Promoting Problem-Based Learning at Higher Education institutions in Africa

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.

The Opportunity


There is a great opportunity in strengthening the capabilities of University students to connect more with industry, relate with the practical and real-life societal challenges and hence become better solution providers and innovators of the future. The very structure and nature of PBL makes students and faculty more user centered and better connected to society.
There are many challenges in the society in Africa that can be solved by University students if the collective intellectual power of the learners and facilitators is coordinated and systematically channeled to creating solutions.

What is The Goal?


The main goal of this network is to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions of higher learning to execute and advance PBL while making the best of the methodologies for the betterment of society.

The Approach


PBL Africa network encourages PBL approaches with the following ingredients:

Students should get grounded in Design Thinking and User-Centered Design

With support from mentors, the students should actively reflect and reason to construct their own learning

Students are co-owners of the process of solution creation; solution & approach are not pre-defined

Learning should be structured to create an atmosphere for development of other desirable skills such as effective communication, collaboration, creativity

Challenges should be real, with actual industry partners who own the problem and provide close professional guidance to the process of solution creation

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.

Recent Student Projects


The main goal of this network is to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions of higher learning to execute and advance PBL while making the best of the methodologies for the betterment of society.