ECOPER and OCKHAM IPS have collaborated on an evaluation and tracer study for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) ‘Centres of African Excellence’ (CoAE) programme. The evaluation was undertaken with the aim of assessing the performance of the overall programme to date and allowing lessons to be drawn to inform future improvements to the programme. ECOPER conducted field missions to centres in two of the programme countries: Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The accompanying tracer study sought information on the current occupations of alumni through an online survey and a series of individual and group interviews in order to draw conclusions on the programme’s impact.
The CoAE programme has run for ten years, with financial support from the German Foreign Office. Its overarching aim is to support African universities in establishing centres of excellence in a variety of specialist fields, thus improving the quality of the education and enhancing research capacities. It is intended that the centres will be internationally competitive and sustainable, and that they will contribute to enhancing socially relevant sectors of African countries.