Blog Post Authors: Lynnette Thomas and Professor Gordon Cumming
We’ve just come back from a whirlwind of a week in Namibia. We were there to carry out a mid-term evaluation aimed at showing that the Phoenix Project was delivering benefits for UNAM and of course for Cardiff University and the Welsh Government Wales for Africa programme.
We were very impressed. The staff we met were courteous obliging and overwhelmingly professional. The biggest and longest-standing areas of work such as maths skills, anaesthesia and Python open source software were not only having an impact on staff and students but were also starting to benefit local business, schools (through student outreach) and health centres. Improvements in foundation maths skills will ensure that Namibian students can continue their studies after their first years in STEM subjects that are so vital for the economy.
It was inspiring to see how the work of dedicated Cardiff and UNAM staff from across a wide range of disciplines are contributing to capacity strengthening of higher skills development. This in turn will contribute to the project’s goals of poverty reduction and health promotion. The project team – Judith, Nicola and Jen- ensured the trip ran like clockwork for us, and we maximised our time meeting staff from (what felt like) dawn ’til dusk!
Now for the write-ups, data-chasing and reciprocal interviews back in Cardiff! This collaborative project is very much on track. What a pleasure to have witnessed it first hand.