CINOP Global

A thrilling challenge: NICHE/MLI/215

Last August, CINOP Global won the tender of the NICHE/MLI/215 project. Being granted this large higher education governance project was a huge performance considering the fierce competition the tender entailed.
NICHE/MLI/215 entitled « Modernisation et Professionnalisation de huit établissements de l’enseignement supérieur au Mali » aims at improving the governance of the whole higher education system in Mali.

Mali’s higher education and research sector faces many challenges affecting both its internal and external efficiency and effectiveness. These include poor governance, limited quality and relevancy, gender inequalities and inequities, mismatch between offerings and labour market needs, etc.

Related to the foregoing, Mali launched an in-depth reform process of the sector since 2011. This complete overhaul of the system aims at changing drastically the system to enable it sustainably play its role efficiently and effectively towards national development. The revamped higher education sector should fulfil satisfactorily its missions and mandates and contribute to societal advancement. One of the major axes of the sector reform focusses on the establishment of a new governance of the system. This improved governance shall enable on the one hand the government to fully play its policing and directing roles that benefit the whole system, and on the other hand help the higher education institutions to become positive actors of the system delivering the highly needed relevant results which are expected by the society at large.

The present NICHE project fully fits into the above mentioned complete reform of the system. It focusses on the improvement of the governance of the system so as to ensure a sustainable development of the higher education sector as a whole.

In Mali, three main recipient organisations will benefit directly from the project:
  • le Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique (MESRS): the ministry of higher education and research
  • neuf (9) instituts d’enseignement supérieur publics: 9 public higher education institutes
  • le Centre Interuniversitaire de Ressources Numériques (CIRN): the inter-university ICT resources centre.

The CINOP-led Consortium will accompany these three beneficiaries in the implementation of the project. The Consortium consist of the following five (5) organisations: CINOP (The Netherlands); Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France); Cocktail-Office (France);Association des Universités Africaines (Ghana); Yes Inc. Mali (Mali).

CINOP Global and its partners will contribute towards the strengthening of the leadership and management of the concerned institutes of higher learning and will support the piloting of the whole sector by the ministry.

To this end, the Consortium designed a capacity development plan encompassing the following interrelated six (6) building blocks:
  • Governance
  • Quality Assurance
  • ICT (subdivided into 3 sub-components)
    - ICT policies and strategies for the sector (national level; organisation level)
    - MIS (introduction of the PGI Cocktail throughout the whole system)
    - ICT use in education
  • Distance learning (e-learning)
  • Gender
  • Labour Market

Hereunder follow few highlights of the Consortium strategy.

Pertaining to governance, the Consortium will work towards implementing the so-called “Results Based Management (RBM)”. The introduction of this managerial concept will go pair with the interventions that are key in the Consortium’s approach such as: establishing governance structures; developing governance instruments; training members of Management of the HEIs as well as members of newly established governance structures; developing and institutionalising training modules in governance; introducing performance contracts; etc.

Quality Assurance structure will be established in each HEI. Members of these structures will be capacitated. A pilot audit will be executed in selected HEIs.

Besides developing policies and strategies on ICT in higher education and research at the national level (ministry) and at the level of each HEI, the Consortium will help to deploy the full package of the management information system called PGI Cocktail throughout the whole higher education sector. This assistance will encompasses the introduction of the software, the delivery of services, and the support. In short, an holistic package is developed that will enable delivering the PGI Cocktail turn-key.

CIRN and the HEIs will be capacitated so as to boost the development and expansion of e-learning. While CIRN will be taken through an institutional capacity development process, training of trainers will be organised for a mixed group (staff of CIRN and from the HEIs) to master them in the development and production of e-learning programmes (modules, MOOCs, etc.), supervision, assessment and guidance of e-learners. Attention will also be paid to technical aspects (infrastructures, software, etc.). Offerings in the fields of Food Security and Sexual Reproduction Health will be targeted as pilot.

Gender will be taken into account in all building blocks of the project. A gender audit will be executed to inform the development and subsequent implementation of Gender Plans in each of the participating HEI. Gender focal point/unit will be established in each HEI and capacitated accordingly. An inter-university gender platform will be established to enable learning of best practices on gender amongst HE. This structure will also serve as liaison between the HEIs and the ministry for Women Promotion and others government structures as well on gender issues in higher education.

An incubator will be established to stimulate and accompany entrepreneurships amongst graduates. Also, curricula will be redesigned to include development of entrepreneur skills and competences. Furthermore, the Consortium intends to establish a so-called “Career Center” within each participating HEI. The center will be the linking pin between the HEI and its socio-economic environment. Through it a win-win situation will emerge whereby true relationships exist between HEI and the labour market. Through the center faculties and students could be easily linked to the world of work and reciprocally the labour market and other stakeholders could easily enter the university.

The duration of the project is four years running from September 2014 till August 2018.

An amount of 3 million Euro was made available for the project.
More information
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Ouindinda Nikièma
« Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world » Nelson Mandela.
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