Mrs Margaret Wolff and Dr Rebecka Henriksson attended the ARUA Centre Directors meeting that took place in Mauritius on 23rd and 24th February 2023.
The meeting brought together the Centre Directors and Managers of the 13 ARUA Centres of Excellence, hosted by the University of Mauritius. It was an opportunity for the Secretary-General of ARUA, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, to present feedback to the directors on the various activities that ARUA has been involved in over the past 12 months. This included, specifically, the continued negotiations with The Guild network of European universities to form Clusters of Excellence between ARUA and The Guild universities. The meeting also included discussions about the expectations of the CoEs and the responsibilities of both ARUA and the universities hosting the centres, as well as conversations about establishing joint Doctorate programmes between CoEs.
Margaret Wolff presenting on the Water Centre of Excellence
Each Centre was given a chance to present a self-assessment including achievements, challenges and future plans to share with ARUA and the other Centres. Day two saw the Water CoE presenting on the work undertaken in the last three years. The Centre was praised for their work and the large number of ARUA universities they are working closely with, i.e. the Water CoE nodes. Margaret spoke about the successes and challenges and it was clear that many of the challenges mentioned by the Water CoE are similarly faced by the other Centres. The most common challenge was the funding for the Centres after the end of the current project funding cycle from UKRI. The successes of the Water CoE highlighted, included multiple activities with the eight Water CoE nodes, the series of stakeholder engagement workshops held in the seven countries and the publication of two papers by research assistants funded by the UKRI Research Excellence and Capacity Development Grants.
The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for the Centre Directors and Managers to meet in person, learn from one another’s unique experiences and skills, and to discuss future collaboration ideas.
By Margaret Wolff and Rebecka Henriksson