College of Social Sciences and Humanities in collaboration with the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies in the University of Innsbruck, Austria conducted a national workshop to establish the Institute of Peace and Development Studies (IPDS) and to review the newly revised PhD Curriculum in Peace and Development Studies. The workshop was held on November 12, 2020 at Haramaya University’s Resource Center.

In his welcoming speech, Dr. Feyera Dinsa, Director for Postgraduate Programs Directorate, appreciated the College’s initiative to revise the conventional curriculum that does not require international standards such as degree comparability and compatibility, curriculum flexibility, and student mobility.

He stressed that the revised curriculum is exemplary for other programs as the higher education policy of the country stipulates the necessity to shift from the conventional curriculum design and implementation to the competency-based modular approach and European Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (ECTS).

According to Dr. Adinew Tadesse, Dean of the College,the proposal for the establishment of the Institute and the revised curriculum were developed during the experience sharing exchange between staff members of the two universities, partnering in the project titled HU-UIBK Partnership for Strengthening Institutional Capacity in Peace building and Conflict Transformation.

“The college has been implementing the joint project since 2017 and the workshop is organized to review and enrich the proposals with feedbacks from professionals and stakeholders,” stated Dr. Adinew.

Prof. Mengistu Urge, Vice-president for Academic Affairs, said the initiative to establish the institute contributes to the effort of the University to create a peaceful and vibrant society through research, teaching, training, consultancy, and community engagement.

“HU is embedded in the pastoralist communities of Eastern Ethiopia where conflict is rampant between different groups because of social, economic, political, and environmental conditions. Hence, establishing an Institute that explicitly focuses on the interrelationship between peace and development is timely and in line with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s(MoSHE’s) current differentiation of Haramaya University among research and postgraduate program offering universities in the country,” noted Prof. Mengistu.

The workshop was attended by distinguished guests from Austria and the academic community of HU. Comments and suggestions were forwarded from the reviewers and the participants.

Mr. Adham Hamid, the Partnership Project Coordinator from the Austrian Partners, made a closing speech emphasizing the importance of the workshop and he expressed his appreciation for the project team for their commitment and dedication to achieve the project goals.