Donors are increasingly recognising that they have a key role to play in strengthening higher education in developing countries. But how should aid be delivered? And which areas need most support?
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The Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities provides rankings compiled each year from 2003 onwards. Universities are ranked using a combination of indicators of academic and research performance such as Nobel Prize winners, highly cited researchers and number of articles published in Nature and Science.
The authors explain how the data is compiled and present summary statistics by region and country, as well as a full list of the top 500 institutions worldwide.
The ADEA website provides a forum for policymakers, educators and researchers to discuss education policies in Sub-Saharan Africa. It encourages dialogue and links between African education ministries and external partners through the ADEA secretariat and working group meetings — all activities, materials and presentations are available online.
ADEA publishes articles, books, papers, and reports on the development of education in Africa. It also hosts databases, including contact information for development agencies and African education ministries.
The AAU, based in Accra, promotes consultation, exchange of information and cooperation among higher education institutes in Africa. It provides fellowships and small grants for postgraduate studies and staff exchanges. It also runs programmes to study higher education management and assure the quality of its member institutions. The website gives summaries of all these activities and links to AAU newsletters and publications. It also offers a list of online resources relevant to higher education in Africa.
EdStats, developed by the World Bank, collects data on education from national reports, UNESCO (UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to provide educational statistics for over 200 countries and regions.
It also includes World Bank public expenditure data from 2002 onwards as well as projections of educational attainment and enrolment rates until 2050.
Data can be custom searched but is also available in pre-defined reports by country or topic, for example on the Millennium Development Goals or private education expenditure.
The IAU, established by UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), brings together higher education institutions and organisations from 150 countries worldwide. It publishes information on past conferences and links to key publications, research and policy statements.
Its resources cover topics such as sustainable development, access to higher education and internationalisation. Other information includes an events calendar, relevant links and news from its members.
The IDS, a statistics service from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is an online database of the volume, origin and types of aid and resource flows to over 150 developing countries.
The data are collected from official statistical reports submitted to the OECD by members of its Development Assistance Committee and include figures on official development assistance, other official flows and private funding.
A Creditor Reporting System provides further data on where aid goes, what purposes it serves and what policies it aims to implement.
The INHEA, supported by the Ford Foundation and housed at the Boston College Center for International Higher Eduation, is a network of academics, practitioners and policymakers working in higher education (HE) in Africa.
It publishes news, commentaries and research on key HE issues. It also provides a list of experts and researchers in HE in Africa, and links to organisations active in scholarship and development work. The INHEA's country profiles describe HE practice across Africa and provide data on enrolment and funding.
The PHEA — a joint project between seven private US foundations — supports higher education development in Africa. It works in four specific areas: developing and retaining new academics; information and communication technologies for higher education; regional institutional capacity building; and higher education research and analysis.
Within each of these, the PHEA publishes news and information on its projects, highlighting case studies and achievements to date. The PHEA also hosts a database of past and current grants, which, between 2000 and 2008, represent investments of over US$350 million.
SIDA is the Swedish agency for development assistance. The overall goal of Swedish development cooperation is "to contribute to making it possible for poor people to improve their living conditions", and Sida includes scientific and technological development as one of the key goals in its activities in the developing world.
Sida's Department for Research Cooperation (SAREC) in responsible for supporting partner country research, and research of importance for the development of these countries. Support is provided for research councils, universities and research institutions, for regional research networks, and for international research programmes. SAREC also supports Swedish research activities relevant to developing countries. Details on research grant applications can be found here.
The principal aim of TWAS is to promote scientific capacity and sustainable development in the South through research as well as South–South and North–South collaborations. It was founded in 1983 by a group of Southern scientists, under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, as an autonomous international organisation. Fellows are citizens of the South; associate fellows are citizens of the North who were born in the South or have made significant contributions to science in the South.
The World Bank's education gateway summarises the bank's activities in all areas of education, including higher education (HE). It publishes information on the key issues that influence how it supports HE in developing countries, as well as ongoing projects, speeches, events and recent publications.
The bank also hosts EdStats, a database of statistics on education indicators, including enrolment and completion rates, graduates per subject area and public expenditure on education.
This online forum, hosted by the UNESCO (UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), provides a platform for researchers and policymakers to share knowledge on higher education.
It focuses on research systems in low- and middle-income countries, with an emphasis on how agricultural and health research are practiced and supported. The forum publishes books and papers, organises seminars and other activities, and links to other organisations working in higher education and sustainable development.
United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology. UNU-MERIT is a joint research and training centre of United Nations University (UNU) and Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Their mission is to provide insights into the social, political and economic factors that drive technological change and innovation, with a particular focus on the creation, diffusion and access to knowledge. The Centre's research and policy work, and its extensive PhD training and capacity development programmes explore the complementary roles of states, research institutions, the private sector, civil society organizations in bringing about innovation for equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development.
This website publishes information on the Higher Education for Development (HED) Program, run by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which supports partnerships between US and developing country universities.
It includes information on individual country initiatives and upcoming events of interest. It also provides links to related publications and reports on higher education, including a guide for institutions wanting to work with USAID.