Wednesday 30 August 2017
SPHEIR is pleased to confirm DFID’s selection of six new partnerships from its most recent call for proposals. These will join the three existing SPHEIR partnerships, each bringing together institutions and organisations focused on transformative change in higher education systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The six new SPHEIR partnerships will provide a variety of innovative solutions to higher education challenges in low-income countries:
- The Lending for Education in Africa Partnership (LEAP) will pilot a non-profit social lending fund for youth from low and middle income backgrounds — the ‘missing middle’ of higher education finance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Transforming Employability for Social Change in East Africa (TESCEA) will design curricula emphasising critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and design an open online course on teaching for problem-solving that enhances graduate employability.
- Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PEDAL) will design and entrench innovative pedagogy in graduate social science programmes, initially, in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
- Transformation of Pharmacy and Chemistry Degree Provision will work with Kenyan academics, employers and alumni from the healthcare, chemistry and pharmaceutical industries to reinvigorate pharmacy and chemistry courses to create a globally competitive workforce in East Africa.
- Transformation by Innovation in Distance Learning (TIDE) will use the environmental science disciplines to catalyse reform in distance education and the design of a Myanmar Open University.
- Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone will establish a quality assurance system centred on outcome-based education and new employer-informed curricula, and institute a national qualifications framework for programme accreditation.
These partnerships will join Prepared for Practice (PfP), Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access (PADILIEA) and Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) — three established SPHEIR partnerships — to make up an ambitious portfolio that spans more than 60 organisations across 16 countries, including universities, government bodies, private sector firms and associations.
The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for the Department for International Development, said: “I’m delighted that DFID is supporting higher education reform through SPHEIR partnerships. Higher Education has a crucial role to play in developing critical thinkers and skilled workforces that low-income countries need to lift themselves out of poverty.”
SPHEIR will shortly launch an application process in collaboration with Microsoft that will provide additional opportunities for universities operating business incubators that support emerging entrepreneurial start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa. More information on this initiative, called the Innovation Platform, will be made available in the coming months, including the eligible countries and application details. Sign up to the SPHEIR mailing list to receive updates.