Wednesday 2 November 2016

How can higher education support economic growth and good governance in low-income countries? How can universities better meet the needs of young people and employers? How can higher education become an integral part of the SDG agenda?

Education experts, university leaders, private sector representatives and development professionals gathered in London on Monday 31 October to discuss these and other questions in front of a global audience online.

The discussion was chaired by Mark Lowcock CB, Permanent Secretary at DFID, and the panel comprised Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council, Moses Oketch, Professor of International Education, businesswoman Rosalind Kainyah MB, and H.E. Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner of Rwanda.

Speaking on the importance of SPHEIR, Sir Ciarán  Devane said: “If you can promote the interchange of knowledge of ideas and discoveries, then you create a basis of friendly knowledge and understanding between people. So not only is SPHEIR great in itself because of what it does for development, but it is part of what will make this world a better, a safer, and a more prosperous place for all of us.”

Mr Lowcock also announced the two initial SPHEIR partnerships, which bring together knowledge and expertise from King’s College London as well as organisations from the UK, Germany, Somaliland, Lebanon and Jordan.

The Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, said: “No country can ever build a brighter future for itself without a properly trained and skilled workforce. As a globally engaged, outward looking nation I am proud that Britain is at the forefront of bringing quality education to the world’s poorest people.

“Supporting our internationally acclaimed universities to share their expertise across the developing world, we can ensure young people have the skills to lift themselves out of poverty and develop a more prosperous, stable future for everyone. This is not only the right thing to do, it is firmly in the UK’s interest.”

A new call for SPHEIR partnership proposals opened on 21 October and will run until 20 February 2017.

Watch a video of the panel session from 31 October.