Dubai – Sunday 19 March 2017:  University leaders, policy makers and private sector representatives from across the world met at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) to discuss how to develop more impactful North-South and South-South educational and research partnerships between universities.

The GESF Alliances are a network of invitation-only groups that convene and collaborate around key education related subjects with the central purpose of stimulating new dialogue, shaping agendas and driving new initiatives.

The Alliance on Partnership Models for Universities will examine different types of educational and research partnerships across multiple dimensions including structure, ecosystem and pedagogical means. This may include reviewing and contrasting international branch campus experiences with capacity-building collaborations between world-renowned universities and existing or startup universities in developing countries.

Co-chairs, Soulaymane Kachani (Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning of Columbia University) and Arturo Condo (President of Earth University) said, “Building meaningful and sustainable educational and research partnerships between universities is becoming critical to the success of institutions of higher education and to the economic and social development of countries and regions around the globe.  It is important to characterize the key determinants of the successes and failures of these partnerships and of universities using them, and to share best practices and pitfalls.

The Alliance includes Angela Redish (Provost of University of British Columbia), Jim Ryan (Dean of Harvard University’s School of Education), Abdellatif Charafi (Dean of Africa Business School), Mariam Chughtai (Director at Lahore University of Management Sciences), Fikri Karaesman (Dean of Koç University’s School of Engineering), Remus Pricopie (Rector of University of Romania) and Daniel Schwartz (CEO of the Porticus Foundation).

This year, six new Alliances were appointed to tackle some of education’s most important challenges:

  • Partnership Models for Universities – looking at best practice and pitfalls in international education and research partnerships, including reviewing collaborations between world-renowned universities and existing or startup universities in developing countries;
  • New Financing Models for Schools – to provide recommendations to governments looking to engage the private sector to strengthen their education system;
  • Post-Conflict and Peace Education – examining innovation and best practice in support for teachers in post-conflict and peace education as they strive to reach the most vulnerable children, such as refugees;
  • Global Citizenship – to scope out the knowledge and skills that should encompass global citizenship education, in particular, in countries that lag behind in education targets;
  • Climate Change Education – to address the global threat of climate change through quality education;
  • Assessment and Impact in Development – to examine strengthening learning assessments to identify whether progress is being made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.