Side event: Conference on higher education

Side event: Conference on higher education

Adopted documents:


Joint statement


This conference on higher education, jointly organised with the African Union Commission (AUC) will identify and put forward policy, regulatory and capacity building recommendations for the support of higher education and academic mobility in Africa. At this occasion, the contribution of the EU to the Nyerere programme for academic mobility within Africa will be announced, with the objective to promote student exchanges between universities in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, as well as twinning partnerships bringing together, inter alia, European and African universities. Higher education can have a crucial impact on future generations of citizens, professionals and political leaders who contribute to the improvement of the quality of life and in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 


The conference has several objectives: a) to enhance awareness on the role of higher education within the vision of the African Union; b) to apprise stakeholders of the higher education programmes in the African Union and encourage their contribution and ownership of these programmes; c) to announce the EU contribution to the Nyerere programme; d) to identify and put forward policy recommendations for the support of higher education capacity building and academic mobility in Africa.


Higher education is an integral part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). It is included in the 7th partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment which emphasises the importance of cooperation in higher education to build high-quality tertiary capacity through networking, mobility of students and scholars, and institutional support and innovation. The 8th Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space also provides a platform for higher education that has implications for research cooperation and research networks. The African Union Nyerere programme aims to support intra-African mobility, thus encouraging collaboration and networking for higher education and research at continental level.


Representatives from universities of all African countries; European and African university associations; student associations; African regional cooperation organisations, EU member states development cooperation bodies; higher education experts from Africa and Europe. As host country institutions, South African universities and Ministry of Higher Education will also be invited.