Insights from the ARUA Workshop for Data Teams: Enhancing Data Management at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


Insights from the ARUA Workshop for Data Teams: Enhancing Data Management at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) representatives, Babajide Afolabi and Matthew Oluwaniyi, recently participated in the ARUA Workshop for Data Teams, held at the Sarova Panafric in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 23 to 26, 2024. The workshop, part of the Data-Gathering and Benchmarking Project Phase 3, brought together data teams from 23 African universities to discuss strategies for improving data management and benchmarking in higher education.

Participants were welcomed by outgoing ARUA Secretary General Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Prof. Stephen Kiama Gitahi. The workshop was structured into presentations by universities categorized into three groups: older members, new members, and peer-learning South African universities. Each group shared their progress and experiences in data management, providing valuable insights and lessons for all attendees.

Key takeaways from the workshop include the importance of gender sensitivity in university appointments, the development of a centralized university data policy, and the need for collaboration with more experienced institutions like the University of Lagos and the University of Ibadan. The workshop emphasized the significance of intellectual property rights, particularly in creative arts, and the necessity for a comprehensive research directory within the university.

Participants also discussed the benefits of increasing postgraduate program enrollment, establishing a data governance framework, and incorporating data literacy training for students and staff. The creation of a Data Management Office and a Grants Specialist Writer position were recommended to enhance data handling and funding opportunities.

The workshop concluded with a commitment from OAU representatives to address existing data management challenges and leverage the insights gained to improve the university’s data systems. The leadership of ARUA encouraged OAU to capitalize on available resources and enhance its performance in data management and research capabilities.

Overall, the ARUA Workshop for Data Teams provided a valuable platform for knowledge exchange and capacity building, setting the stage for significant improvements in data management practices at OAU.