The EPICA Final Conference was held on December 10th via Zoom. The event was organised in collaboration with eLearning Africa, the global network of professionals working in the field of ICT supported education and training.
The conference marked the closure of the EPICA EU-project which started in 2018 and presented the results obtained involving some of the main project leaders as speakers. The event included presentations and interactive discussions tackling the relevance of skills for employability, the innovative methodologies supporting a competency-based learning approach and the ePortfolio advantages and benefits to address the needs of the African market. An ePortfolio live demo and a Q&A session were also included in the programme.
The presentation led by Marcelo Maina, member of the Edul@b research group and leader of the pilots work package, focused on the methodology to assess and make employability skills visible. It illustrated the conceptual framework designed by UOC, the different implementation phases in HEIs and the set of considerations which emerged from the pilots led simultaneously by UOC and other three sub-Saharan academic institutions: Makerere University (Uganda), Maseno University (Kenya), and the Open University of Tanzania (Tanzania). The session sparked interest due to the relevance it has for many other institutions who could become users of these tested and proved methods.
761 participants from 79 different countries registered for the conference. Of these, 248 belonged to universities, including vice-chancellors and rectors; 88 were CEOs, Directors or Managers of private companies, around 50 worked in ministries and national agencies related to education, ICTs, agriculture, etc. and around 30 represented major NGOs such as UNESCO and UNICEF. 9 people from the press also took part in the conference.
Networking and interaction among the conference’s participants were encouraged by leaving the chat open and gathering relevant questions from the attendees to be addressed by the speakers. The attendees showed interest in the subject and a high willingness to learn how to become future users of the solution designed under the EPICA initiative.