A number of programmes are currently in place in Sri Lankan universities to improve quality in the higher education sector. Due to limited resources and financial austerity, however, very few of them pay attention to improving the qualifications and skills of non-academic staff.
The ENACT project addresses this issue. It is a joint initiative of 6 Sri Lankan universities, 4 EU universities (from Portugal, Germany, Czech Republic and Bulgaria) and one non-academic partner from Bulgaria.
The project’s overall objective is to enhance the governance, management and operation of universities in Sri Lanka by building the knowledge and skills of non-academic staff, in view of enhancing organizational performance and supporting current and future modernization efforts and reforms in higher education.
The specific objectives are:
- To enhance Sri Lankan Universities’ knowledge and good practices base in key areas of governance and management
- To improve through training and international exposure the knowledge, skills and attitudes of non-academic staff in the partner universities
- To put in place institutional strategies and support structures in the partner universities, enabling a long-term commitment to the training and professional development of non-academic staff.
- To provide recommendations for actions applicable to the national higher education system and to inspire other universities to develop adequate plans for the professional development of their non-academic staff.
The planned activities include:
- Development of training curriculum for non-academic staff: the Curriculum will be focused on areas key to institutional performance, including university administration, internationalization in higher education, financial management and auditing, soft skills, human resource management, equality and diversity
- Three training of trainers will be carried out in transnational format and will be hosted by a EU partner university – the first training will focus on internationalization in higher education, the second one on modern practices in human resource management, university administration and financial management, and the third one on soft skills building and equality and diversity.
- The transnational training sessions will be followed by local multiplication trainings for around 180 non-academic staff in the participating Sri Lanka universities
- All Sri Lanka partner universities will set up Non-Academic Staff Development Cells. The centres will be equipped with computer and audio-visual equipment procured in the project.
- Each Sri Lanka University will work in collaboration with the EU partners on developing a comprehensive Non-Academic Staff Training and Development Strategy.
The project expects to have the following positive impacts on the participating Sri Lanka Universities:
- Improved skills of non-academic staff
- Enhanced performance of the admin staff of the Universities, and thus improved quality of the educational products and services offered by the Universities as a whole
- Long-term strategies for the training and professional development of non-academic staff.
The project “Enhancing Governance, Management and Reform in Sri Lankan Universities through Non-Academic Staff Training / ENACT” (ref. no. 609871-1-2020-1-LK- EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) has been funded with support from the European Commission and is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.