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GO-GN-Fellowship: Networking across higher education in Africa and beyond

You can access the swahili version of this post here \ Unaweza kupata toleo la kiswahili hapa

The GO-GN Fellowship came in at the right time!! I had just been appointed to coordinate a Regional Programme on Service Learning (SL) after our university became the Regional Hub for Africa; SL is an ambitious programme that brings on board 20 Catholic universities across 7 regions in the world to foster integral education that links Theory, Faith and Action.  The membership is growing with each hub currently recruiting five new Catholic Higher Education institutions from each region. This is an opportunity to interact and connect with many students, faculty and researchers in different capacities at different universities within African region and other six regions. I therefore see myself promoting GO-GN at different levels in my interaction with the proposed 20 plus universities both in Africa and other regions. This will involve face to face interactions in seminars and conferences (after Covid-19) and through online events like symposia/ seminars. The fellowship also came at a time when I was wondering my next form of engagement with the network one year after my PhD graduation. Being an alumni of such a great and supportive network leaves one with a lot of worries of how best to ideally give back and be responsible to the network’s growth, development and sustainability; this is what the founder (the late Prof. Fred Mulder) kept pondering over.

“Fred Mulder and Judith Pete” CC BY Catherine Cronin

I was part of the GO-GN mini-seminar on fellowship, which was a timely event; very inspiring to me as one of the research fellows after being awarded a fellowship to raise the profile of GO-GN network, promote GO-GN at face to face conferences and online events and recruit new GO-GN members. The first ever symposium of Uniservitate (SL programme) took place in October 29-30, 2020, where I was a panel moderator on “Why a committed and supportive Higher Education today”. I am also a trainee on SL currently. Together with other trained members of the faculty, we shall be conducting trainings to different regions within the network that also provides a platform for recruitments and profile raising for the network. I am very optimistic that I will achieve my target within the stipulated fellowship timeframe; and provide regular reports, three blog inputs in the GO-GN website and the production of an output review report at the end of the fellowship.

What has happened so far?

  • July-September: Call for the 20 supported universities, done together with the International Federation of Catholic Universities
  • August 24: Official Launching of UNISERVITATE Programme (SL)
  • August 26-28: XXIII SL International Conference – CLAYSS (online conference) & Launching of training of trainers (August-December)
  • September-October: Online Course “Training of Trainers” for Hubs Team Members and Associated Organizations
  • October 11-18: Vatican Global Compact on Education Week (Compact Signature 15/10)
  • October 29-30: UNISERVITATE I Symposium

Next steps…

  1. Global virtual meeting for approving all new applicants – November 27, 2020
  2. Regional (Africa) virtual inaugural seminars with the all hub new membership – December 3, 2020.
  3. Proposed visits (face to face) visits to Africa membership to spearhead institutionalization of SL –December 14, 2020 – January 30, 2021. 
  4. Global forum for Hub Coordinators in Argentina – February 2021.

You can watch Judith’s presentation of her fellowship at our meet the fellows mini seminar recording.

Cover photo: “International Women’s Day” CC BY NC SA broombesoom

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