The African Research Universities Alliance and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities call upon the leaders of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) to support an ambitious new initiative for Africa’s universities to address the profound demographic, social and environmental changes facing both continents. The scale of the common challenges we face, and the opportunities opened up through scientific and educational collaboration, require a new level of investment which goes well beyond existing collaborations in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. EU budget supporting the Africa-EU Partnership should ring-fence at least €1bn per annum for strengthening African research universities, working in partnership with European universities.
As the AU and EU develop their priorities ahead of the 6th AU-EU summit in October 2020, ARUA and The Guild call for:
- The creation of a substantial fund for research collaboration between African and European Universities, to tackle urgent challenges faced by both continents
- The creation of accessible world-class infrastructure in Africa to support researchers
- The establishment of an African Research Council, to help African universities attract and retain world-class researchers
- The creation of doctoral schools, to help significantly increase the number of top-quality scientists that will enable the strengthening of African universities in a sustainable way
- The provision of co-funding to ensure early-career researchers can develop world-leading research agendas in the first years of their appointment
- Strengthening the capacities of African Universities through bespoke training and investment in systems appropriate to their needs
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The joint call is supported by The Guild’s Insight Paper, authored by Peter Maassen from the University of Oslo, outlining in detail the particular need for investment in African research universities. You can download the paper here.
This article was first published on 18 February 2020 by The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities.