“We Would Like to Achieve Excellence When It Comes to Quality”Dr. Arega Yirdaw
• Unity Convenes 13th Annual Research Conference
June 23, 2014
“We have a very serious problem regarding the quality of education in this country. We would like to work with public and private universities to overcome the problem. We would like to achieve excellence when it comes to quality”. This statement was made by Dr. Arega Yirdaw, President of Unity University and MIDROC Ethiopia (CEO) at the closing of the 13th Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference, which was held at Mechare Meda Conference Hall, on June 21, 2014.
Speaking after he handed out Certificates to the presenters of research papers at the Conference, Dr. Arega noted that there is significant expansion of education in Ethiopia, which is good and needed but, it must be done, without compromising quality of education.
He further underlined, “Next year, we need to have papers on quality of education in Ethiopia”. The President made note of the good number of paper presenters from Arba Minch University and awarded the University a token prize of Birr 10, 000 to contribute to the efforts of its Research Department.
Dr. Arega pointed out that the University is grateful to the paper presenters from public and private higher education institutions in the country. He underlined, “Research, as we are all aware, is an academic exercise of collecting and analyzing valid and reliable information with the aim of acquiring new, additional knowledge and experience”.
In this connection, Dr. Arega reiterated that human civilization in all walks of life is the result of “continuous inquiry and investigation by dedicated scholars and researchers like yourselves. Research, therefore, has, is, and will take centre stage in the long journey of human civilization”. The University President went on to note that research is not meant only “to know and possess what others have done before, but also to add one’s own new findings and discoveries to the already existing body of knowledge. That is how the world had reached where it is now”.
Dr. Arega dwelt at length on the multi-faceted benefits of research, among which he underlined, “Research is an important tool that drives scholars to undertake systematic scientific studies and investigations in their respective disciplines that would contribute to growth and development in all spheres of human activities. This requires the interest, dedication and sacrifice of academic leaders and instructors in higher education institutions to integrate teaching and learning exercise with the research activities in our respective institutions”.
In his welcome address Prof. Desta Hamito, Academic Vice President, Unity University, briefly noted about the history and growth of higher education in Ethiopia and subsequently gave a brief account of the academic activities at Unity University. Further, Prof. Desta pointed out that Unity University had set a new educational direction or strategy in order to promote its academic activities. Accordingly, he underlined, “The degree offering would be limited to three fields, namely: Management and Leadership, Engineering and Technology and Health Sciences; and it would offer General Education in order to contribute its share to the national endeavour to improve the capacity of students who aspire to join universities”.
The Academic Vice President made note of the efforts being made by Unity University with a view to enhancing its endeavours towards contributing its modest share to improving the quality of education. To this end, Prof. Desta recalled the recent signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Addis Addis Ababa University. He underlined, “Unity University believes such collaborative efforts would promote the teaching-learning process, on one hand, and research undertakings, on the other. Similar other collaborative efforts are also underway”.
Further, Prof. Desta went into the research undertaking efforts at Unity University, whereby he made note of the establishment of the Research and Publications Office (RPO). According to Prof. Desta, the RPO is entrusted with, among other things, the task of preparing policy guidelines on research and ensuring their implementation. As regards other research-related activity of the University, Prof. Desta underscored the publication and dissemination of research outputs. In this connection, the Academic Vice President stated that the University had two major publications run under the auspices of the RPO, namely, Ethiopian Journal of Business & Development, and the Proceedings of the Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conferences.
Dr. Seletene Seyoum, Director, Research and Publications, after making the necessary introductions about the proceedings of the conference, noted that Unity University started convening the Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference since 2002 and has convened 13 consecutive such conferences to date. The major themes of this latest Conference include Agriculture, Economic Growth, Education, Tourism, Health and Sanitation, and other cross-cutting issues. A total of 20 papers were presented. The researchers came from Addis Ababa University, Unity University, Haramaya University, Axum University, Arba Minch University, Ethiopian Civil Service University, Metu College of Teachers’ Education, Wolayita University and Tigray Agricultural Research Institute. The vast majority, that is, 30% of the presentations, were from Arba Minch University. In attendance were invited guests as well as academic and administrative staff of Unity University.