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EXCEL SMART - Exceeding Learning through Strategic Mobility and Academic Partnership

EXCEL SMART JUiO NORPART is a strategic collaboration program with mobility opportunities for UiO students to stay at Jimma University and for Jimma University staff to stay in Oslo. 

The overall aim of the EXCEL SMART JUiO NORPART Project is to enhance the quality of higher education in Ethiopia and expand and strengthen the academic cooperation between Jimma University (JU) and the University of Oslo (UiO). The project is based on a comprehensive Needs Assessment and current Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED). Mobility is bidirectional and strategically driven by each institutions research and education development agenda.


The objectives of the EXCEL SMART JUiO NORPART project are to:

1. Increase quality and internationalisation of the new PhD program at JU CHS through student & staff exchange with the Faculty of Medicine at UiO.

2. Increase the quality and internationalisation in three academic areas (Health Economic Evaluation, Health Professionals Education and Biostatistics) by mobility, strategic mentoring and academic partnerships by accepting qualified JU staff and students in the UiO PhD and MPhil programs.

3. Increase opportunities for student mobility for UiO students from different fields to JU including the JU hospital.


Abraham Haileamlak and Jeanette H. Magnus at Jimma University.

Increased mobility of students from JU is essential to ensure that the leadership and academic staff unite in a joint vision for higher education at JU. It is imperative to underscore that the majority of the students coming to Norway under the EXCEL SMART JUiO NORPART project are staff employed at JU as teachers that have time off to be students in research focused education programs. The mobility is thus also to be regarded as human resource training.

The combination of mobility and an international opportunity for a PhD degree expands the impact of the mobility itself. The partnerships forged during the stay in Norway or in Ethiopia are amplified by the collaboration in research and education activities. A strategic and systematic long term partnership as described will enable us to develop better and more relevant dual or joint academic programs.

The opportunity of UiO staff and students to spend time at JU will have great impact for UiO. Internationalisation is a priority for UiO. Globalization warrants increased capacity and experience from different areas related to higher education. This will feed the knowledge society and advance cross cultural knowledge and collaboration. This is secured in the proposed EXCEL SMART JUiO project as the mobility is not only centred on knowledge receipt but embedded in knowledge production. The over 30 UiO faculty that already have been teaching at JU or are involved in mentoring or advising, are clear about the impact this have on their work, teaching and perspective at home. Through seminars and other interactions the cohorts of JU staff spending a semester at UiO have impacted internationalisation at both institutions since 2015.

Mobility opportunities

As a part of the EXCEL SMART JUiO NORPART master and medical students from UiO have the opportunity to stay 13 weeks in Ethiopia, and Ph.d. students from UiO have the opportunity to stay 5 weeks or 13 weeks in 2020 or 2021. Read more about the EXCEL SMART mobility opportunities.  


The project is financed through DIKU, the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education: Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation (NORPART) Project number: 2016/10213.

Strategic Partners


2017 - 2021

Published Aug. 8, 2017 3:06 PM - Last modified Feb. 11, 2020 9:18 AM


Principal investigator: Jeanette H. Magnus

Administrative coordinator: Ester Mæland


Detailed list of participants