Unicaf University Research Agenda
Unicaf University is a global educational organisation committed to research excellence and scholarship. Social responsibility drives the organisation’s community-centred research. We are dedicated to providing a creative and supportive environment in which innovative research with direct impact on local communities, national development and policy making, thrives.
Immediate research impact is of utmost importance to Unicaf due to its aim in building a pan-African research heritage through which a prosperous Africa will emerge in line with the Agenda 2063; The Africa We Want (2015). Unicaf offers academic leadership and develops strategic partnerships to support research dissemination and the creation of a research culture.
Research at Unicaf University circles around five research areas that focus on governance, leadership, and policy making. The diversity and interdisciplinarity of our research extends to:
a. Evaluation of teaching and learning relates to the assessment of teaching effectiveness, teaching methods, techniques and strategies. It also focuses on the assessment of learning strategies, measures and approaches, continuous professional development and upskilling educational technologies. Some examples of related themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Education for Development and Economic Growth;
- Multiculturalism and Education;
- Quality Assurance and Professional Development.
b. Special and inclusive education as an extension of the Education For All (EFA) global movement led by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2000) and Agenda 2063; The Africa We Want (2015). It concentrates on overcoming or eliminating obstacles that may disallow individuals with disabilities to partake in education. Also, through the promotion of equity, and not only equality, all individuals gain their right to education. This area investigates the formulation of policies, as well as teaching and learning approaches, techniques and strategies that encompass inclusive education. Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Innovative Technical Vocational Education and Training;
- Early Childhood Education;
- Gender and Diversity in Education;
- Inclusive Education and Diversity of Needs.
a. Innovative and sustainable business concentrating on the development of innovative models with emphasis on the systematic and strategic attitude of a holistic, rather than a fractured, approach to economic, social and environmental aspects. Partnership of our researchers with individual companies promotes research dissemination and implementation of suggested models. Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Sustainable Development;
- Innovation and Economic Growth;
- Citizen Participation;
- Social Justice;
- Corporate Social Investments;
- Gender and Creativity in Corporate Governance and Leadership.
b. Leadership and management of mainly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) allow for the investigation of different leadership and management styles coupled with industrial and organisational psychology models, in line with the fourth industrial revolution. Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Innovative Leadership;
- Corporate Governance;
- Leadership Behaviour and Management.
3. Public Health
Public health management and innovative thinking relates to the study of Public Health Innovation Models (PHIMs) within public and private sectors. Conventionally the private sector turns to innovative thinking therefore, our researchers extend this to the public sector of under-developed, and not only, countries. Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Water Sanitation;
- Environmental health;
- Lifestyle diseases;
- Ethics, health policy and Legislation Frameworks;
- Occupational Safety and Health;
- Health Care Financing;
- Health Information Systems.
Technology as an enabler focuses on evolution rather than revolution within different sectors, such as education, business and public health. This area brings technological innovation in economic, social, environmental and educational sectors. Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Green and Emerging Technologies;
- Intellectual Property;
- Technology Transfer;
- Innovation and Commercialisation.
5. Social and Political Science
a. The reformation of Rule of Law and the availability of equal opportunities and respect to human rights through the promotion and readjustment of policy making and implementation of democracy in line with Agenda 2063; The Africa We Want (2015). Some examples of themes of interest and relevance are among the following:
- Gender Equality;
- Children’s Rights
b. Re-evaluation of cultural identity, values and ethics as part of the idea of Pan Africanism; in line with Agenda 2063; The Africa We Want (2015).
As a global educational organisation we aspire for our research to make a real-world impact beyond academia. Focusing on governance, leadership, and policy making reflects our aim to also become a force for positive change in diverse areas, from education, business, and public health to technology, social and political sciences.
Unicaf Research Agenda
Our ESG policies and practices commit us to having a significant impact in many areas, as detailed in the Unicaf Sustainable and Responsible Business Plan 2021 – 2035. This Plan is championed by our Board of directors, who will review and govern our progress quarterly. We have also aligned Unicaf’s ESG themes to our emerging research agenda, generating literature and knowledge transfer to inform practice.