Cameroon: Higher Education harmonizing courses 0

Heads of Departments of the Faculties of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences, Law and Political Sciences and Economic and Management Sciences met yesterday, May 30, 2016 to discuss ways of putting in place a standard base on which the system of studies and educational programmes in these faculties in all State Universities will be built. This is to enable student mobility and credit transferability from one university to another as well as show proof of the implementation of the Bachelor, Master and Doctorate (BMD) system in the institutions of higher learning in the country.

Opening the workshop, the Minister of Higher Education, Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo said it is not about standardisation or uniformity of universities for each university needs to keep its specificity while harmonising educational programmes which are operational in classical faculties (not professional schools) in State universities for an effective credibility of the higher education system in the country.

The Minister reiterated the importance of the professionalization of the higher education system. He told participants to establish if the professionalization of studies should be gradual from one level to another or it should be professionalised at a certain level that is either Master or the last year of a First Degree level or at the beginning of any programme.

The experts debated on the various fields of studies and how to manage academic mobility taking into consideration the number of course units per semester, number of credits per course units and credit value all in a bid to ensure a hitch-free transfer if a student has to move from one university to another

A Research Officer in the Directorate of Higher Education Development of the Ministry of Higher Education, Professor Roselyn Mutia, said committee members also examined how programmes are named in various universities. A vivid example is the Department of English. In some universities it is called English Literature and in others it is called Literature in English. The committee had to harmonise the naming of programmes in a bid to come out with the same nomenclature of BMD programmes.

Participants also brainstormed on what could be fundamental courses in each discipline and what courses could be considered elective. Codes given to course units were predetermined and harmonised as it was agreed upon how many letters and numerals will be used to identify a course. At the end of the meeting, participants came out with reference documents through which others will use in drawing up teaching programmes.