Hayka: Strengthening academic skills in Madagascar

From October 2 to 6, 2023, over 40 teacher-researchers (EC) and administrative and technical staff (PAT) from nine doctoral schools and six Madagascan universities came together to take part in an intensive training course designed to enhance their skills in various key areas of higher education. Organized as part of the HayKa project, this initiative, co-financed by the European Union, took place in Antsiranana, Madagascar, offering a unique platform for exchange and professional development.

One of the main themes of this training course was doctoral supervision. Participants benefited from interactive workshops led by experts. These sessions covered topics such as best practices in supervision, thesis follow-up and developing doctoral students' skills. The aim was to equip participants with the tools they need to guide the next generation of researchers in their academic careers.

Ethics, deontology and impact

Research, as a pillar of higher education, must rest on a solid foundation of ethics and deontology. The sessions dedicated to this theme enabled participants to discuss common ethical dilemmas in research, the fight against discrimination - particularly in relation to SGBV (sexual and gender-based violence) - and fundamental ethical principles. This approach reinforces the commitment to academic integrity and prepares participants to navigate the ethical complexities of the academic world, whose challenges are universal.

An essential skill for academics is the ability to communicate effectively. Administrative and technical staff and teacher-researchers took part in practical workshops to improve their oral and written communication skills. This includes preparing convincing presentations, getting to grips with tools and developing communication skills adapted to their audiences. The aim is to enable participants to disseminate information clearly and effectively.

Maximizing opportunities

Research funding was also a focal point of the training. Trainers shared their knowledge of how to write winning proposals, identify sources of funding, and ensure that applications are relevant to funders' expectations. Participants acquired practical skills to maximize their chances of obtaining funding for their research projects.

This training was made possible by the HayKa project, an initiative co-financed by the European Union. This project aims to strengthen institutional capacity and maximize employability in higher education in Madagascar, particularly in the context of doctoral studies. The training at Antsiranana is part of this wider mission, providing professional development opportunities for key players in the academic world and better equipping them to advance academic excellence in Madagascar.