Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recently announced the expansion of four existing and five new partnerships under the Broader Middle East and North Africa-U.S. Community College Initiative. The goal of the partnerships is to improve local workforce skills through new efforts at higher education institutions that increase entrepreneurship opportunities and youth employment.
The nine partnerships grew out of four short-term small grants and five proposal development grants managed by HED beginning in 2010 and 2011. Despite their initial timeframes, the grantees accomplished major objectives and laid the ground work for more curriculum development opportunities in areas such as solar technology, entrepreneurship, automotive diagnostics, mechatronics and business plan development.
Both sets of grants were originally funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported by the U.S. Department of Education and are now funded as longer-term partnerships by USAID. The awards total approximately $3.8 million from USAID’s new Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, Office of Education, Higher Education and Workforce Team. U.S. partnering institutions have pledged to contribute an additional $1.6 million. The partnerships are managed by HED and are scheduled to conclude in late 2014 and early 2015.
The partnerships span five countries in the region and involve community and technical colleges from eight U.S. states. For a list of the institutions involved and descriptions of the projects, visit the HED website.