02.04.2012 - UNESCO

Africa-UK Journalism Education Exchange Network to be launched this month

Students attending a radio training, Lagos, Nigeria - © University of Lagos

A major initiative to improve the quality of journalism education in Africa and the UK, and to boost international university links, is taking place later this month in the UK. As part of the effort to increase the capacity of media trainers and journalism education institutions, UNESCO, through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), is funding the launch of an Africa-United Kingdom Journalism Education Exchange Network.

This initiative is the result of cooperation between the UK National Commission for UNESCO, the University of Bedfordshire in Luton (UK), the Association for Journalism Education (AJE) and the Polytechnic of Namibia.

Together with journalism educators from various institutions in the UK and Ireland, 10 participants from potential African centres of excellence in journalism education will present papers and discuss a range of topics, with particular emphasis on the themes of Gender in Media/Journalism Education and Communication Technology. A two-and-a-half day workshop is scheduled to take place at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton (UK) from 11 to 13 April 2012. Apart from plenary sessions, parallel workshops, roundtable discussions on academic exchange and visits to media organizations in London are planned to take place.

Discussions and presentations will focus on journalistic research, curriculum development (with the UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education in mind), the extent to which gender is mainstreamed in journalism curricula, and ICT for journalism and development.  The workshop will also serve as a platform for consultation between journalism educators from Africa, the UK and Ireland, with particular emphasis on issues of quality and relevance in curriculum development.

Delegates, representing potential centres of excellence in journalism education, will come from institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda. It is expected that this event would not only help build partnerships between institutions in Africa, the UK and Ireland, but also provide opportunities for collaborative research and academic exchange. As a North-South-South example of collaboration, the outcomes could be of immense significance to the quality of journalism teaching and learning in the participating institutions and far beyond.

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