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News from Building Stronger Universities

 BSU master students attending a lecture in Denmark 2013.

BSU master students attending a lecture in Denmark 2013.

Danida Fellowship Centre is getting ready for Phase II of Building Stronger Universities (BSU). The organisation, number of countries and institutions have changed.

By Anne Christensen, DFC Director

The second phase of the Building Stronger Universities initiative starts January 1, 2014 and builds upon the experience and results achieved during the first phase.

What is new?

The overall organisation has changed as the coordination by Danish Universities through four thematic platforms is replaced by a management set-up, where each South institution is directly responsible for identifying and implementing its activities.

The number of countries has been reduced from five, in the first phase, to four in the second phase.

From eleven to seven institutions

Also the number of South institutions has been reduced. From eleven in Phase 1 to seven in Phase II:

The seven institutions included in the phase II are

• University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana

• Sokoine University of Agriculture, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, and State University of Zanzibar in Tanzania

• Gulu University in Uganda • Kathmandu University in Nepal.

With the exception of Kathmandu University, all these institutions also participated in Phase I.

100 mio. DKK over 34 months

The organisation and management of the programme is based on the responsibility of each South institution to identify and implement its activities, and on the direct interaction between the South and North institutions involved in a partnership.

During an inception phase of four months, the match-making of South institutions with Danish partners will be facilitated by DFC.

The overall management responsibility of the programme will rest with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while DFC is responsible for the administration. Embassies in the four countries will, to the extent possible, take part in the on-going dialogue with the South institutions.

The overall programme budget is DKK 100 million for the period January 1st 2014 to November 1st 2016.

Continuation and finalizing of phase I

In addition to the new activities of phase II, DFC will be administrating the continuation and finalizing of phase I activities.

This means the completion of almost 40 PhD studies via agreements with the 11 South universities from phase I.

DFC will also administer the redesigned ‘Capacity Building within Research Communication, Dissemination and Networking’ activities (DKK 19 million).

BSU Master Programme included

The next phase of the BSU Master programme, 2015 – 2017, will also be included in the BSU programme.

Currently, DFC is in the process of facilitating selection of seven students to be funded by the balance on the current BSU Master programme’s funds. The candidates will either be from Gulu University in Uganda or candidates from the South universities (included in Phase II), who for some reason didn’t get included in the first round.

What is BSU? The objective of the Building Stronger Universities programme (BSU) is to strengthen the research capacity of universities in selected Danida priority countries. Support is provided to their research environment and research processes. Activities include i.a. support to: • strengthening research policies and strategies •  PhD schools • development of research concepts • enhancement of research quality assurance • and improving libraries and publication managements systems.

The South institutions select partners among Danish universities which can provide support in the areas identified.

The management of the programme based on the responsibility of each South institution is to run its own activities is in line with the ambition defined in Danida’s strategic framework for support to development research. This is to ensure that a larger share of the Danish support to development research is ‘south driven’.

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