Launching the AAU News as a weekly service

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Why AAU News as a weekly service

The AAU has grown to a membership of over 320 universities and other institutions of tertiary education. The AAU faces challenges related to servicing a big network and keeping all the members satisfied. The member institutions demand better services in terms of information related to African and global higher education issues. It has become important that the AAU demonstrates the value and benefit for members that pay annual membership fees. In addition to the member institutions, the AAU also serves the needs of development partners, African governments and other higher education stakeholders. AAU needs to demonstrate that it is indeed the “Voice for Higher Education in Africa”. The AAU News seeks to rejuvenate the AAU Communication Services to the member institutions.

The AAU as a platform for outreach

The interaction between the AAU’s diverse stakeholders often occurs in silos. The current practice at the AAU Secretariat has been to send out information in ‘bits and pieces’. The majority of news and information from member universities are cascaded down to a few institutions in their country and region though some of these news could benefit from the large platform provided by AAU’s membership. AAU is a potential platform on which member institutions could be profiled – including their new programs and key milestones. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools provide an opportunity to keep the network informed, create value for the members and create a sense of belonging to the AAU network.

The AAU’s communication team has revamped the E-courier monthly news and come up with an initiative called the AAU News. The AAU News will ensure that the AAU reaches out to all of its stakeholders on a weekly basis with necessary information, opportunities, updates, current publications among others.

Purpose of the AAU News

The purpose of the AAU News is to keep the engagement among AAU member institutions vibrant.

Specific Objectives

  1. To keep member institutions and other stakeholders informed
  2. To improve the sharing of information and knowledge
  3. To profile AAU member Universities

Expected Outcomes

  • AAU member institutions feeling connected and informed on current issues/events
  • AAU member institutions recognize the value of belonging to the AAU
  • The activities and programs of member institutions highlighted and celebrated

Process

Under the leadership of the Secretary General, the process will be coordinated by the AAU communications team, based at the secretariat, with input from all member universities (through their Public Relations or Designated offices) and general stakeholders of AAU.

Format and Frequency

The Electronic AAU news will be circulated in an HTML format. It will be concise and will contain reader-friendly content. It will have a very simple and innovative design. Linked to this will be AAU’s Social media platforms (twitter, Facebook, Flickr, website etc) and contact details. The AAU News will be circulated every week.

Language

The AAU news will be in English (French and Arabic will be introduced in due time).

Selection of the University in Focus

The electronic AAU News has a section called “University in Focus”. Member Universities will be profiled.

Distribution Process

Each Friday, the AAU News will be sent out to all stakeholders by the AAU Communications Unit

Feedback

All questions, comments as well as feedback on the AAU News should be directly sent to the AAU communications team (via info@aau.org). The Communications team will respond to all queries and questions.

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