This network originated from a program that has been going on since 2017 within three East Africa Universities (Makerere University, University of Dar-es-Salaam and University of Nairobi), in collaboration with Aalto University in Finland. The program involves multi-disciplinary students working on real life challenges, provided by industry partners, using problem-based learning (PBL) approaches. Beyond the three universities, the network hopes to attract other individuals, universities and partners in Africa and beyond, who would be interested in collaborating to grow and enhance PBL in higher education institutions.
PBL Africa network encourages PBL approaches with the following ingredients:
Students should get grounded in Design Thinking and User centered design
The learning should be structured to create an atmosphere that allows for the development of other desirable skills and attributes such as effective communication, collaboration and creativity.
Challenges should be real, with actual industry partners who own the problem and provide professional guidance to the process of solution creation
Students are co-owners of the process of the solution creation – solution and approach are not pre-defined
With support from mentors, the students should actively reflect and reason to construct their own learning.
Through development and sharing of relevant material, organizing conferences, seminars and workshops, initiating PBL projects in participating countries, recognizing outcomes of PBL initiatives, sharing of best practices and building capacity among other activities, the PBL Africa network hopes to be a catalyst for innovation in Higher Education institutions in Africa