US: Summit on HE's role in development globally

About 200 university presidents, split almost equally between American colleges and institutions abroad, gathered in Washington last week for an invitation-only summit on the role of higher education in furthering social and economic development on a global scale, reports Inside Higher Ed. The US Departments of Education and State hosted the star-studded summit. "The idea is to leverage every possible opportunity to expand opportunity," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Speakers stressed a desire for concrete outcomes - specifically, that each participant leave the summit with plans in place for two new partnerships, challenged Henrietta Fore, administrator of the US Agency for International Development and director of United States Foreign Assistance.

Fore unveiled the fruits of her own work. One is a collaboration with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, whose Africa-US Education Initiative will receive $1 million funding from USAID. The money will fund 20 grants of $50,000 each to support long term collaborations between African and US universities, especially in the areas of agriculture, health care, science and technology, education, business, engineering and economics. The second was a memorandum of understanding between Fore's association and the National Science Foundation.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site