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Sharing Knowledge, Transforming Societies: The Norhed Programme 2013-2020

In June 2016, the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (Norhed) hosted a conference on the theme of ‘knowledge for development’ in an attempt to shift the focus of the programme towards its academic content. This book follows up on that event.

 

The conference highlighted the usefulness of presenting the value of Norhed’s different projects to the world, showing how they improve knowledge and expand access to it through co-operation. A wish for more meta-knowledge was also expressed and this gives rise to the following questions:

 

  • Is this way of co-operating contributing to the growth of independent post-colonial knowledge production in the South, based on analyses of local data and experiences in ways that are relevant to our shared future?
  • Does the growth of academic independence, as well as greater equality, and the ability to develop theories different to those imposed by the better-off parts of the world, give rise to deeper understandings and better explanations?
  • Does it, at least, spread the ability to translate existing methodologies in ways that add meaning to observations of local context and data, and thus enhance the relevance and influence of the academic profession locally and internationally?
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    North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities

    Since the 1990s, internationalisation has become key for institutions wishing to secure funding for higher education and research. For the academic community, this strategic shift has had many consequences. Priorities have changed and been influenced by new ways of thinking about universities, and of measuring their impact in relation to each other and to their social goals. Debates are ongoing and hotly contested.

    In this collection, a mix of renowned academics and newer voices reflect on some of the realities of international research partnerships. They both question and highlight the agency of academics, donors and research institutions in the geopolitics of knowledge and power. The contributors offer fresh insights on institutional transformation, the setting of research agendas, and access to research funding, while highlighting the dilemmas researchers face when their institutions are vulnerable to state and donor influence.

    Offering a range of perspectives on why academics should collaborate and what for, this book will be useful to anyone interested in how scholars are adapting to the realities of international networking and how research institutions are finding innovative ways to make North–South partnerships and collaborations increasingly fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial.

    One world, many knowledges: Regional experiences and cross-regional links in higher education

    Various forms of academic co-operation criss-cross the modern university system in a bewildering number of ways, from the open exchange of ideas and knowledge, to the sharing of research results, and frank discussions about research challenges. Embedded in these scholarly networks is the question of whether a ‘global template’ for the management of both higher education and national research organisations is necessary, and if so, must institutions slavishly follow the high-flown language of the global ‘knowledge society’ or risk falling behind in the ubiquitous university ranking system?Or are there alternatives that can achieve a better, ‘more ethically inclined, world’?

    Basing their observations on their own experiences, an interesting mix of seasoned scholars and new voices from southern Africa and the Nordic region offer critical perspectives on issues of inter- and cross-regional academic co-operation. Several of the chapters also touch on the evolution of the higher education sector in the two regions.

    An absorbing and intelligent study, this book will be invaluable for anyone interested in the strategies scholars are using to adapt to the interconnectedness of the modern world. It offers fresh insights into how academics are attempting to protect the spaces in which they can freely and openly debate the challenges they face, while aiming to transform higher education, and foster scholarly collaboration.

    Knowledge for a Sustainable World

    The search for answers to the issue of global sustainability has become increasingly urgent. In the context of higher education, many universities and academics are seeking new insights that can shift our dependence on ways of living that rely on the exploitation of so many and the degradation of so much of our planet.

    This is the vision that drives SANORD and many of the researchers and institutions within its network. Although much of the research is on a relatively small scale, the vision is steadily gaining momentum, forging dynamic collaborations and pathways to new knowledge.

    The contributors to this book cover a variety of subject areas and offer fresh insights about chronically under-researched parts of the world. Others document and critically reflect on innovative approaches to cross-continental teaching and research collaborations. This book will be of interest to anyone involved in the transformation of higher education or the practicalities of cross-continental and cross-disciplinary academic collaboration.

    The Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) is a network of higher education institutions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Universities in the southern African and Nordic regions that are not yet members are encouraged to join.

    Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education

    Table of Contents

    List of tables, figures and appendix tables | Acronyms and abbreviations | Acknowledgements |

    Foreword

    Roles of Universities and the African Context  Nico Cloete and Peter Maassen
    Research Universities in Africa: An empirical overview of eight flagship universities  Nico Cloete, Ian Bunting and Peter Maassen
    Assessing the Performance of African Flagship Universities  Ian Bunting, Nico Cloete, Henri Li Kam Wah and Florence Nakayiwa-Mayega
    Research Output and International Research Cooperation in African Flagship Universities  Robert Tijssen
    South Africa as a PhD Hub in Africa?  Nico Cloete, Charles Sheppard and Tracy Bailey

    Faculty Perceptions of the Factors that Influence Research Productivity read more