Qualitative improvement for teacher education in Rwanda

The Higher Education Pedagogies for Teacher Education (HEP-TED) project has been granted a significant 1.1 million euros in funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project, launched in January 2024, aims to develop, and strengthen the capacity of Rwandan higher education institutions and it contributes to sustainable development through quality teacher education for general education, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

The Finnish partners in this collaboration are University of Helsinki, Tampere University (Faculty of Management and Business), Tampere University of Applied Science (Pedagogical Innovations and Culture and Applied Research Center) and Jamk University of Applied Sciences. The Rwandan partners are Rwanda College of Education and Rwanda Polytechnic. All the partners are involved in the Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL).

GINTL co-creates research-based solutions to solve global educational challenges. Projects entail a variety of activities with different implementation modalities. This time, GINTL partners focused on mechanisms for effective cross-institutional and multi-stakeholder collaboration in teacher education across Rwanda’s education sector. The three main expected outcomes of the HEP-TED project (1/2024–8/2026) include:

1) Enhanced management capacities of higher education institutions;

2) Improved quality of teacher education; and

3) Strengthened capacities for cross-institutional collaboration.

Moreover, HEP-TED aims to foster a culture of accountability and active agency for quality assurance procedures including the improvement of national quality assurance and accreditation mechanisms and inclusion of a diversity of national stakeholders in quality assurance practices, together with the Rwandan Higher Education Council.

HEP-TED Team TAMK: Sanna Brauer, Elina Harju, Ella Kallio, Jussi Savolainen and Sami Suhonen.

Qualitative improvement of teacher education is based on the adoption of competence-based curricula and assessment. This shift necessitates changes in practices of general teacher education and training of TVET teachers. HEP-TED project seeks to improve professional development programs in pedagogies by designing and implementing diversified theory-practice connections. Train-and-apply methods will be applied for practical application of acquired knowledge, and the integration of digital pedagogy and technology-enhanced learning will be employed to enhance the quality of education. Peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and networking activities foster long-term collaboration and offer to enhance sustainability through quality teacher education.

Moreover, HEP-TED offers students and teachers improved opportunities for mobility. Essential part of the co-operation will be benchmarking, study visits and mutual exchanges to facilitate learning and sharing of experiences between the partner institutions. Equal partnerships are emphasized by HEP-TED to allow higher education institutions to establish solid traditions and practices of promoting mutual respect and reciprocity.


Text & group picture: Sanna Brauer, Senior Lecturer (TAMK, Pedagogical Innovations and Culture), Íris Santos, Postdoctoral Researcher (Tampere University, Faculty of Management and Business), and Elina Harju, Senior Lecturer and Project Manager of the capacity building project (TAMK, Pedagogical Innovations and Culture).
Main image: AdobeStock

Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Press release 27.10.2023. Foreign Ministry to support five Finnish higher education institutions in their collaboration with developing countries. https://um.fi/current-affairs/-/asset_publisher/gc654PySnjTX/content/ulkoministerio-tukee-viiden-suomalaisen-korkeakoulun-yhteistyota-kehittyvien-maiden-kanssa Read 2nd Februady 2024.

University of Helsinki. Teaching teachers together – a project headed by the University of Helsinki in Rwanda receives sizeable funding. https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/education/teaching-teachers-together-project-headed-university-helsinki-rwanda-receives-sizeable-funding Read 2nd Februady 2024.

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