17.07.2006 Education

UK Announces Three Million Pound Grant For African Higher Education

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Mr Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Higher Education in Britain, on Monday announced in Accra a grant of three million pounds to support institutions of higher learning in England and sub-Saharan Africa.

One million pounds of the grant would be invested in partnerships with South Africa, as announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown in the March 2006 Budget.

The additional two million would be invested in partnerships with the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Rammel announced the grant on Monday at a meeting of the Vice Chancellors of public universities in Ghana in Accra.

The grant, which is under England-Africa Partnerships (EAP), aims to support the building and strengthening of capacity in Africa higher education.

The EAP would fund 40 partnerships between higher education institutions in England and Africa, in a range of fields such as science and technology, open and distance learning, institutional capacity building, management and health education.

Announcing the grant, Mr Rammell, who is on a two-day visit to Ghana, noted that that the Commission for Africa had highlighted the importance of education at all levels from primary through to higher education.

"In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is crucial that more young people across Africa are able to gain skills and qualifications through good quality higher education", Mr Rammell said.

He said the Scheme would be managed by the British Council, and would award one year grant from around 50 pounds to a maximum of 100,000 pounds to boost existing partnerships and provide start-up support to new partnerships.

Prof Akilakpa Sawyer, General Secretary of the Association of African Universities, said the visit of Mr Rammell, represented the actual delivery of the promise of the British Government for the Commission of Africa to enhance higher education on the Continent.

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