In direct relation to strategies on employment, mobility and the harnessing of brain drain, the parties will extend their dialogue to the area of higher education. This dialogue will look, inter alia, at ways of supporting the mobility of students and scholars and the realisation of the African higher education harmonization process.
In the new Action Plan for the years 2011 to 2013, higher education appears as a more visible and integrated part of the Migration, Mobility and Employment partnership.
The Africa-EU Strategy emphasises the importance of building high-quality tertiary capacity through networking, mobility of students and scholars, and institutional support and innovation.
Higher education has a direct input into economic growth and societal development, and in catalysing sustainable development and inclusive growth because it is the seed bed of advanced knowledge, rigorous analytical skills and high quality human resources.
Universal access to quality education must be matched with a responsive higher education system, in particular as many developing countries now face enormous challenges in infrastructure, financing, retention, training and retraining teachers, harmonisation of educational structures, providing appropriate and relevant skills, quality assurance, recognition of qualifications and research capacity.
Young people's opportunities to learn or research in another country should be increased, and the quality of the education they receive raised, whether at home or abroad, so that they are equipped with the skills for living in a global, fast-moving world and can enhance their career prospects.
Through mobility, institutional cooperation is amplified, as the institutions involved build partnerships and networks that can cast a critical eye on the global issues affecting both sides. International cooperation can only build on balanced partnerships and flows of people and ideas. This is how to ensure that knowledge grows through sharing, and how to build capacity and excellence on both sides.
This dialogue will look, inter alia, at ways of supporting:
- the mobility of students and scholars;
- the outcomes of other initiatives such as the Access to Success Erasmus Mundus project (see the White paper and the Joint Statement of the Association of African Universities and the European University Association) and the new Quality Connect project; and
- the realisation of the African higher education harmonisation process.
The Declaration from the 2010 Cape Town Summit side event on higher education will serve also as a basis for this dialogue and for a strong involvement of stakeholders in the partnership.
The following specific initiatives of the 2011-2013 Action Plan contribute to the higher education goals of the Partnership.
|10: Nyerere Programme. This programme was initiated by the AUC in 2005. Its aim is to contribute to high level African human resource development and retention; while supporting intra-African academic mobility, and thereby mitigate the effects of brain drain. The first call was made in 2007 for undergraduate studies. A second call was made in 2010 for graduate studies al tenable in African Universities. Under this partnership the EC has committed € 35m to enlarge the Nyerere scheme (in the financial framework of the Intra-ACP Mobility Scheme which will promote links among universities in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries). This enhanced scholarship programme will be launched in November 2010. Under the scheme, African students, scholars and academic staff will receive scholarships for master and PhD level studies and to allow exchange of academics and university administrative staff. Overall, it is expected that over the five consecutive rounds of selection more than 2000 participants will benefit from the scheme.|
|11: Pan-African University. The Pan-African University is a concept by the African Union, aiming to exemplify excellence, relevance and global competitiveness of African higher education and research. It is a network of African higher education and research institutions, with thematic hubs in each of the five geographic regions of Africa (Eastern, Western, Central, Southern and Northern Africa). It is expected that the first four thematic institutes will be launched in 2011.|
|12: African Higher Education Harmonisation and Tuning. This initiative aims to review the state of implementation of mutual recognition of higher education certificates and qualifications in Africa. It will involve assessment of the potential of using the European approach of 'Tuning' (http://tuning.unideusto.org/tuningeu/) . The initiative includes the implementation of the African Quality Rating Mechanism, the popularisation of the revised Arusha convention, and the development of a roadmap for the harmonisation of higher education in Africa. A pilot phase on the potential of using thisTuning approach is expected to begin in 2011.|
- Harmonization of Higher Education Programmes in Africa: A Strategy for the African Union
- 2006-2015 Plan of Action for the Second Decade of Education for Africa
- Arusha Convention on the recognition of qualifications in Higher Education in Africa
More information on the EC website about Higher Education policies in Europe and international cooperation in education and training.
- World Bank report “Youth and Employment in Africa—The Potential, the Problem, the Promise” 2008-2009
- 2nd Revision of the Cotonou Agreement (June 2010)
- Declaration of the 2009 UNESCO World Higher Education Conference
- The European University Association Prague Declaration (2009)
- The African Association of Universities Declaration on the African University in the Third Millennium (2001)