Criteria of Excellence

© CESTI - Students from CESTI, Dakar, Senegal.

In 2005 UNESCO was asked by its member states to hold a worldwide consultation on Journalism Education. Following a recommendation made at this meeting, a first survey was launched in Africa to identify potential centres of excellence.

In 2007 l´École Supérieure de Journalism de Lille (France) and Rhodes University (South Africa) developed a framework for assessing the quality of journalism training institutions in Africa in collaboration with UNESCO.

The resulting publication “Criteria and Indicators for Quality Journalism Training Institutions: Identifying Potential Centres of Excellence in Journalism Training in Africa” identified 12 potential Centres of Excellence and 8 potential Centres of Reference in Journalism Education. All these institutions have since been working on improving their quality in cooperation with UNESCO and other parnerts. 

Criteria and indicators of Excellence were defined using inputs of consultants from networks Theophraste, Orbicom and Journet, global networks of journalism and media schools. The survey mapped 90 journalism institutions in Africa against key success criteria of some of the world’s leading journalism institutions, listed below:

A : Curriculum and Institutional capacity

  • Relevance of the curriculum
  • Teaching resources
  • Assessment systems

B : Professional  and public service, external  links and recognition

  • Interaction and relations within the profession
  • International networking and recognition
  • Social participation and standing Other external orientations

C : Development  plan, strategy and potential

  • Strategy
  • Budget and sustainability
  • Management abilities
  • Challenges

In 2008 UNESCO convened a consultation meeting at Rhodes University (South Africa), in 2009 a workshop at Polytechnic of Namibia and in 2010 another meeting in Rhodes University during the celebration of the World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC). These meetings brought together representatives from the potential Centres of Excellence, development agencies, NGOs, professional organisations and internationally renowned universities, to explore ways to enhance journalism training in Africa.

Since 2010 similar exercises are being launched to develop criteria of excellence and map journalism education in South Asia and Latin America. 

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