AAMUSTED Organises Workshop on Developing Research Culture and Environment

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The Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) held a day’s workshop on May 31, 2024, for some staff and graduate students in a bid to strengthen the research culture in the University. More than two hundred (200) Teaching and Senior Administrative Staff and graduate students participated in the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by a Visiting Professor from the University of Northampton (UN), Professor Sian Davies-Vollum.

Professor Sian Davies-Vollum

The workshop, among other things, sought to bring an understanding of what a successful research environment and culture could mean to AAMUSTED.  Professor Davies-Vollum shed light on the work necessary to establish appropriate foundations for a research strategy underpinned by the Theory of Change. It was also an opportunity for Professor Davies-Vollum to share her thoughts and experiences on developing a flourishing research environment and culture.

The Visiting Professor made a nearly one-and-a-half-hour presentation in which she adequately elucidated four elements for developing the research environment and culture. According to her, infrastructure and facilities, support and professional development, strategy and implementation, and distinctiveness and visibility were critical elements that AAMUSTED needs to pay ample attention to if the University was to have a flourishing research environment and culture.

Prof. Davies-Vollum recommended the introduction of what she called the FAST Faculty Mentoring Initiative in AAMUSTED and emphasised the need to establish research centres, clusters, and internal and external collaborations, explaining five ways that could lead to establishing external collaborations and gave some tips for successful grant bidding.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor of AAMUSTED, Prof. Isaac Boateng, expressed his gratitude to the Visiting Professor for the visit to AAMUSTED and for her impact on staff in the area of research.

He said that it was the vision of the University to become a renowned research institution in the West African Sub-region.  He indicated that, the knowledge shared was timely.

Prof. Boateng was happy a number of AAMUSTED staff have published in high-impact journals. He mentioned Prof. Ebenezer Bonyah, Director of Research, International Programmes and Institutional Advancement (DRIPIA) at AAMUSTED, for featuring in the world’s best two percent (2%) scientists rankings for two consecutive years.

He hoped other staff of the University would work hard and follow Prof. Bonyah’s lead. The Pro Vice-Chancellor assured participants that Management would continue to create the right environment for the conduct of research in the University. He hinted that the University already was in the process of establishing two (2) journals and was hopeful that the process might end by the end of 2024.

In his remarks, the chairperson for the workshop, Prof. Ebenezer Bonyah encouraged Faculty members to prioritise research in the face of a high student-lecturer ratio. He reiterated that lecturers must conduct research to make an impact on the society

Prof. Sian Davies-Vollum is an academic leader with twenty-five years of international experience in Higher Education. She has experience in a broad range of University leadership roles across the academic portfolio and holds influential national roles in her subject area of geoscience. She is an international researcher in environmental geoscience, with a particular focus on coastal and wetland environments.