The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Agnes Mwang'ombe

Strengthening Agricultural and Environmental Capacity through Distance Education: Partnership between University of Nairobi and Makerere University in East Africa and University of Florida and CIAT

Agnes Mwang'ombe
University of Nairobi

Geoffrey Kironchi
University of Nairobi

Moses Tenywa
Makerere University

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     Last modified: August 23, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 2:15 PM in NT Manchester
     (View Schedule)

Collaborative MSC Distance Education Programme: Partnership between Nairobi University and Makerere University in East Africa and University of Florida and CIAT

1A. W. Mwang’ombe, 1G. Kironchi, 2M. Tenywa, 3S. Grunwald, 3L. Staal, 4E. Hesse and 1F. Olubayo

1University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
2Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
3University of Florida, P.O. Box 110282, Gainesville, FL 32611-0282, USA
4CIAT, A.A. 6713, Cali, Colombia

The University of Nairobi, Kenya, and Makerere University, Uganda, have partnered with the University of Florida and CIAT to start a distance education programme. The pilot project "Strengthening Environmental and Agricultural Capacities through Distance Education (SEAC-DE)" provides postgraduate training opportunity to candidates in the East Africa countries to obtain a Master Degree at the University of Florida, which has fully developed distance education programmes in Agriculture and Environment. The collaboration also aims to develop similar distance education programmes at Nairobi and Makerere. After a one semester testing phase using guest students in Fall 2005, four candidates were recruited, two each from Nairobi and Makerere, for Environmental Soil Science or Agricultural Entomology starting Spring 2006. The main mode of content delivery is electronic. The students will carry out locally relevant research under joint supervision of the universities professors and CGIAR researchers, thus acquire internationally recognized training. The collaboration offers a viable alternative by lowering education costs, increasing professional retention and not taking trainees out of their professional roles and away from their homes for extended periods. This initiative pioneers ICT-based postgraduate training in agricultural and environmental education in the region. Beneficiaries would contribute to increased agricultural production and development in their countries, hence alleviate poverty and improve food security.

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