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AFRICA: HERANA 2 - New research on higher education

At a workshop on 25 August 2010 in Franschhoek, South Africa, a proposal was accepted by participating institutions and some donor foundations for HERANA 2. This second phase of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa project was formally launched at a gathering held from 24-26 October 2011 at Lanzerac in Stellenbosch.

In 2008 it took more than six months to get agreement from participating institutions to convene the HERANA 1 meeting.

This time it took about two weeks and all eight universities involved in the HERANA 1 research confirmed their commitment to participate in the second phase. The universities nominated a mix of representatives from HERANA 1 and new people. This made for a very quick and constructive gelling at the first HERANA 2 workshop.

Funding for three years has been secured from the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, both of whom supported the first phase, for the following deliverables:

  • Enhance information capacity-building for evidence-based policy-making and management.
  • Develop a better understanding of the national higher education commissions in the eight African countries involved in the project, and their possible roles in policy coordination.
  • Study the incentive-reward supplementation of the income of academics.
  • Elaborate the 'knowledge-connectivity' model of university development projects.
  • Research democracy, the university and student development.
  • Maintain and strengthen advocacy.
  • Continue the Higher Education Masters in Africa and include a doctoral programme.

    Currently we are constructing working groups, and researchers who are interested in participating in groups taking forward the first five of these HERANA 2 activities should contact Nico Cloete, director of the Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET): ncloete@chet.org.za

    The Higher Education Masters in Africa will continue until 2013 as a collaboration between CHET and the universities of the Western Cape in South Africa, Oslo in Norway and Eduardo Modlane in Mozambique.

    The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) has called for new funding proposals in 2012 that will expand the masters programme to include PhD and postdoctoral candidates.

    The HERANA network of research organisations is also expanding. For HERANA 2 the following groups are involved in different aspects of the projects:

    1. Higher Education Development Association (HEDDA) at the University of Oslo: Professor Peter Maassen.
    2. Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Stellenbosch: Professor Johann Mouton.
    3. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town: Professor Murray Leibrandt.
    4. Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) and the University of California, Berkeley: Professor John Douglass.
    5. The international project on Information and Human Development will provide input on approaches to development. The coordinators are Professor Manuel Castells of the University of Southern California and Professor Pekka Himanen of the University of Helsinki.
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