Applied universities to start next year


The government has finished preparing for seven applied universities to commence education next year, PM Abiy Ahmed says.
The newly developed Education Roadmap for 2018-2030 showed a need to open applied universities to link theories with practice and engage more in scientific research.
Applied universities go by many names – polytechnic university, university of applied sciences, vocational university, applied for technological university – according to what countries think best describes their context, according to Wendwossen Tamrat.
According to the draft educational road map documents, the majority of universities in Ethiopia have concentrated on teaching, and are not participating actively in research, community services, and development endeavors of the country as expected. Universities have side-lined research and more importantly, community services as secondary tasks, focusing on teaching, and neglecting the realm of research and scholarly interactions among scientists, technology/knowledge generation and transfer, university-industry linkages and community service.
“The road map differentiates universities to engage in focus areas to solve their communities’ problems and help to organize resources, both in human resources and inputs used for laboratories and machines,” said Tirusew Tefera, one of the architects of the new road map.
Currently, there are 44 government higher institutions all teaching the same disciplines except the Adama Science and Technology and the Addis Ababa Science and Technology Universities.
“Applied universities can offer high-level professional and practical degrees different from what has so far been provided by comprehensive universities,” Wendwossen adds.
“As the road map begins to be implemented next year, the curriculum for the first phase is already completed in which the new entries will stay for four years and will select their respective department after the completion of freshman courses which are focused on history, psychology, and entrepreneurship,” Tirusew adds.
The ministry is categorizing public universities based on their potential, resources to specialize in certain areas and provide quality of education up to post graduate levels.