Capacity-building in environment and 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) have collaborated with graduate students and faculty. Initially some programmes emphasised research and others higher education, but eventually a blend of research and higher education appeared to be more productive. Links to external partners in public and private business have been established and proved successful in terms of mutual benefits. Activities comprise evolution of new study curricula (including a shift of the learning paradigm to problem-based and project-organised learning), exchange of students and faculty, joint research and joint development conferences. The results have been 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 chapter 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 the absence of such support 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 meet particular needs. In co-operation with external partners such as business, consultants, NGOs and civil society at large, the term emphasises universities as key agents and providers in new learning, including developing tools [N1] such as project-based and problem-oriented learning (PBL) as well as [N2] information and communication technology (ICT); as providers of competent and motivated graduates to fill key positions in society; and as indispensable partners in creating the innovative and auto-learning society necessary to curb poverty and facilitate prosperity.
|Titel||Sustainable Development and the University : New strategies for research, teaching and practice|
|Redaktører||Robert Fincham , Susse Gerorg, Eskild H. Nielsen|
|Status||Udgivet - 2005|