In June 2015 Addis Ababa University (AAU) in partnership with the Wilson Centre and the University of Toronto (UofT) under the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) welcomed the first cohort of graduate students into a new Masters of Health Science Education. The first cohort completed their training in the Winter of 2016 and received their degrees in the July 2017 convocation ceremony. Although the world-wide pandemic has created some initial challenges, we have successfully continued teaching virtually since March 2020. Our sixth cohort started in January 2021.
Prior to the pandemic, two faculty members from UofT travelled several times a year to teach onsite at the College of Health Sciences in Addis Ababa. With the pivot to virtual modules, we are now in the process of considering the benefits of a hybrid model as the program evolves. The goal of the Masters in Health Science Education is to develop local capacity and sustainability with local faculty.
This Masters provides an immersion in the field of health professions education and equips students drawn from a variety of disciples with research and pedagogical skills to engage in scholarly educational work. Students receive modules on such topics as qualitative and quantitative methodologies, theories relevant to health professions education, teaching and pedagogy, issues of quality in education and principles of assessment, curricular development and evaluation. They are also required to conduct an original scholarly project with the potential to inform the growth of AAU programming. Students are either paired up or placed in a mentoring group with education scholars from the Wilson Centre and the University of Toronto. These mentors provide guidance, resources and support to the Ethiopian students as they move through the various stages of the research process. Graduates of the program are expected to provide leadership in the ongoing efforts of AAU to provide sustainable high quality health professions education to meet the health needs of all Ethiopians.