University to evaluate new government international aid programme for higher education

The University of Bedfordshire is to start work as part of a high profile evaluation management team for a six year £45m government programme set up to transform higher education systems in low- and middle-income countries.

The Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education and Reform (SPHEIR) of the Department for International Development (DFID) is fund managed by the British Council in association with PwC and Universities UK International.

It supports the development of transnational partnerships to assist higher education systems in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East in meeting graduate and labour market needs and sustainable development goals.

The consortium in which the University will work, will evaluate the programme of transnational partnerships established by Oxford, Manchester, Sussex, Edinburgh and Kings College universites, who have partnered with higher education institutions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Burma, Rwanda, Jordan, Lebanon and Somaliland.

Dr Diana Pritchard, Principal Curriculum Developer for the University’s Centre for Learning Excellence, who led on developing the successful international bid on the basis of her current role and prior overseas experience in international education and development, will coordinate the consortium’s research.

Professor Mary Malcolm, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) said: “This prestigious project, led by Dr Pritchard, offers huge potential for extensive public impact as well as supporting our own research in Higher Education. Its evaluation outcomes will be used to inform the government’s international aid policy and funding, and to strengthen the ways in which they deliver that aid.”

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