Supporting future university educators in Haiti – Phase 2
The higher education sector in Haiti is faced with challenges in delivering quality education: too few trained professors; outdated course content; a weak regulatory framework; and slow recovery from the earthquake of 2010 that destroyed infrastructure and precipitated a major decline in the numbers of professors and students. Few faculty members have a master’s degree, let alone a PhD. Haiti lacks the critical mass of trained professionals able to lead the universities in science and technology.
The Institut des sciences, des technologies et des etudes avancées d’Haïti (ISTEAH), was established in 2013 by concerned academics from Haiti, the Haitian diaspora, and others in Canada, the US, and France, who formed the Groupe de réflexion et action pour un Haïti nouvelle (GRAHN). ISTEAH’s 10-year goal is to train 1,000 professionals in science and technology to address Haiti's many pressing needs. IDRC supported a first phase of programming (2014–2017), which offered accredited degrees through a combination of face-to-face, video, and online courses in locations across the country. Results exceeded the original expectations of the program’s creators and their funders: enrolment has grown exponentially; 32 programs (from seven) are now offered; there are six locations (two more than planned); and the Institute has been able to leverage other funds.
This project provides new funding to GRAHN (in support of ISTEAH’s activities) for student bursaries, infrastructure, and activities to engage more women in ISTEAH’s programming (as students and faculty) and to increase capacity to apply a gender lens to teaching and research.
ISTEAH recently created five research centres and IDRC will support master’s and PhD students’ integration into research projects to gain valuable experience beyond the classroom. In addition, a centre for expertise, innovation, and entrepreneurship will support students in building their careers. It will also support the implementation and commercialization of results and products of promising research projects.