- Providing quality educational, social, cultural, economic, and civic advancement for rural communities of East Africa
- Emphasis on value: exceptional teaching, mentoring, and advisement; scholarship; career and personal advancement; continuing education; research, development and innovation; and service to the community
East Africa is one of the most impoverished regions in the world and education is a key driver of poverty reduction and human development. While significant progress has been made to increase access to region’s primary and secondary school systems in recent decades, the higher education system has seen little improvement during the same period. While primary and secondary education is essential, the knowledge and experience necessary for marketable job skills are built at the higher education level.
Recognising this disparity, the Mbesese Initiative for Sustainable Development (MISD) – a US registered charitable organisation – has developed plans to establish the Same Polytechnic College, a vocational training institute, on a 150 acre site in the northern highlands of the United Republic of Tanzania. Arup has been working with MISD in collaboration with the District of Same, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Killefer Flammang Architects to prepare a master plan for the campus which defines the purpose and goals of the college and articulates a framework for the orderly and efficient growth of the campus.
The following professional services were provided by Arup on a pro bono basis:
- Comprehensive master planning to develop both strategies for the design of the campus in the fields of carbon neutrality, land use and site planning, transportation, energy, water, storm water, materials, and waste, and guidelines for the eventual design of the campus buildings, infrastructure, and landscaping.
- Seismic hazard assessment desk study using publicly available information and resources to determine seismic design parameters for the site.
The Same Polytechnic College will be dedicated to providing quality educational, social, cultural, economic, and civic advancement for the citizens of East Africa. Through a student centered "learn by doing" approach, The Same Polytechnic College will emphasise and value: exceptional teaching, mentoring, and advisement; scholarship; career and personal advancement; continuing education; research, development and innovation; and service to the community. The College will help address East Africa’s need for increased access to higher education for students entering the system and for the greater population and work force seeking to further their education and advance their skills and expertise.
The College will offer a wide range of degree programs and selected continuing education programs designed to meet the general needs of the nations of East Africa and the specific needs of the rural communities. Special emphasis is placed on addressing the region’s need for effective, skilled and knowledgeable farmers, builders, teachers and entrepreneurs. A commitment is made to developing and promoting partnerships with public school systems, colleges and universities, and professional sectors in East Africa, as well as partnerships with higher education centres in other countries to form a network of innovation to support the dissemination of effective, practical and applicable methods, practices and technologies. The curriculum of The Same Polytechnic College is based upon the community’s needs, the needs of business and industry, and the desires and demands of the students.
Although the development sector has embraced green thinking in recent years, opportunities to create educational institutions where sustainability is practiced at every level – outside the classroom as well as within – are as rare in East Africa as they are in the rest of the world. Arup is working with MISD and the other project partners to make the campus a model of environmentally friendly development that will educate through its very design and operations, helping to prepare graduates, faculty, and regional partners for the energy and resource challenges confronting the regional and global community.