28.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

UNESCO and partners join hands for ‘Bachelor-Master-Doctorate’ reform in eight West African countries

A UNESCO-coordinated project to support the implementation of a reform of the Bachelor, Master and Doctorate levels (the LMD reform in French) in eight member states of UEMOA is picking up speed.

UEMOA is the West African Economic and Monetary Union and includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

The LMD reform aims to adapt the French academic structure according to the internationalization of Higher Education. The UNESCO-led project supports the reform through the development and use of ICTs, such as online platforms for digital libraries and sharing.

Key partners in higher education in African are attending a meeting in 28 May 2013 in UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar to find points of convergence between their different actions and to identify synergies and complementarities among themselves.

Integrated approach

The partners taking part in the meeting on 28 May 2013 are: Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the African Virtual University, the International Telecommunication Union, the West and Central African Research and Education Network, the Network for Excellence in Higher Education in West Africa, the University of Quebec in Montreal, l’Institut International d’Ingénierie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement and l’Ecole supérieure multinationale des télécommunications.

"The implementation of the reform must be carried out using an integrated approach that takes into account the needs of beneficiaries and activities developed by them, alone or with the support of various development partners," said Jean-Pierre Ilboudo, Regional Adviser for Communication and Information at UNESCO Dakar. “We need to avoid unnecessary duplication,” he says and adds: “it’s advantageous to work closely with the sub-regional, regional and international institutions and organizations working in the field of ICT among states and universities”.

About the project

The UNESCO-led project aims to:

  • Set up physical and virtual ICT infrastructure
  • Ensure the acquisition of equipment and hardware
  • Build capacities in the areas of ICT, university teaching, accreditation and quality assurance and research.

It runs over a period of three years from the date of its signature in February 2011. The project is funded by the UEMOA and coordinated by the Regional Office of UNESCO in Dakar. A steering group including representatives of UEMOA, UNESCO and universities is in place.

About the LMD reform

The LMD reform ('Licence-Master-Doctorate') consists of a set of measures to change the higher education system to meet international standards.

"The key components are to establish a system based on three levels architecture: bachelor, master and doctorate, an organization of teaching in semesters and teaching units, the implementation of credit and the delivery of an appendix describing the degree," adds Ilboudo.

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