Further Investment in Sub-Saharan African Higher Education
Carnegie Corporation of New York, a founding member of the seven-foundation Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, is planning to invest approximately $30 million during the next three years in strengthening sub-Saharan African’s next generation of educators and university leaders.
“With the fastest-growing rates of university enrollment in the world and research demonstrating higher education’s positive impact on economic growth, poverty reduction, national health, and governance, Africa’s universities are making an increasingly critical contribution in helping shape the discussion about the continent’s future,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The new phase of grants will incorporate three critical areas: investing in Africa’s next generation, supporting information and communications technology for research and education, and enhancing libraries and information access. The new strategy will focus on South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda, but will also create and support all sub-Saharan African networks.
“The grant-making going forward is essentially a deepening and realignment of our support for African universities based on the priority areas identified by university leaders and stakeholders on the continent,” said Tade Aina, director for Carnegie Corporation’s Higher Education in Africa program.
Creating a Better Global Community Through Higher Education Partnerships
Higher Education for Development (HED) is working in close partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the nation’s six presidential higher education associations (the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) to support the involvement of higher education in development issues worldwide.
HED supports its mission primarily by funding innovative partnerships that connect U.S. colleges and universities with institutions of higher learning in developing nations. To date, HED has supported more than 300 higher education partnerships in more than 61 countries, involving 140 U.S. colleges and universities. The impact of these partnerships is measurable and sustainable. Partnerships also are cost effective; each partnership has leveraged significant additional support from the public and private sectors, in some cases matching dollar for dollar the funding provided by USAID or the U.S. Department of State.
“American higher education institutions make lasting, tangible contributions to developing countries across the globe,” said Tully Cornick, HED’s executive director. “Further, such activity is always mutually beneficial, as both American and overseas institutions gain new opportunities to establish strong global ties via research, collaboration, curriculum expansion, and the establishment of meaningful exchange programs.”
I.P. Dhakal, the campus chief for the Institute of Agriculture & Animal Science at Tribhuvan University in Nepal (which is partnering with Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine), echoed Cornick’s belief in the lasting benefits of HED partnerships: “[Our] original partnership has spurred a long-term relationship that is truly a partnership. The social mobilization and extension work occurring in Chitwan [in Nepal] has the potential to address and affect food safety and security issues on a national scale.”
HED partnerships address USAID development priorities across a variety of critical sectors, such as increasing the food supply in East Africa, improving basic and early childhood education in Indonesia and Jordan, improving civic engagement in Morocco, and reforming local governance in Mexico. HED facilitates these partnerships by conducting outreach to the higher education community, managing a competitive grants process, providing recommendations from expert peer reviewers for award selections, and conducting monitoring, evaluation, impact assessments, and reporting.
For more information regarding the HED program or to apply to take part in a future partnership, please visit the HED web site, www.hedprogram.org
New Book Explores Collaboration Between U.S. and European Universities
The Institute of International Education (IIE) and Freie Universität Berlin have unveiled a new book that features specific recommendations for developing and delivering collaborative degree programs between U.S. and European universities. Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange contains articles and insights from higher education administrators, with the goal of preparing their students for success in today’s global economy.
According to a 2008 survey conducted by IIE and Freie Universität Berlin, 87 percent of respondents from U.S. and European universities wanted to develop more joint and dual-degree programs that can offer their students meaningful international experiences, perspectives, and skills.
“Today, higher education institutions face manifold challenges from global developments, from the current economic downturn to the increasing competition for the most talented students,” said Dieter Lenzen, president of Freie Universität Berlin. “Excellent research and teaching is neither one-dimensional nor bound to national borders, and cooperation across disciplines and borders is the only way in which academia can successfully address the various challenges.”
The book also presents key challenges that may arise in developing such programs, including communication, sustainability, curriculum design, and student recruitment. Both the survey and the book are part of a project jointly administered and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture.
ACE Releases Book on International Students
Experts say international students may often be taken for granted in U.S. higher education institutions, and as such, many college and university administrators remain unaware of not only other nations’ initiatives to attract these students, but also the need to support them.
In a recent addition to the American Council on Education’s book series, International Students: Strengthening a Critical Resource, edited by Maureen S. Andrade and Norman W. Evans, the authors argue that American colleges and universities must increase their awareness of international student issues, review related research, and highlight creative solutions and programming for the successful support of foreign students.
“Some might argue that as less than 4 percent of students at colleges and universities in the United States are international students, expending ever-decreasing resources on their support is inadvisable. . . . Another factor that seemingly points to the conclusion that [they] are not due much notice is that, by definition, they are in the United States on student visas for purposes of short-term study and thus have little impact on the future of the nation,” notes Andrade. “What this picture omits is the contribution of international students to [higher education institutions] and national interests.”
With the United States ranking fifth among its global competitors in its ability to attract students from foreign countries, International Students provides realistic, hands-on, broadly applicable solutions to address these issues, and serves as a practical guide for identifying and adopting best practices for serving this vital student population.