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First doctoral thesis in the LiU Rwandan cooperative venture

Since 2003, research in education science has been conducted jointly by LiU and the National University of Rwanda, NUR, sited in Butare. Evode Mukama is the first member of the first batch of Rwandan doctoral students to defend a thesis.

His work is based on four empirical case studies and investigates how new knowledge can be developed in computer-supported social practice. He selected participants from among newly qualified secondary school teachers and student teachers at a higher education institution in Rwanda.

Nine Rwandan educators have sandwiched teaching tasks at NUR with doctoral studies in Linköping.

"Information technology is in the early stages of development in Rwanda," says Evode Mukama. "Our government seeks to lift the national levels in technology and education science. Especially computer education in the public schools is an important focus."

The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. LiUs liason officer is Professor Sven B. Andersson, at the Department of Behavioral Science and Learning.

"Rwanda does not yet have a domestic program for training researchers. The authorities are striving to raise the nation's educational status by helping university instructors acquire a doctoral level. Two Rwandans are also pursuing doctoral studies at LiUs Department of Mathematics.

The Rwandan candidates for doctoral degrees spend half the year learning in Sweden and the other half teaching at their home university.

"This set-up allows the Rwandans to stay oriented on developments at their home university and maintain strong ties with their immediate family. This in turn reduces the risk of brain drain," says Sven B. Andersson.

Evode Mukama is the first Rwandan to publicly defend a thesis in Sweden. Rwanda's ambassador recognized the significance of this event by attendance at the defense, which took place on January 30.

The new PhD returns to his home university with an appreciation of research teamwork. "The teamwork aspect has been a special quality of my studies at LiU," he says. "Emphasis has been more on an ability to work in a group to achieve a common goal than to stress individual performance."

The title of the thesis is: Information and Communication Technology in Teacher Education: Thinking and learning in computer-supported social practice.


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Last updated: 2009-06-03