CHET research gains traction

CHET research gains traction

CHET's HERANA research on the relationship between higher education and economic development in Africa is reaching well beyond the project's published findings. The HERANA research findings are increasingly being cited in several relevant conexts.

Based on the HERANA research, CHET has been invited to make presentations to four university councils, namely, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North West University, the University of Fort Hare and the University of Ghana. Further presentations are planned at Makerere University, the University of Oslo and to the Mauritius Tertiary Education Commission.

A report written by one of the HERANA project's funders, the Carnegie Corporation, further highlights the extent to which HERANA research is being taken up by various higher education stakeholders:

  1. University of Ghana hosted a multi-stakeholder conference on "Becoming a World Class university” (November 2011) incorporating the HERANA research as well as a seminar, “Building Capacity for Evidence-based Policy-making and Management at African universities: Findings and Recommendation of HERANA case studies”, attended by 120 university participants (May 2012.)
  2. The HERANA report was widely cited at a joint policy dialogue organised by the British Council, the National Universities Commission of Nigeria and the African Network for Internationalisation of Education (ANIE) under the theme “Internationalisation of Higher Education in Africa: Where to Focus Funding and Create Real Impact” (Abuja, October 2011). The Conference was attended by 136 participants from 15 African countries and the United Kingdom, with representatives from the African Union Commission, Association of African Universities (AAU), ADEA Working Group on Higher Education, ECOWAS and Foreign Missions based in Abuja.

  3. HERANA research has been presented in a variety of academic settings including: CCNY-funded national leadership training programs in Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda; African Student Leaders' Summit (South Africa, September 2010); as curriculum for University of Oslo NOMA program in higher education studies (Western Cape, Oslo and Makerere universities); UNESCO Science Directorate, Institute of International Education Planning (IIEP), and OECD (March 2011); a presentation at the Talloires Network at University of Madrid (June 2011); presentations at University of Oslo, UC Berkeley, University of Georgia. 
  4. The analytical framework and some of the indicators were presented as part of the opening keynote address at the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers annual conference held in Oslo in June 2010 (250 participants from 35 countries.), followed by invitations from universities in Bath, Milan, Gent, Melbourne and Toronto who attended.
  5. Makerere and Dar es Salaam universities have used the HERANA data to improve their university ‘fact’ books.
  6. The HERANA concepts and data have been cited and endorsed in publications such as Supporting the Early Careers of African Researchers by the British Academy and The Association of Commonwealth Universities (2011).
  7. HERANA has also impacted a number of policy interventions. Subsequent to three HERANA presentations made at NORAD headquarters, the new NORAD guidelines for development aid in higher education have been significantly influenced by the project, both in terms of content and process. In addition, two HERANA members have been official reviewers of the new NORAD approach to funding aid. The South African DHET commissioned CHET (2011), through financial assistance from the Ford Foundation, to develop a proposed methodology for differentiation and requested CHET’s assistance in developing an evidence-based indicator system that uses the cluster analysis method developed for the HERANA project. In 2012 the South African National Planning Commission commissioned CHET to write a proposal for higher education up until 2030. A subsequent green paper released by the Department of Education and Training (January 2012) which formed the basis of South Africa’s new National Development Plan 2030 includes a “knowledge production” dimension using research that came directly from HERANA projects. Lastly, the national tertiary education council in Botswana engaged HERANA as a consultant to restructure their higher education system to respond to the knowledge economy, and Namibia made a similar request for strategic guidance.