The overall objective of CERM-ESA is to establish a Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management (CERM-ESA) at the Moi University, Kenya, with partners in Germany (University of Oldenburg), South Africa (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Tanzania (University of Dar es Salaam) and Uganda (Uganda Management Institute).

Through its programmes and networking activities, the Centre has an increased visibility within the region and in the international scientific community by delivering excellent academic results that serve as a basis for evidence-based decision making for improving educational practice.

Specific objectives of the Centre are:

  • Advancing and expanding excellent and innovative educational research on methods, didactics and management strategies for African contexts;
  • Teaching and training of future educational leaders in terms of research methods, innovative management solutions and didactics on Master’s and PhD level;
  • Advancing capacity building and staff development in academia and management of the participating universities in didactics and management for (future) leaders and sustainable institution building.

The research programme of the Centre of Excellence is structured in four focus areas. Four research teams consisting of CERM-ESA scholarship holders, their supervisors and CERM-ESA Faculty members work under the following umbrella themes:

  1. Community schools, leadership and management for social development;
  2. Educational research methodologies in specific African contexts;
  3. Languages, intercultural communication, indigenous knowledge and arts;
  4. Science education and education for sustainable development.

The research programme opens up opportunities for researchers of all partner universities to collaborate closely on pressing educational issues in African contexts. It aims to deliver excellent results in the four umbrella areas to stimulate the scientific debate about evidence-based and African-centred educational research and research methodologies.

The Academic Programme: targets at increasing educational research and teaching capacity within the partner universities' Schools of Education. Scholarships for post-graduate students will be granted to successful applicants from East and South Africa on Master's and PhD level starting in January 2016; each student will be attached to one of the research groups and will be co-supervised by members of the partner universities. Moi University is currently working on a new Master's programme on 'educational research methodologies and practice' which is going to run in cooperation between the School of Education and the Centre. As a 'Master's by research', this degree programme is going to produce skilled and committed researchers who are likely to stay in academia or research institutions based in East or South Africa.

The Capacity Building and Staff Development Programme:_ The capacity building and staff development programme of CERM-ESA aims to impact on all partner universities’ faculties or schools of education sustainably. The most pressing needs for qualification of faculty staff and managers at the partner universities have been identified as advancing skills in (a) supervision of graduate and postgraduate students, (b) innovative didac-tics and management of transdisciplinary processes, (c) management of research projects, espe-cially fundraising, successful planning, structuring and implementation of excellent research projects that are attractive to external funding and international cooperation and (d) utilizing educational research data for decision making and policies.


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