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HERANA: Universities and development
HERANA: Universities and development in Africa
The Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa, HERANA, has completed one of the most comprehensive studies of African universities ever undertaken. For the past four years the initiative, coordinated by the Centre for Higher Education Transformation in South Africa, has conducted research into tertiary systems and premier universities in eight African countries focusing on the roles of higher education in economic development and democracy, as well as a comparative study of three OECD countries.

HERANA has produced some 20 reports including its culminating volume Universities and Economic Development in Africa. In exploring the complex relationships between higher education and economic development, the research uncovered three urgent needs – for a social ‘pact’ on the key role of higher education in emerging knowledge economies, strengthening the ‘academic core’ in universities, and greater coordination among higher education stakeholders including governments, universities, the private sector and society.

A seminar held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, late last month closed the chapter on the first phase of the HERANA research and opened the chapter on the second phase. In this special edition of University World News, academics involved in the project and others outside of it take a look at the research – how it was conceived and conducted, what it found, how it might be used and its implications for the wider world of higher education, especially in other developing regions.

The University World News Africa Edition has been a partner in the HERANA expertise network since the start, and at the end of this edition there are links to earlier articles we have published summarising the project’s research and the issues it has raised.
AFRICA
AFRICA: How HERANA began, and what is missing
Early in 2002, gathered around a table in one of the plush meeting rooms at the colonial Polana Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique, a group of African higher education spec ialists discussed the future of the African university. They were brought together by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa to a 'convening' – an open explorative discussion. The primary purpose of the meeting was for the experts to help the partnership of US foundations to think strategically about grant-making interventions to build African higher education.
AFRICA
AFRICA: I once had a university in Africa …
Can the university in Africa lead the way out of erratic economic growth to an innovation-driven future? If so, what are the necessary conditions for this to happen? The recent HERANA (Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa) report offers some bracing answers to these questions, providing a refreshing alternative to both afro-pessimism and Bono-esque optimism.
GLOBAL
GLOBAL: An African take on internationalisation
Two decades ago, after the collapse of the apartheid regime, South Africa was right at the top of desirable destinations on the policy tourism circuit. A comparison with the contemporary evolution in central and eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, another policy hot-spot, is illuminating.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Evidence-based research for university policy
The diminishing quality and declining relevance of many African universities amount to a crisis, and present a major challenge regarding what can be done nationally and internationally to repair the damage. Three years ago HERANA (Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa) took on this challenge, by designing and applying a research programme that examines the relationship between universities and economic development.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Behind the scenes of the HERANA research
On 19 August 2011, the book Universities and Economic Development in Africa was launched in Cape Town. The publication documents the findings and analysis of a ground-breaking and innovative research project that explored the complex factors and relationships that impact on a university's capacity to make a sustainable contribution to development. The findings have also been disseminated in an array of other forms and forums including reports, web pages, conference papers, seminars and articles in University World News.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Measuring performance in universities
The Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET) began its work on indicators and the measuring of performance in higher education in South Africa in 1999. CHET's interest in this field stemmed from its analyses of the governance model that had been adopted by South Africa as part of its post-apartheid higher education transformation strategy.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Universities in Africa strengthen democracy
Higher education strengthens political development and democratisation in Africa in various ways, as three research projects by HERANA (Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa) have found. While the results of the studies are ambiguous, they reveal opportunities through sustained research to both improve the quality of higher education and support the development of democracy on the continent.
AFRICA
AFRICA: HERANA: A basis for redefining universities
What started as an initiative to understand the standardised but diverse nature of South African higher education, spread its tentacles to embrace eight other countries in Africa. Its format was broadened in scope to encompass higher education and knowledge for development. Specific attention was paid to the knowledge-based economy, which is increasingly defining globalisation and country competitiveness.
AFRICA
AFRICA: The HERANA instruments and applications
In 2011 the Centre for Higher Education Transformation in South Africa, as part of the HERANA (Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa) project, published Universities and Economic Development in Africa by Nico Cloete et al. In this publication, five specific information instruments were developed and applied in a study involving a selected university in each of eight African countries as part of exploring the relationship between knowledge-based institutions such as universities and economic development.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Possible uses of HERANA by universities
Economic development is a commonly touted overarching strategy by policy-makers and, although it is a laudable goal, it is frequently mired in political rhetoric. Economic development includes all activities that improve people's well-being, from increasing jobs and income to capacity-building investments in education, research and private capital. In short, it is a multi-faceted, long-term concept that is often confused with the much more restricted definition of economic growth, which refers to the sustained increase in jobs, income and total economic activity in a state or region.
AFRICA
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.
AFRICA
New HERANA Reports
The Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa recently published reports on the eight African countries researched and their premier universities. The information was time-consuming and difficult to collect, especially comparable data, and so these reports provide a valuable resource.
AFRICA
Previous HERANA articles
AFRICA: Development aid must target knowledge
Development aid from donor countries to Africa is usually directed to issues identified as priorities in the home country's development agenda, according to Peter Maassen, professor of higher education at the University of Oslo. This kind of focus is often at the expense of high-level knowledge development.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Connecting higher education and development
The Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa, HERANA, has gathered data on a group of African universities. Research in eight countries uncovered urgent needs for a 'pact' on the important role of higher education in development, strengthening the 'academic core' in universities, and greater coordination among higher education actors.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Lessons in linking universities to development
Among the key lessons Africa can distil from a comparative study of Finland, South Korea and North Carolina in the US are the needs to build higher education on a solid foundation of high quality and equitable schooling, for higher participation rates with institutional differentiation, and for strong state steering.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Research into higher education busts myths
Major research into African universities has been 'myth-busting', revealing that premier universities in eight African countries are more similar to institutions elsewhere than is generally perceived, with well-qualified staff, positive student-to-staff ratios, and rising enrolments including in science, engineering and technology.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Lack of agreement over role of universities
There is a surprising lack of clarity and agreement in Africa about a development model and the role of higher education in development, at both the national and university levels, research into eight countries has revealed.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Exploring the 'academic core' of universities
Lack of research funding and low knowledge production – both in PhD graduates and peer-reviewed publication – are the most serious challenges facing African universities as they work to strengthen their 'academic core' and make a sustainable contribution to development.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Coordination and connectedness of universities
While African governments coordinate higher education at the national level, this is largely 'symbolic' and most ministries do not have effective steering mechanisms, a study of universities in Africa has found.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Higher education and democratic citizenship
Formal education in Africa has provided 'democratic dividends', enabling people to make greater use of the news media, obtain information and understanding about politics and thus become more cognitively engaged and critical, according to research.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: University – A democratic hothouse?
A new study has indicated that at only one out of three African universities are most students “unreservedly committed democrats”. And youths in Kenya and Tanzania with no higher education are more committed to democracy than students are. Only in South Africa are students more passionate about democracy than their non-student peers and the public.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Universities are training active citizens
The university and student life in Africa “present unmatched opportunities for exercising political activity and organisational leadership at a young age”, research into higher education and democracy in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania has found.
Full report on the University World News site

AFRICA: Developing students as democratic citizens
African countries should initiate dialogue among government, student leaders, and university managers and professionals on student development as a pathway to democratic citizenship-building on the continent, new research has proposed.
Full report on the University World News site

GLOBAL: New African research resource
A new online search portal called the HERANA Gateway provides access to the latest research on African higher education. The Gateway returns focused search results from more than 15 sites worldwide, making it one of the most spec ialised resources of its kind.
Full report on the University World News site