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What is the JFE/SFSE? At the centre of the AERC collaborative training model is the joint development of curricula by a network of universities, joint setting and monitoring of standards, and joint offering of elective specialist courses. Students admitted in the Collaborative PhD Programme (CPP), the Collaborative Masters Programme (CMAP), and the Collaborative Masters in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) are taught core courses at selected accredited universities in the first year of studies. All the students are then offered elective courses in their second year of study by a team of internationally sourced visiting lecturers for a duration of three-four months at the Joint Facility for Electives (JFE) and the Shared Facility for Specialization and Electives (SFSE). The JFE/SFSE has been a measure of signaling quality in AERC Training Programme as it makes the CMAP, CMAAE and CPP degrees distinctive from all other Masters and PhD degree programmes on the continent due to the following reasons: (i) it pools together global experts in specific subject areas offered as electives; (ii) enables students to take electives that individual university departments would otherwise be unable to offer; (iii) provides lecturers with greater access to recent teaching materials for upgrading courses in their home universities; (iv) provides unique networking opportunities to participating faculty members and students; and (v) rigorously prepares students for PhD studies as well as future high-level research and policy analysis. Official Opening of the CMAP-CPP JFE 2022 The virtual official launch of the 2022 CMAP and CPP JFE was presided over by the AERC’s Executive Director, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, on July 11, 2022. The function brought together Masters and PhD students drawn from universities in the AERC network, the JFE faculty members, various heads of departments and schools of economics of the participating universities, as well as members of staff and management of the AERC. This marks the third consecutive session of the CMAP-CPP JFE to be conducted virtually, as all previous sessions were typically conducted at a residential campus in Nairobi, Kenya. The CMAP JFE 2022 This year’s virtual CMAP JFE runs from July 18 to October 28, 2022. It is the 30th session of the CMAP JFE since 1993. A total of 98 students are expected to participate in the virtual CMAP JFE 2022. This is slightly lower than the 120 and 105 students who were enrolled for the programme in 2021 and 2020, respectively. But in the last three years, there has been a significant increase in students’ enrolment in the JFE, primarily due to the virtual delivery of the programme and AERC’s opening up of JFE participation to additional network universities, other than the traditional Category "B" institutions, in order to broaden reach and enhance inclusivity. In terms of gender, 37 out of the 98 students in the CMAP JFE 2022 are female, which represents 38% female participation. In percentage terms, this is a significant improvement over the 30% female enrolment in 2021, but slightly lower than the 43% recorded in 2020. This year, the 98 CMAP students are drawn from 8 universities. These are Botswana, Cape Coast, Malawi, Makerere, Namibia and Zimbabwe, which are classified as Category "B" universities, in addition to 2 Category "A" universities, namely, the National University of Lesotho and the University of Zambia. The University of Lesotho will be participating in the virtual JFE for the third consecutive year, while it will be the second year for the University of Zambia. In all, graduate courses in 7 elective fields of economics are being offered in the CMAP JFE 2022. The courses will be facilitated by a team of 14 internationally recruited visiting lecturers/professors. The CPP JFE 2022 The CPP JFE runs from July 18 to November 18, 2022 and is the 18th edition of the CPP JFE since 2004. A total of 25 students are expected to participate in the virtual CPP JFE 2022. This is significantly lower than the 47 students who completed the JFE in 2021, which was one of the highest enrolments in the programme so far. The reduction in the number of students this year is largely due to the fact that we have fewer non-CPP universities participating this time around compared to last year, while enrolments in the current cohort amongst the traditional CPP universities are significantly lower. The PhD students in the 2022 JFE are drawn from 7 CPP universities (Cape Town; Benin; Dar es Salaam; Ibadan; Nairobi; the Witwatersrand; and Yaoundé II) and 1 non-CPP university (Cape Coast). A total of 4 electives are on offer in the CPP JFE this year. Additionally, a common course on Research Methods and Computer Applications will be taken by all CPP students, with the aim of improving their research and analytical skills, while Francophone students will receive specialized tutoring in English language to facilitate their academic work as well as interaction with lecturers and fellow students. A team of 10 internationally recruited visiting lecturers/professors has been retained to teach the CPP courses. The CMAAE SFSE 2022 This year’s CMAAE SFSE is scheduled to run from August 2 to December 2, 2022. This is the 17th edition of the four-month programme, and the third to be held conducted entirely online. All previous sessions were held at the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa, with lectures mainly being delivered face-to-face or in a blended manner. The official opening of the SFSE 2022 will be conducted virtually on August 2, 2022 and will be presided over by the AERC Executive Director, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u. The highlight of the event will be a presentation on a topical issue by a prominent guest speaker, and presentation of the CMAAE Academic Advisory Board Prize to Ms. Talam Vivien Jepkorir from Egerton University in Kenya, the best performing student in the 2021 session of the SFSE. A total of 96 CMAAE students from the eight accredited universities (Egerton; Haramaya; LUANAR; Makerere; Nairobi; Pretoria; Sokoine; and Zimbabwe) are expected to participate in the virtual SFSE this year, in addition to 15 non-CMAAE students from the University of Pretoria. In terms of gender, 41% of the SFSE 2022 students are female, a significant improvement over the 34% recorded in 2021. The SFSE 2022 students are drawn from 11 African nationalities, just marginally lower than the 12 nationalities represented in last year’s SFSE. In all, 14 courses are being offered in the SFSE 2022. These courses are spread across the 4 CMAAE fields of specialization, namely (i) Agribusiness Management; (ii) Agricultural and Rural Development; (iii) Agricultural Policy and Trade; and (iv) Environmental and Natural Resource Management. CMAAE SFSE students will also participate in weekly seminars with the aim of enhancing their research and analytical skills, as they work on their thesis concept notes or draft proposals, which they will be required to present in the seminars. The CMAAE courses will be facilitated by a team of 14 internationally recruited visiting lecturers/professors, 3 of whom are female.
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