The Vice-President of the Republic, Esperança da Costa, on Thursday reaffirmed the Executive’s commitment to improving the quality of the Higher Education subsystem, putting it at the service of inclusion, innovation and sustainable development.
Speaking at the solemn opening of the Academic Year 2023/2024, Esperança da Costa said that it was necessary to pave the way for a future where knowledge is, in fact, the transforming force to face contemporary challenges, which require solutions and a great capacity for adaptation from all the players in the Higher Education subsystem.
The Vice-President of the Republic emphasised the progress the country has made in terms of expansion and access to higher education over the last two decades.
She also emphasised the need to convert this expansion into the training of more qualified professionals capable of meeting the current demands.
Among the actions planned for the five-year period (2023-2027), the Vice-President of the Republic highlighted the increase and improvement of infrastructures, access to Higher Education, improving the training offer and valuing gender equity, investment in Higher Institutes of Educational Sciences (ISCED) and Higher Pedagogical Schools.
In the implementation of these actions, which will rely on resources from the State Budget and financial support from partners such as the European Union, the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education and the African Development Bank, the promotion of digital transformation in institutions and the consolidation of the higher education quality assurance system stand out.
The Vice-President of the Republic pointed out that if, on the one hand, it is necessary to improve the training offer and access to higher education, on the other, “it is critical to promote the strengthening of skills and the qualitative differentiation of teaching staff, scientific researchers and non-teaching staff”.
According to Esperança da Costa, for the reality of the country, the improvement of the training offer should focus above all on the creation of new STEAM courses (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths).
She also stressed that investment should not only focus on human capital, but also on strengthening and modernising infrastructure, noting that a series of actions were underway that showed the Executive’s commitment to the permanent pursuit of quality.
In the field of curricula, the Vice-President of the Republic highlighted the introduction of five (5) new doctoral courses, nine (9) master’s degrees and four (4) specialisation courses, with funding of 1.8 million euros.
She said that the courses would benefit Agostinho Neto University (Luanda), José Eduardo dos Santos University (Huambo), Katyavala Bwila University (Benguela), as well as ISCED in Kwanza Sul and Huíla.
The ceremony, which took place at the Academy of Social Sciences (ACITE) in Kilamba, was marked by the signing of the terms of commitment for the postgraduate courses approved in the Second Call for Proposals of the UNI.AO Programme, with European Union funding of 1.2 million Euros.
Thirteen new specialisation courses in priority sectors were approved and 10 public and private higher education institutions from six (6) provinces were selected, namely Huíla, Luanda, Malange, Benguela, Namibe and Kwanza Sul.
The courses are scheduled to start at the beginning of 2024.
Higher education classes are scheduled to begin on Monday 2 October, with a timetable of 42 teaching weeks, spread over two semesters of 21 weeks each, and nine weeks of preparation, due to end in July next year.
A total of 230,252 places are available for the current academic year in public and private institutions across the country.