Actions taken so far by AAU and Partners
Surveys and Publications
The ADEA Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE), which is now located in the Secretariat of the AAU, supported the AAU HIV/AIDS initiatives by commissioning a study in 2000 and disseminated the results at the AAU General Conference in Nairobi in 2001.
A major gap revealed by the set of nine case studies of HIV/AIDS and African Universities was the virtual absence, at that time, of institution-specific targeting and action by higher education institutions.
In 2003, WGHE commissioned three additional surveys to document the role and contributions of African Universities, polytechnics and teacher training colleges to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
One of the surveys , which is now complete takes an aerial view of contributions and responses of African higher education institutions to the threat of HIV/AIDS and has produced a Directory of institutional responses and profiles which is now available at the WGHE web page of the AAU website at www.aau.org
In December 2003, the Africa-America Institute (AAI) commissioned an in-depth survey to assessing the role and contributions of African universities in the 12 Global AIDS initiative countries specifically, the survey assesses the capacity of universities to contribute to solutions not only through the teachers and other professionals they produce but also through their impact in policy and in the communities that they serve.
Twelve African consultants from the countries listed conducted the survey. The Africa-America Institute, WGHE and AAU present the findings of the study to the parallel session at the 11th General Conference.
The WGHE has since 2002, through competitive bidding, funded the development of eight institutional HIV/AIDS policies. Beneficiaries of the grants are:
· Mombasa Polytechnic, Kenya
· University of Botswana, Botswana
· Highridge Teachers Training College, Kenya
· Nkumba University, Uganda
· The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Rwanda
· La Chancellerie des Universites du Togo, Togo
· Ho Polytechnic, Ho, Ghana
· L'Institut Polytechnique Rural de Katibougou, Mali
Each institutions HIV/AIDS policy contains recommendations to the institution’s governing council, board or management concerning institutional responses to the threat of the epidemic.
A Toolkit for Higher Education Institutions
In 2001, WGHE supported the AAU with a grant of $83,000 to develop an HIV/AIDS toolkit. In 2003 it further provided $25,000 to support a training workshop for Master Trainers using the toolkit. WGHE in 2004 provided an additional grant of $45,000 to support sub-regional training activities using the toolkit. The kit has since been translated into French. Translation into Portuguese and reproduction is also planned under a grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
Integrating HIV/AIDS into University Curricula
One notable support to the AAU HIV/AIDS Core Program between 2003-5 came from the UNDP Regional HIV/AIDS Project on HIV and Development based in Pretoria, South Africa. The program supported selected African Universities in an HIV/AIDS curricula integration program, which aims to:
· Develop a multi-disciplinary program that comprehensively addresses major aspect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
· Train a core group of academics in a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary course on HIV and development
· Create partnerships with selected Universities who will commit to integrating HIV and development in their curricula.
· To make available to the institutions HIV related academic resources including literature and field expertise
· To provide ongoing monitoring and mentoring to trainees and institutions that participate in the program
AAU considers the curriculum integration program its flagship program in HIV/AIDS as it ensures that African universities will graduate “AIDS-competent” students whose behaviours do not put themselves or others at risk and who would also influence those they come into contact with during and after their training whether as parents, community leaders, in the workplace and as policy-makers.
Steering Committee and Monitoring Visits
To effectively monitor the curriculum integration program, UNDP has established two Steering Committees to oversee the project and assigned AAU the responsibility of continuous advocacy; technical monitoring of progress of the participants, networking of the institutions, documentation of information and best practices. Monitoring visits commenced in May 2004 and there is sufficient evidence high institutional and individual commitment to the program trainees have made good progress in the process of integrating HIV/AIDS into their institutions teaching, learning and research.
Small grants for students’ research projects and teaching materials
In support of their efforts, UNDP offered $10,000 grants to each participating institution for small grants for students’ research and to purchase books and teaching materials for the institutions’ resource centers and libraries.