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Partnerships for impact is the focus of the Building Stronger Universities fourth phase


The Building Stronger Universities partnership highlights the crucial role of African universities as knowledge creators and educators, contributing to the development of their societies,” said Signe Winding Albjerg, the Ambassador of Denmark to Uganda, at the first annual assembly of the university-partnerships’ fourth phase.

By William Odinga

The first annual meeting of the Building Stronger Universities fourth phase / BSU 4 closed on Thursday, 6 June 2024 at Gulu University, with the participating institutions agreeing that they needed to form partnerships at different levels.

BSU 4 was launched in June 2023 in Zanzibar and its implementation is being led by Gulu University (Uganda), the State University of Zanzibar (Tanzania) and the University of Hargeisa (Somaliland).

BSU 4 partner institutions from Denmark include Aalborg University, the University of Copenhagen, and Roskilde University.

The project’s target is to strengthen universities so that they can ably support processes that help to solve societal problems. Such problems include poverty and vulnerability to different circumstances related to conflicts, health and climate change.

The core BSU partnership is between African universities and Danish higher institutions of learning and is anchored on research, teaching and community engagement, with Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) facilitating the process.

Another key collaborative arrangement, referred to as South-South partnerships, is between African universities, with Maseno University and the University of Rwanda listed as twinning partners for Gulu University in BSU 4

BSU partnership arrangements also include governmental and nongovernmental organisations.

During the three-day meeting, participants identified some key areas for collaboration including pedagogy (approach to teaching), research, community engagement and climate change.

The universities seek to work together in knowledge creation and sharing, curriculum development and review, and the establishment or adoption of new teaching and learning approaches such as blended learning. They will also explore partnerships in resource mobilisation.

Stella Agara, Programme Coordinator at the Training Center for Development Cooperation in Tanzania ( MS TCDC) and one of the meeting’s facilitators, emphasized the need for effective communication if the partnerships are to succeed.

Vibeke Quaade,  Senior Communication Consultant at Danida Fellowship Centre added, “Building Stronger Universities is a knowledge creation and knowledge sharing platform where you help each other develop not only to make your universities stronger but also to impact the community – that is what Building Stronger Universities is about.”

In her remarks, the Ambassador of Denmark to Uganda, H.E. Signe Winding Albjerg, said, “The Building Stronger Universities partnership illustrates the important role of African universities as knowledge producers and educators who will contribute to development in their respective societies.”

Building Stronger Universities is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administrated by Danida Fellowship Centre. 

William Odinga’s article was first published here


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