St. Mary’s University hosted the 22nd International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa on May 23 and 24, 2024 at Inter Luxury Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme “Re-thinking Research and Academic Assessment and Evaluation towards Quality Enhancement: New Trends and Developments,”. The conference sought to initiate conversations on cutting-edge methods for enhancing research and academic assessment quality in African higher education.  

The Conference was launched in the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Kora Tushune, State Minister for Higher Education of the FDRE Ministry of Education, Prof Olusola Oyewole, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, and distinguished guests from various local and international higher education institutions.

Wondwosen Tamrat (Asso. Prof.), the founder and President of St. Mary’s University, welcomed participants to the 22nd International Conference on PHE in Africa. He believed the Conference would address research, assessment, and evaluation challenges, provide new knowledge, clarify gray areas, and bridge gaps. He emphasized the vital role of presentations and panel discussions featuring renowned scholars from around the world and Ethiopian universities. These events serve as a critical platform for addressing the multifaceted challenges in higher education and society at large. “Although St. Mary’s has shouldered the financial burden of organizing the conference from the outset, the unwavering support of all our partners has been remarkable,” he commented.

In his opening remarks, his Excellency Mr. Kora Tushune recognized the pivotal role played by private higher education institutions in complementing the efforts of public HEIs. With its impressive 22-year history, the conference stands as a testament to the positive impact of private HEIs on Ethiopia’s and Africa’s development discourse. By providing a platform for discussing and debating critical issues, the event continues to contribute significantly. He also thanked St. Mary’s University and its partner institutions for their valuable contributions.

The 22nd International Conference has brought together local and international speakers, higher education institution leaders, paper presenters, researchers, policy/decision-makers, industries, and participants from the private and public sectors together with regional and international organizations from differentparts of the world.   

During the event, scholars from various countries held a fireside chat, and nine research papers on key concepts and issues related to innovative approaches, emerging trends, and academic assessment and evaluation in African higher education were presented.   

The Conference concluded with Ato Tedla Haile, the Executive Vice President of the University, delivering his closing remarks. He expressed heartfelt gratitude to local and international organizations, higher education institutions, officials, and presidents of higher institutions who actively participated in making the event a reality.  He also acknowledged the tireless efforts of paper presenters, moderators, and participants throughout the two-day conference. Finally, he recognized the SMU offices that significantly contributed to the event’s success and officially declared the Conference closed.