Agents of Change: University Networks as Development Hubs

Jens Aage Hansen, Martin Lehmann

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingKonferenceartikel i proceedingForskningpeer review


Capacity building for sustainable development has been implemented and tested over the last decade through university and university consortia networking. Universities from Africa (Botswana and South Africa), Asia (Malaysia and Thailand), Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua) and Europe (Denmark) participated with graduate students and faculty. Initially some programmes emphasised research and others higher education, but eventually a blend of research and higher education were found to be more productive. Links to external partners in public and private business have been established and proven successful in terms of mutual benefits. Activities comprise joint evolution of new study curricula (including shift of the learning paradigm to problem based and project organised learning), human resource development, and joint research. The results are promising in terms of concrete results within each type of activity and together they provide vital steps in capacity building in tertiary education to the benefit of development and environment. Some of the results and their implications are presented in this paper and more are documented by references. Strengthening of tertiary education is assumed to be a prerequisite for economic and democratic development in all countries, be they industrialised, in transition or developing. However, particularly in transition and developing countries there is a need for special support, e.g. through international aid programmes to tertiary education, including research and innovation in an interplay with other research institutions and business. In its absence, the so-called digital divide between industrial and developing and transition countries will widen, and brain drain and poverty problems will continue to grow. Universities should play a central role in such global efforts to strengthen tertiary education. Modes of operation are still deficient, but ?Universities as Development Hubs? is suggested as a concept to study further and modify to needs. In cooperation with external partners such as business, consultants, NGO?s and civil society at large, it emphasises universities as key change agents and providers in new learning, including tools such as project based and problem oriented learning (PBL) as well as information and communication technology (ICT); as providers of competent and motivated graduates to fill key positions in society; and as indispensable partners in creation of the innovative and auto-learning societies necessary to curb poverty, facilitate prosperity and move towards sustainability.
TitelSustainable Development Education : Proceedings from EMSU Conference at Technologico de Monterrey, June 09-11,2004, Mexico
Antal sider25
ForlagTechnologico de Monterrey, Mexico
StatusUdgivet - 2004
BegivenhedEnvironmental Management for Sustainable Universities (EMSU) Conference 2004 - Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Varighed: 9 jun. 200411 jun. 2004


KonferenceEnvironmental Management for Sustainable Universities (EMSU) Conference 2004
ByMonterrey, Nuevo León

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  • Citationsformater

    Hansen, J. A., & Lehmann, M. (2004). Agents of Change: University Networks as Development Hubs. I Sustainable Development Education: Proceedings from EMSU Conference at Technologico de Monterrey, June 09-11,2004, Mexico Technologico de Monterrey, Mexico. http:\\