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The Academy: Planting Seeds Today that will Grow Tomorrow

In academia, it is as in other domains of our life: we are compelled to find the right balance between speed and perfection. And sometimes, our own impatience can constitute the greatest hindrance in achieving this equilibrium. In many regions of the world the organic rhythm of sowing, planting, watering, weeding and pruning marks the agricultural seasons. There may be valuable learning opportunities for us as we build our academic programmes and prepare our organization in this major transition we are undergoing towards becoming a higher education institution. What do we have to sow now to be able to harvest later? What do we have to let go, so that there is room for new things to grow? 

Seed growing from soil

Sometimes, the discernment is not straightforward, and – as in every good organisation – there are competing interests and self-understandings. However, the Academy has realised over the past few months that an organic growth ‘from-inside-out' – just like a plant is first growing invisibly from the roots before sprouting above the earth – and with a particular attention to quality is worthwhile the effort. Here are some of the seeds we have planted:

  • Academy prides itself for the successful collaboration with Jesuit Worldwide Learning in the development of the 24 units course on Interreligious Cooperation for Peace, of which we are offering the first part on religious studies this spring semester as of 12 April 2021. The course offers a state-of-the art online and interactive learning environment with a plethora of resources and references, also for real life engagement in communities around the topic of living together as members of different religions.
  • Special offer: A few certificate track places are still available. We are offering a voucher of 20% discount on the regular course rate for the first five respondents to the question: How many religions are there worldwide? Please send your responses to until 16 April 2021, 17.00 CEST latest. We will notify the successful respondents personally.   
  • The academic quality assurance documentation has been improved with three important quality guideline documents provided by the Education Counseling and Credit Transfer Information Service/National Academic Recognition Information Centre (ECCTIS/ NARIC) that will stand us in good stead as we prepare for our institutional accreditation process this year. The academic team is currently working on the finalization of a quality assurance and enhancement manual which will regulate the internal processes of planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting related to the entire course programme. We are pleased that we will be able to showcase these efforts as part of our whole organisation human resources development plan with regular upskilling sessions throughout the year.
  • We are also growing in our understanding that an online Academy on ethics requires additional impulses for building a community of dialogue and exchange on topics related to our specialisation. Our Blue Table webinar series on ethics at the intersection with a plethora of academic and societal fields lends itself for this purpose. We are excited about the first webinar on ethics and the pandemic, and are looking forward to our second on 21 April 2021, 14:00-15:00 CEST on Ethics and Diversity.
  • The Academy is also working on the development of a new course on "Teaching Ethics Cross-culturally" and has convened an international reference group to accompany the process. We understand this work as a contribution to building international knowledge alliances with like-minded educators and researchers in ethics. Should you have experience and expertise in teaching ethics and be interested to join this reference group, please send us an email to . We will be pleased hearing from you and collaborating with you.

We are excited about the first shoots of the seeds we planted that are now sprouting, and are grateful for the many supporters, course participants and instructors who are on the journey together with us – sowing, learning and growing.  
Amélé Adamavi-Aho Ekué
Academic Dean