New 2008 Higher Education Partnerships Increasingly Specialized and Spanning the Globe 

December 16, 2008 
Contact: Higher Education for Development
(202) 243-7680

Washington, DC (December 16, 2008): From January to December 2008, Higher Education for Development (HED) awarded more than $7 million for 19 new higher education partnerships supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State through the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Seventeen U.S. and 22 overseas higher education institutions will partner to address global development challenges in agriculture, health, governance, economic growth, education, and communications. The partners will collaboratively build capacity through higher education institutions. Leaders and cadres of trained professionals emerging from higher education will be empowered to make substantial contributions to their communities in vital areas such as food security, HIV/AIDS, law reform, natural resource management, journalism, business, and telecommunications.

“The diversity and high caliber of award winners in this year’s HED competitions is impressive. It’s a testament to the remarkable contributions that higher education has to make for the development of countries and communities,” said Terry Hartle, HED Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the American Council on Education.

The 2008 HED competitions have become increasingly sophisticated and targeted to specific country needs. While the partnership goals have become more highly defined, the award amounts are rising. This year’s competitions ranged in scope from helping health professionals in Paraguay enhance the gathering and sharing of public health information and statistics to supporting legal reforms in Mexico to building capacity for the telecommunications industry in Kosovo.

Noteworthy winners this year include four minority serving institutions and one of HED’s largest award winners. One historically black university, South Carolina State University, will strengthen agribusiness in Burundi. University of Hawai’i at Manoa, which serves a broad diversity of Asian students, will focus on agricultural economics in Albania. Two Hispanic serving institutions won awards for collaborations with Mexican institutions—Florida International University will promote biodiversity and University of Texas at Austin will strengthen ICT for rural development. One of HED’s largest awards provided nearly $1.5 million for a two-year collaboration between Alexandria University and Georgia State University to create a world-class executive MBA program in the Middle East.

During 2008, HED awarded eight partnerships in Latin America or the Caribbean, five in the Middle East/North Africa region, three in Sub-Saharan Africa, two in Eastern Europe, and one in Asia. Program areas are often cross-sectoral. These partnerships include five in education, three in business, three in information communications technology (ICT), two related to governance or journalism, two in agriculture, two in environment, one in economics, and one in health. Among these collaborations three concentrated on gender issues and many incorporated business.

This year, HED congratulates seven U.S. higher education institutions for their first partnerships through this program: Emory University, Missouri Southern State University, South Carolina State University, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, University of Southern Maine, and Thunderbird School of Global Management.

HED also welcomes 18 overseas higher education institutions as first-time partners: Agricultural University of Tirana in Albania, Alexandria University in Egypt, Fatimah Jinnah Women’s University in Pakistan, Islamic University in Uganda, National University of Paraguay, Ngozi University in Burundi, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Pakistan, the State University of Haiti, Uganda Martyrs University, University of Guyana, University of Petra in Jordan, University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa, University of Quisqueya in Haiti, and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. First time winners in Mexico included Centro de Investigaciones Interdisiplinarios para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, the Instituto Tecnológico de la Valle de Oaxaca, and the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. Please view the full list of new award winners here.