from expanding and improving existing institutions and programs to helping create new ones. AWB fulfills its mission by sending volunteers on projects that originate in, and are owned by, developing world institutions. AWB volunteers are reimbursed for their expenses but are not paid a salary.

During the pandemic, volunteers are working remotely on projects that can be implemented online. Once restrictions are lifted, international working visits will resume as appropriate.

Volunteer Opportunity: Development of digital literacy skills of faculty, staff, and students

Number of Volunteers: 1 or more

Language: English

Partner Institution: Injibara University, Ethiopia

Injibara University is a new university in the northern part of Ethiopia that admitted the first 1450 students in four faculties in January 2018 and an additional 1600 students in the 2018/19 academic year. Injibara University is one of a new group of public universities established as part of the second Growth and Transformation Plan of the Government of Ethiopia. The university has four colleges: Agriculture, Food and Climate Sciences; Natural and Computational Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanity; and Business and Economics. The four colleges accommodate 24 departments and 160 academic staff.

Location: Injibara University, Injibara, Ethiopia – the project will begin virtually

Job Description:

In some areas of Ethiopia there is a recognized deficiency in digital literacy. Injibara University seeks to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) skills development as a central pillar of its programs. As a young institution, the university is building the foundation for ICT development and currently has an ICT directorate, computer science and ICT programs, and a small number of ICT support staff.

The university seeks a volunteer to assist its faculty to increase the use of ICT in education delivery by integrating ICT into the curriculum. Initially, the volunteer will work with faculty members to conduct a situational analysis and needs analysis. This step will include a review of the existing curriculum to understand the current use of ICT throughout the institution and provide recommendations to increase the digital literacy of the faculty, staff, and students.

Based on these recommendations, the volunteer will provide faculty and staff with customized short-term training on digital literacy skills, open-source software, and network infrastructure management tools. The volunteer will also provide recommendations to the faculty for the use of innovative ICT services and tools to support teaching, learning, and research activities and guidance to improve the capacity of ICT staff to provide support and services to faculty and students.

Volunteer Requirements:

Minimum of a master’s degree in Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology, or a related discipline. Applicants with specializations in Network and Systems Administration, Systems Development and/or experience in ICT curriculum development are especially encouraged to apply.

Start Date and Duration:

The assignment will begin with working online with the faculty team at Injibara University to conduct a situational analysis and needs assessment. Depending on project progress and when conditions allow, the assignment will likely continue with one or more working visits to Injibara University.

Benefits:

If the volunteer travels, all expenses – flights, accommodations, local transportation, travel and medical insurance, vaccinations and medications, and other incidentals – will be covered by Injibara University and AWB.

Applications:

Please send to Corrie Young, [email protected]:

  • Your CV, including your contact information
  • A statement of your motivation in seeking the position and your availability to undertake the role.
  • Two (2) letters of reference – please either include the letters of reference with your application package or have them sent separately to Corrie Young, Associate Executive Director – Projects & Network, [email protected], by the application deadline

Deadline: May 26, 2021

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Development of an Entrepreneurship Component for All Programs

Academics Without Borders (AWB) is a Canadian non-profit organization. Its mission is to help low and middle-income countries improve their universities, so that they can train their own experts and conduct research to promote their countries’ development.

AWB’s projects are involved in the full range of university activities, from expanding and improving existing institutions and programs to helping create new ones. AWB fulfills its mission by sending volunteers on projects that originate in, and are owned by, developing world institutions. AWB volunteers are reimbursed for their expenses but are not paid a salary.

During the pandemic, volunteers are working remotely on projects that can be implemented online. Once restrictions are lifted, international working visits will resume as appropriate.

Volunteer Opportunity: Development of an entrepreneurship component for all programs at the university

Number of Volunteers: 1

Language: English

Partner Institution: Injibara University, Ethiopia

Injibara University is a new university in the northern part of Ethiopia that admitted the first 1450 students in four faculties in January 2018 and an additional 1600 students in the 2018/19 academic year. Injibara University is one of a new group of public universities established as part of the second Growth and Transformation Plan of the Government of Ethiopia. The university has four colleges: Agriculture, Food and Climate Sciences; Natural and Computational Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanity; and Business and Economics. The four colleges accommodate 24 departments and 160 academic staff.

Location: Injibara University, Injibara, Ethiopia – the project will begin virtually

Job Description:

In Ethiopia there is currently an imbalance between the number of university graduates and available jobs. In the existing curriculum there is a recognized deficit in programming towards job creation and an over dependence on public sector employment. The situation has compelled the government to encourage graduates to enter the workforce as job creators by implementing entrepreneurship courses in all curriculums. It is envisioned that this will lead to increased employment opportunities.

Injibara University seeks a volunteer to assist with the development of an entrepreneurship component to be integrated into all programs institution wide. The volunteer will first work with Injibara faculty to conduct a situational analysis and needs assessment. This step will involve a review of the current curriculum offerings and regional entrepreneurship opportunities.

Based on the outcome of the situational analysis and review, the volunteer will work with the faculty to develop the desired curriculum. The assignment will also include training on preparing business plans for multidisciplinary areas, strategizing to explore students’ entrepreneurial skills and opportunities, and providing guidance on the establishment of a business incubation centre at the university.

Volunteer Requirements:

Minimum of a master’s degree in Business, Management, Entrepreneurship, or a related discipline. Applicants with experience in developing entrepreneurship curricula and building linkages between academic institutions and industry partners are especially encouraged to apply.

Start Date and Duration:

The assignment will begin with working online with the faculty team at Injibara University to conduct a situational analysis and needs assessment. Depending on project progress and when conditions allow, the assignment will likely continue with one or more working visits to Injibara University.

Benefits:

If the volunteer travels, all expenses – flights, accommodations, local transportation, travel and medical insurance, vaccinations and medications, and other incidentals – will be covered by Injibara University and AWB.

Applications:

Please send to Corrie Young, [email protected]:

  • Your CV, including your contact information
  • A statement of your motivation in seeking the position and your availability to undertake the role.
  • Two (2) letters of reference – please either include the letters of reference with your application package or have them sent separately to Corrie Young, Associate Executive Director – Projects & Network, [email protected], by the application deadline

Deadline: May 26, 2021

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Online project update at Fatima Jinnah Women University in Pakistan

Kathleen MatheosDr. Kathleen Matheos from the University of Manitoba is an AWB volunteer on a project provide mentorship for the establishment of a Centre for Learning Excellence with Fatima Jinnah Women University in Pakistan. Given the current international travel limitations, this project is being implemented virtually.

This is AWB’s first project in Pakistan where pre-pandemic travel advisories had made on-site visits impossible. Ironically, the pandemic’s restrictions alerted us to the potential of working online in such locations.

In January 2021, the Academic Administrative Workshop was held online. Fifty-two departmental leaders and faculty members participated.

green university logo
The workshop covered a range of topics related to the establishment of a new academic support centre aimed at enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. The workshop was recorded and, along with reference materials, will serve as an ongoing resource.

The ten days of professional development also included three international keynote speakers who delivered sessions on academic values, women in academic leadership, and quality in higher education in uncertainty.

“This was the first workshop of its nature with a unique focus to generate a vigorous exchange of innovative ideas, experiences, and insights among the departmental leaders. This workshop was designed with an aim to mobilize their inner resources, inculcate a passion for continuous learning while strengthening their commitment for their role as department leader and towards the institution.

 

The participation of the emerging leaders was the most aspiring part of this workshop, which I believe will boost the overall quality of educational attainment in Fatima Jinnah Women University in the long run. This collaborative exchange both with the expert resource persons as well as among the participants may stimulate the departmental leadership to make substantial reforms in their individual departments in particular and university in general.”

– Dr. Salma Nazar Khan, Project Coordinator
Fatima Jinnah Women University

The next phase of the project will focus on crafting the policies and procedures surrounding the development of the newly established Centre for Professional Practice at Fatima Jinnah Women University.

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How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Impacted International Research Programs: A Personal Perspective

This fascinating and timely article was published in June, written by AWB volunteer and University of Manitoba professor, Dr. Jason Kindrachuk. The article references the three weeks he spent on an AWB project at the University of Nairobi Institute for Tropical Infectious Diseases in Kenya. Read the article in Forbes here.

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A world free of racism

AWB’s vision is that higher education is essential to building a more prosperous, healthy, and stable world. Such a world cannot exist unless it is free of racism and injustice of all kinds. Therefore, at this time, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental values at the heart of our work and indispensable elements of the type of higher education in which we believe.

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U of T researchers volunteer to help Brazilian university build its first qualitative health research program

3 women standing side by side and smiling

U of T Associate Professor Denise Gastaldo, Margarida de Aquino Cunha, the rector of Brazil’s Federal University of Acre and Rozilaine Redi Lago

“Rozilaine Redi Lago, a visiting PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (CQ) four years ago, taught the only qualitative research course at the Federal University of Acre (UFAC) in Brazil following her graduation. But she saw a pressing need for an entire program – a goal that U of T’s Denise Gastaldo and Brenda Gladstone, both volunteers with Academics Without Borders (AWB), are now helping to realize.”

Read more of this December 4, 2019 article about AWB volunteers from the University of Toronto.

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Article about AWB’s work with African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

3 men standing in front of a bookshelfAIMS works with partners to develop environmental policy – October 13

“The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) initiated a project to develop a comprehensive environmental policy for the AIMS network. AIMS acknowledges the importance of protecting environmental values as part of the global community. This project was developed with the assistance of Academics Without Borders and the University of Calgary.” “…Professor Getachew Assefa from the University of Calgary, working as an AWB volunteer on the project, donated his time and talent to assist AIMS in developing its first environmental policy.”

Read the full AIMS article here.

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AWB’s Executive Director participates in panel at Carleton University

Greg Moran, Executive Director of AWB, participated in a panel of experts on the topic of internationalization at a Sept. 9, 2019 event to support strategic planning at Carleton University. Carleton posted an article about the event on its website – read “Strategic Planning Speaker Series Explores a Global Perspective” here!

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