With different backgrounds and lived experiences, Samia Chasi and Eva Kagiri Kalanzi team up once again, this time to provide a training and share best practices for more responsible global academic partnerships!
For those of you who followed our webinar in December 2021, these names must ring a bell; and if you are a lifetime UniPID supporter, then Eva Kagiri Kalanzi is no stranger to you. But if this is the first time that you meet these two, find out more about Samia Chasi and Eva Kagiri Kalanzi, the people behind the Responsible Global Academic Partnership Training!
In January 2022, UniPID and the Finnish Higher Education Institutions’ global networks1 opened a tender request for a training on good practices for responsible global academic partnerships. The Training is targeted to academic and administrative staff involved with or partnering through the global networks, based in Finland or in the partner countries. Chasi and Kagiri Kalanzi's proposal, which they submitted as freelance consultants, got selected for not only showing a good understanding of the tasks, goals, and expectations, but also for having an innovative approach, taking well into account the diversity of the target groups and the diversity of the needs of the global networks. We had a chance to ask them a few questions on their motivation for engaging on the topic and expectations for the Training. This is what they told us:
Positionality is definitely something that is important for both of them and informs their thinking and approach to constructive dialogue. Kagiri Kalanzi’s personal background and diverse work experience from a chamber maid, through to working with the private and NGO sectors, and now Programme Manager at the Association of Research Managers and Administrators UK, have taken her through a constant cycle of finding and redefining herself. Similarly, Chasi’s biographical position, the more than 20 years of experience working in international education, and now being the Manager for Strategic Initiatives, Partnership Development and Research at the International Education Association of South Africa, as well as her research interests in global South perspectives on higher education internationalization have built a strong foundation to analyze, question, and help redefine South-North partnerships.
“I’m inspired by the idea of being part of something that creates a positive impact. It doesn’t have to be monumental such as ‘I am changing the world’” – Kagiri Kalanzi
Something that stands out for both Chasi and Kagiri Kalanzi is their passion for learning and questioning the status quo. Chasi regularly engages with research projects, webinars, workshops and trainings on a variety of topics, mostly related to internationalization, decolonization, inclusion, and intercultural competence. Kagiri Kalanzi likes reading and being exposed to writers that she would have traditionally not picked.
Chasi highlights that this Training is indeed foregrounding some of the pertinent and sensitive issues of Eurocentric domination in global partnerships, an opportunity that all parties involved in the training should be eager to take up. Kagiri Kalanzi expressed that the work UniPID and the global networks are doing is timely and well aligned with what has been happening in her career, from engaging with funders in the UK on equitable partnerships to working in the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion space.
“People should take the Training because it provides an excellent opportunity to reflect, share, learn, unlearn, and network” - Samia Chasi
To the question on what they expect from the Training, both are looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the Finnish higher education context, learning from the experiences and perspectives of each facilitator and training participant, as well as contributing to strengthening a global higher education community of practice committed to balanced and responsible partnerships. Both agree that participants will have an excellent opportunity to expand their knowledge by adding a critical outlook to what they are already doing or what they hope to achieve to foster healthy academic partnerships.
From these answers the only thing left to say is that responsibility and fairness are qualities in global academic partnerships that UniPID thrives for, and we are excited to offer this possibility with highly skilled trainers and facilitators like Chasi and Kagiri Kalanzi. If you are interested in knowing more about the Training or any of our work related to fair and responsible global academic partnerships, please do not hesitate to contact us through email if.iknisleh@ofni-dipinu, or follow us on twitter @unipidfinland.
1The training is funded by the Higher Education Platform for Global Sustainability (EDUCase); Finland-Africa Platform for Innovation (SDG 9) (FAPI); Finland-China Network in Food and Health (FCFH); Finnish Consortia for Research and Education (FICORE); Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL) Africa, China and India; Southern African and Finnish HE Institutions’ Network for Health and Wellbeing (SAFINET); and the Finnish University Partnerships for International Development (UniPID).