On Monday, 14th February 2022, Ruli Higher Institute of Health (RHIH) led a consultative meeting on research related activities. It started from 14h30 to 17h00 in RHIH Staff meeting room. The meeting has been organized by RHIH Administration for responding on Institute’s needs. The event was chaired by Mr. NTIRENGANYA Sylvestre, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and research who welcomed Dr. Innocent DUSHIMIYIMANA (Fr.), Vice Chancellor of RHIH to deliver the key remarks. He called all academic staff to stand up and find a way to engage in research and community service. He continued by welcoming the Guest of Honor named Dr. NIYONSABA Canisius (Fr.) for the interactive speech through conferencing
The RHIH Leadership represented by Dr. Innocent DUSHIMIYIMANA (Fr.), (Vice Chancellor) and Dr. NIYONSABA Canisius (Fr.) (Guest Speaker).
In his introductory message, he started by announcing that the research is a key cornerstone of every university including RHIH. He argued that, it can help the development of Institute and academic staff at individual level as well. He furthermore contended that RHIH has a good environment of conducting a research because of its geographic location in rural area of Rwanda with many opportunities to get data to be used in different studies.
He also shared the experience of his past during the studies wherever he mentioned that he did a lot of research at different universities that he attended and he was awarded in many conferences.
Additionally, he expressed that based on Research proposals being carried out by the students under Supervision of skilled and qualified academic staff, Every supervisor may guide well the students and continue the proposal with ethical approval and get data collected, analyzed and published in peer reviewed Scientific Journal. This process may help the academician to become familiar with academic and scientific writing skills and critical reading of work accomplished by students for learning purpose.
The theoretical base learnt in University lies on the positions of internationally recognized scientists of education policy. The set task enables to study as a whole such components as the content and design of curricula, teaching and assessment methods, extracurricular activities, topics and supervision of students’ research works, cooperation with partners. A comprehensive approach is a precondition of a well-functioning curriculum, with community service being the unifying aspect and toward this aspect the RHIH has a positive outstanding.
The message contents were delivered under title named “Academic staff growth, development, and output at Higher Learning Institution level”.
Dr. NIYONSABA Canisius (Fr.) while discussing with Academic Staff on Research and Scientific production.
He continued by stating that the Universities have multiple roles to play1. Higher education institutions provide education or teaching graduates by providing able, self-directed learners that are independent and confident, and will go out into society and give to society through leadership or through civic duties ; conduct research for repositories and generating the new knowledge and technology( named research institution to provide new knowledge, to change paradigms, to aid society in its development and in meeting new challenges as they come along) and community service where they play an active role in the development of their economic, social and cultural environment 2. By mobilizing the human and intellectual resources, institutions of higher education are directly tackling community problems – combating poverty, improving public health, and restoring environmental quality3.
When you are considering within institution, the challenge is to link the teaching, research and community service roles by different internal mechanisms including (funding, staff development, incentives and rewards, communications, etc.) that make these assigned activities more responsive to community needs 4.
Historically, the primary role of universities has been teaching. As a result of Alexander von Humboldt’s academic revolution in the mid-19th century, scientific research became the second main function of a university, yet closely connected to teaching. Community service, the third role of universities became a discussion issue in the late decades of the 20th century only. That was caused by changes in the society – globalization, networking, a closer connection to the community, development of service industry and knowledge-based production5, 6.
Research is, as a rule, considered the most important task of a university, on which teaching is naturally based. Community service is mostly called the third task, but is closely connected to the first and second tasks. During recent years, community service has become highly valued 7.
Rapid changes assume a university to build a closer connection to its environment, a quicker reaction to and higher flexibility in meeting the community expectations8.
Community service enhances both study, research & development activities, providing services to businesses and public sector institutions as well as contributing to the administrative capacity building of a region. Hence, it is a pro-active activity, enhancing transferring and adapting internationally created knowledge according to the community needs in all its regions.
Pointing out the need for cooperation in the activity of a university: “Upon accomplishing its mission, universities cooperate with each other as well as with the entire society by supporting the development of the society and the preservation of national culture by effective research, development or other creative activities and by creating and developing possibilities based on integrated instruction and research activities for international cooperation, acquisition of higher education based on scientific approach as well as for continuing education.”
RHIH Academic while following the Speech from the Guest of Honor.
In the end , he reminded in summary for all present participants that universities have been seen in different ways as stated in different theories and all academic staff may try to adhere to the following Principles of Higher Learning Institution as confirmed by many Evidences for better achievement : (1)Communities dedicated to the learning and personal development of their members, especially students (this could be termed the ‘liberal’ theory);(2)Sources of expertise and vocational identity (the ‘professional formation’ theory); (3)Creators, testers, and sites for the evaluation and application of new knowledge (the ‘research engine’ theory, with an important corollary – the ‘business and industry services’ theory); as well as (4) Important contributors to society and nations (the ‘civic and community engagement’ theory).
The questions, comments, challenges and suggestions as well as their respective recommendations were falling into situation where many academic staff have conducted the research and submitted the manuscripts but they are being rejected and present members agreed that the team work will be one strategy to overcome this challenge.
Students proposals should be well supervised and transform them into Scientific work. Staff should keep investing their time in research and community Services as daily duties dispute duties and responsibilities assigned.
In closing remarks, Vice Chancellor of RHIH appreciated the initiative showed by speaker and He promised that all possible infrastructure will be in place for enabling environment of RHIH as an area of research and Community health services.
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- Watson, D. The engaged university: International perspectives on civic engagement. The Engaged University: International Perspectives on Civic Engagement 1–281 (2011) doi: 10.4324/9780203818763.
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RHIH academic Staff while practicing the theory learnt in utilizing zoom during virtual Class management
The IT staff mastered :Authentication, Managing accounts, Roles and permissions ; Enrolments ; Admin tools ; Backup ;Developer tools ; Performance Security ; Web services ; Language; Location ; Logging ; Server settings; Site-wide reports and Site appearance . Academic staff covered basic Moodle architecture, orientation / functions – resources and activities; online pedagogy fundamentals upload the teaching and learning materials on the e-learning platform; Create discussion forum or chat and explore the forums created ; create and manage virtual classroom using Zoom as well as set the evaluation (test, assignment) by using e-learning platform.
At the end of training , the trainer, thanking the RHIH administration for invitation and positive attitude that Institute have for empowering ICT infrastructure in terms of improving e- learning platform and good attitude toward utilization of ICT .
Finally, Mr. NTIRENGANYA Sylvestre, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic affairs and research, closed officially the workshop by thanking the expert who facilitate the workshop for 3days as well as the participants and reminded all academic staff to take care on a way forward for implementing successfully all recommendations provided.