Mat Wright

The next SPHEIR funding round is now open.

A Concept Note, Guidance for Applicants document and Reference Application Form are now available to download at the bottom of this page. 

An online application form will be available to access on this page from 1 December.

SPHEIR partnerships

SPHEIR funding is focused on partnerships – a formal collaboration among a group of organisations that can address higher education issues in ways, and at a scale, that a single organisation cannot. SPHEIR partnerships can include organisations from across the higher education, private, government and civil society sectors.

Focus of the call

SPHEIR partnership proposals can address higher education transformation on two levels:

  • Higher education delivery – the design and delivery of degree programmes that embed new and more effective content and/or apply innovative delivery models and teaching strategies to achieve learning outcomes that respond to market needs.
  • Higher education enabling systems – initiatives intended to enhance higher education systems and institutions, by changing the culture and practices that affect the performance of public or private universities, higher education governance bodies, and national or regional quality assurance and/or accreditation bodies.


The call opens on 21 October 2016 and closes on 20 February 2017. Applications should be submitted online by the partnership’s lead partner. A Guidance for Applicants document and Reference Application Form are available to download below.

To receive further information about the programme, sign up for SPHEIR email updates.

Key information

  • Grants of between £1 million and £5 million will be available.
  • Partnerships can last between two and four years.
  • Proposals must focus primarily on beneficiaries in one or more of 24 low-income countries (see a full list in the SPHEIR partnerships Concept Note).
  • SPHEIR aims to engage new actors, such as public and private sector employers, and actively encourages North–South and South–South collaboration.