Co-organised by the OECD Development Centre
and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Togo
University of Lomé, 29 and 30 July 2014
This seminar marked the launch of the OECD Development Centre’s project on Togo's higher education system. During the seminar, entitled "Higher education and the labour market: what skills strategy for Togo?", participants engaged in exercises designed to foster dialogue among stakeholders about the strengths and weaknesses of the Togolese higher education system and the challenges it faces in equipping students with skills aligned with labour market needs. Among the seminar participants were individuals from government ministries, higher education institutions, the private sector, civil society and development partners.
The organisation of the seminar was a success thanks to the support of the University of Lomé and its president Komi Tchakpele.
Session 1: The role of higher education in Togo’s economic development
The first session allowed participants to reflect on the contribution of higher education to the labour market and its role in Togo’s social and economic development strategy. During the session, the following items were presented and discussed:
Session 2: Strengths and weaknesses of the Togolese higher education system
During the second session, participants engaged in exercises aimed at bringing together different stakeholders to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the higher education system and its capacity to respond to labour market needs. The first exercise encouraged stakeholders to have a dialogue and build consensus around the most significant challenges in higher education that required urgent action. During the second exercise, participants responded to an individual questionnaire and evaluated Togo’s higher education system in light of the three pillars of the OECD Skills Strategy: 1) developing relevant skills; 2) activating skills; and 3) using skills effectively. Finally, during the last exercise, participants were divided into groups and asked to explore the range of obstacles stakeholders faced, as well as the resources available to them, in seeking to connect the higher education system with the needs of the labour market.
Session 3: Major issues in Togo’s higher education system
During the third and final session, the OECD presented the findings of consultations held during Session I. These were discussed and compared to the conclusions of a preliminary analysis by the OECD that had aimed to identify the major challenges faced by Togo’s higher education system. The interactive nature of this session helped facilitate a two-way learning process: while the preliminary research of the OECD served to inform stakeholders about the magnitude of certain challenges and the relevance of other factors, the insights provided by stakeholders allowed the OECD to enhance its own analysis of Togo’s higher education system.
Closing remarks were given by S.E.M. Kako Nubukpo, Minister of Forecasting and Policy Assessment; S.E.M. Octave Nicoué Broohm, Minister of Higher Education and Research; and David Khoudour, Head of Migration and Skills Unit at the OECD Development Centre (left to right).