Addis Ababa University Convenes a Special Meeting on Autonomy Issues

Addis Ababa University (AAU) convened a special meeting with the FDRE Ministry of Education (MoE) to deal on the details of autonomy issues of the University at the Faculty of Business and Economics Main Hall on May 27/2023.

Professor Berhanu Nega, Minister for the MoE, stated on his deliberation that three points are essential for a given university: being free from political pressure; free from cultural influence and unvanquished in poverty.

According to Prof. Berhanu, sense of responsibility to revitalize the University and determination to involve in the realization of its autonomy requires hard work. “Auditing departments regarding their involvements in the application process of the autonomy, working honestly and a search for truth approved by evidences are highly need,” he added.

Prof. Berhanu further stated that the success of AAU in the application of its autonomy will serve as a benchmark for other universities to come for the same role. Willpower and strong motivation are needed in the endeavor to realize this agendum, he reiterated.

Samuel Kifle (PhD), Deputy Minister of Education, on his part said that autonomy task is something which needs freedom and capacity considering AAU’s particular behavior and characteristics. “What freedom for colleges and research institutes and what privilege of some key research institutes?” he queried.

According to Dr. Samuel, freedom for research and teaching; freedom with accountability; understanding internal directives, governance rules and regulations should be taken into consideration in handling autonomy practices of a university.

Dr. Samuel finally emphasized that courses’ contents need careful testing; freedom should be granted in receiving students; academic staff rights should get attention; procurement, budget and finance, etc. need due consideration by the Senate and its Legislation.

Following the discussions held with the audience scholars of the University, Prof. Berhanu, Minister for the MoE, stated that “any country that aspires to development need to have a society that believes in truth, knowledge, and freedom“. An autonomous university should be free from political, traditional and poverty pressures in order to create and freely disseminate knowledge, he added.

Prof. Berhanu added that staff clarity with common understanding and ownership belief towards the autonomy of the University is crucial, and new placement of managerial positions will be carried out based on performance and ability.

The Minister finally stated that the autonomous University, AAU, will have the right to receive new students based on its own criteria; procuring, training and firing academic staff based on its own rules and regulations.

Report: External Relations, Partnerships and Communications

Photo: Andualem Aseffa

Editor: Abraham Girmay