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Democracy and the Discourse on Relevance

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Modern-day science is under great pressure. A potent mix of increasing expectations, limited resources, tensions between competition and cooperation, and the need for evidence-based funding is creating major change in how science is conducted and perceived. Amidst this ‘perfect storm’ is the allure of ‘research excellence’, a concept that drives decisions made by universities and funders, and defines scientists’ research strategies and career trajectories.

Research Universities in Africa

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From the early 2000s, a new discourse emerged, in Africa and the international donor community, that higher education was important for development in Africa. Within this ‘zeitgeist’ of converging interests, a range of agencies agreed that a different, collaborative approach to linking higher education to development was necessary. This led to the establishment of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (Herana) to concentrate on research and advocacy about the possible role and contribution of universities to development in Africa. This book is the final publication to emerge from the Herana project.