The Association of Commonwealth Universities’ Africa Unit has just published an excellent short guide on good practices in developing educational partnerships between higher education institutions in Africa and the UK.
As the Africa Unit comments, “The main reason behind the preparation of this Guide … is the lack of knowledge about the scope, nature and depth of partnerships in this area. The Guide does not set out to present a set of universal, objective rules to be followed and which will guarantee success. Instead, it identifies 10 valuable ‘principles of management and good governance’ which have been the driver behind a number of successful and sustainable UK-Africa partnerships, which can inform future partnerships”.
This is a really useful document, full of helpful tips and advice, and anyone considering developing such partnerships should get hold of a copy and read it diligently. The ten key principles that it advocates are:
- Shared Ownership
- Trust and Transparency
- Mutual Understanding of different Cultural and Working Environments
- Clear Division of Roles and Responsibilities
- Effective and Regular Communication
- Joint Strategic Planning and Implementation
- Strong Commitment across the board from Staff and Management
- Supportive Institutional Infrastructure
- Monitoring and Evaluation
As someone who has been actively involved in such partnerships over the last decade, these principles resonate very strongly with my own experiences. Many thanks to the Africa Unit for expressing them so clearly and succinctly.