A Benchmarking Study of Selected ASET Oriented Universities in Africa and China


Gaston Berger University- Saint-Louis

Introduction

Created by the Act No. 90-03 of January 2, 1990 and regulated by Decree No. 90-054 of 19 January 1990, the University of Saint-Louis opened its doors in December 1990. Six years later, it was named Universite Gaston Berger de St. Louis (UGB) by Decree 96-1016 of 04 December 1996.

UGB is located 13 kilometers away from the city of Saint-Louis, on the National Road N°2 toward Mauritania. It is spread over an area of 240 hectares. The buildings that host UGB were initially designed in 1975 to transfer to St. Louis the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences of UCAD. This was a project that was finally abandoned in 1998.

Thanks to the political will of the government and the aspirations of the people of Senegal, the National Assembly voted unanimously a law that distinguished UGB as the second university in Senegal.

The start of this University is an application of the measures adopted by the National Commission on the Reform of Education and Training ( CNREF ) according to which , for a good balance between the academic training and the socio- economic needs of Senegal, the university should provide courses that focus on vocational training.

Universite Gaston Berger is administered by a Rector (President) and a University Assembly. The Rector is assisted in his duties by a Secretary General who is responsible for coordinating administrative activities.

The University started with four (4) Faculties (UFR) with Centers and General Services. Each faculty is divided into departments and administered by a Director/Dean (assimilated to the Dean of Faculty) and a Board of Faculty.

Today, University Gaston Berger is structured around eight (8) faculties and four (4) Institutes. These academic structures are organized into two (2) Doctoral Schools. They are responsible for the training of students, but also a part of research activities via research laboratories. The selection in the first cycle is a right for all holders of a baccalaureate or its equivalent.

The Faculties are composed as follows:

Universite Gaston Berger offers various academic programs such as initial and continuous training, E-learning in the fields of literature, humanities and social sciences , legal and political sciences , economics and management , medical sciences, agricultural sciences , digital and physical sciences , computer science, education and sport sciences , civilizations, religions , arts and communication, technology , tourism and management.

In the mean time, UGB has enhanced its programs and provided knowledge and expertise with a view to contribute to the social, cultural, political and economic development of Senegal.

Today, these programs are supported by two multidisciplinary doctoral schools. Doctoral Schools are central to doctoral training. In accordance with the recommendations of the academic Network for Excellence in Higher Education in West Africa ( REESAO ) , Universite Gaston Berger has established the following doctoral schools:

These schools allow doctoral students to participate actively in the scientific production and Laboratories and Research Groups of the Institution.

These schools offer doctoral students many possibilities:

Institutes, in their turn, are common services whose essential task is to enhance interdisciplinary programs and to promote development. They are composed as follows:

In addition, UGB has three components in terms of stakeholders: (1) the students, (2) the teaching and research staff (PER) and (3) the Administrative and Technical Services Staff (PATS).

The 2013-2014 academic year is marked by a high increase of the number of students. UGB hosts this year 9500 students in regard to 7440 students for last year, which represents an annual growth rate of 18% between 2013 and 2014.

For the teaching and research staff, the potential for permanent teachers equals 241 with a high rate of mentoring. The rate for the mentoring is calculated on the basis of the number of teachers needed to assist students. The staff ratio is estimated at 01 teacher for 38 students.

In addition to the students and the teaching and research staff, UGB has 320 agents including the administrative staff and technicians with varied skills, who participate in the management of administration, finance and IT.

Missions of the University

Universite Gaston Berger satisfies primarily research and interdisciplinary training needs.

The main objective of UGB is to achieve a high level of quality for its teaching and research mission. For this purpose, UGB has chosen excellence as its motto and main goal, which is based on the quality of teaching and achieving the necessary conditions for the exercise of creativity, scientific rigor and critical thinking.

To carry out its tasks, UGB is based on:

Moreover, UGB is invested with a new mission to establish a quality assurance policy to better meet the recommendations of the Regional Conference on Higher Education in Africa held in Dakar, November 13, 2008.

UGB complies with the requirements of performance in innovation and efficiency in the context of the internationalization of higher education facilitated by the introduction of its new architecture based on three levels: Licence-Master-Doctorate ( LMD) .

In an increasingly competitive academic world, UGB does not want to be outdone. It follows closely all the processes and mechanisms that ensure the quality of the system of higher education.

UGB has considerable assets for the implementation of quality assurance and the compliance with various programs defined in the framework of policy Insurance - Quality for Higher Education :

These specific quality standards are categorical obligations/principles to strengthen the effectiveness and quality of the training system of UGB.

Organisation

The structuring and functioning of Universite Gaston Berger are governed by the statutes enriched by internal rules that define its mission, operation, resources and guidance.

In this regard, the Rector/President is the keystone of the administrative and financial organization system of UGB.

He directs the central administration, controls the operation of all structures of the university or any other depending on it. He is responsible for ensuring academic freedom (university franchise) and the maintenance of law and order at the university. He ensures that the University conducts its academic and research activities properly and takes appropriate measures for this purpose.

He prepares the deliberations of the Assembly of the University and implements the decisions. He attends, when deemed necessary, the deliberations of the meetings of the Faculty. In this case, he presides but does not vote. After the decisions of Directors of Institutes or Faculty, he will react to individual problems relating to student enrollment.

He is the principal official with power to authorize expenditures of the University budget. He shall keep accounts of expenditure commitments and the issuance of security of receipts and payments, in accordance with the records of the Accountant. Definitely, he ensures the radiation of the University.

Decision-making body
The Assembly of the University

The Assembly of the University (AU) is the supreme decision-making body. It determines the policy of the University.

The AU deliberates on all matters concerning the operating budget of UGB, the administrative accounts of the structures, the organization of education/teaching, the creation of new faculties, student counseling and any related activities.

The AU also deliberates on the decisions taken in Faculty meetings . It, therefore, has authority over all matters related to the University. All the structures and components of UGB are represented.

Moreover, the AU has three committees that are restricted structures responsible for preparing the work of the plenary sessions.

The Faculty

Each Faculty Board sets the policy of the faculty and studies all documents related to its functioning/operation in the following areas:

The decisions of the faculty meetings shall be forwarded to the Assembly of the University for validation.

The Board of the Faculty is composed of members elected among the faculty members, administrative staff, Technical Services (PATS ) and students .

Adminstartion/staff (CA) and the Directors of Institutes

The administration/staff and Directors of Institutes are responsible for the approval of rules/regulations and strategic directions of the institutes.

In general, the staff occupies a prominent place in the system of governance of the institutes.

The headquarters of the Rectorate

The Rectorate is the executive body which leads the University. It is responsible for the general policy of the University. It is the university’s central administration. It is composed of administrative directions, some of which are reporting to the Rector and others to the Secretary General of UGB.

The Rectorate has two structural entities: the Cabinet and departments.

The Cabinet of the Rector: This Cabinet is composed of:
Departments / Divisions

Classified in 2004 as the most performing/successful university in Sub- Saharan Africa by the World Bank, Universite Gaston Berger has several laboratories, research groups /teams centered around two (02) graduate schools namely the interdisciplinary Center for Studies and research of the Valley, the Center for the Study of Emergency Innovations and Mechanisms of Social Change, " Leidi ": Laboratory for the Dynamics of Territories and Development , the Laboratory of Comparative Literature (CLL) the Laboratory for African Studies in Economic Law and Regulation , the Laboratory of Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, the Laboratory for Studies and Research in Statistics and Development, the Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences and Oceans, the Laboratory of Electronics, Computer, Telecommunications and Renewable Energy , the Laboratory for Studies and Research in Decentralization, Local Development , the Research Group on Migration , the Gender studies and Research Group, the Interdisciplinary Research Group Support for Regional Planning and Local Development , the Research Team on Changing the Rural Sahel, the Research Group in Economics and Management, the Laboratory of Research in Art and Culture, the Research Group on Language and Literature studies , Saint- Louis Studies and Research in Management , the Research Group on Discourse Analysis , the Laboratory of Biological , Agricultural Sciences and Modeling of Complex Systems , the Laboratory of Research in Sociolinguistics and Didactics. In addition to these research organizations, at the Faculty of Civilizations, Religions, Arts and Communication, there are dynamic observatories which play a leading role in the scientific growth of the faculty. Thus, we can mention the Media and Communication Pole attached to the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Research of the Valley, the Research Group and Studies of Real Cinema in Africa, the Observatory of the Diasporas and Religious Minorities, the Observatory of Radicalism and Religious Conflicts in Africa, the Observatory of Socio-religious and Political Values in West Africa, the Observatory of the Mediterranean and the Middle East Worlds.