Several programmes and initiatives already exist to foster Renewable Energy Education in the African tertiary sector. Nevertheless, there is a clear need for further strengthening and coordinated development. Within Action Area 4, RECP intends to initiate support to renewable energy higher education activities. The potential and challenges of renewable energy higher education, as well as key features of related support activities, were identified in the scope of an RECP stakeholder workshop in July 2014.
With the experiences from the thematic study on technical education and vocational training (TVET), a similar approach has been taken for the area of higher education, supporting skills development for engineers and policy-makers for renewable energy markets in Africa. Focussing at the Master's level, this thematic study fills a knowledge gap on renewable energy university programmes already on offer across the African continent and allows those programmes to be fed into appropriate global databases such as the IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Platform (IRELP).
Key findings of the study include that graduates need to be trained to be highly flexible and creative to support the development of renewable energy markets, for example as entrepreneurs or for developing necessary policy frameworks. Higher education Renewable Energy Master’s programmes should be oriented towards inter- and transdisciplinarity instead of focusing only highly specialized technical areas. Therefore, proposed interventions need to be very sensitive, knowledgeable and effective in addressing this structural lack of resources.
Taking these considerations into account, a Renewable Energy Curriculum Model was developed, which incorporates experiences and findings predominantly drawn from the European higher education system, but also appreciates African particularities. It provides a strategic approach for Renewable Energy Master’s programmes, based on theoretical considerations and empirical analyses and also offers a framework for RECP interventions with regard to higher education and particularly Master’s programmes in Renewable Energy.
The study is complemented by country mappings, summarizing the status quo of higher education for renewable energy in Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe and proposing potential support activities in the sector. The study and the country mappings are available for download in the download section on the right.