Carnegie Corporation of New York announces an $8.4 Million Investment in South Africa's Educational Future

Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has a long history of grantmaking in South Africa, made grants totaling $8,416,600 this summer to institutions that will ensure South Africa's commitment to a new and equitable education system that advances all its citizens. The grants include support for higher education, libraries and programs targeted to improving teaching and national systems of accreditation and student admissions. 

"The Corporation has made strengthening African universities a top priority and this is our first group of grants that will support institutions of higher learning in South Africa," says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "Following my visit to the country a year ago, we have worked with educators and leaders in South Africa to best identify how we could respond to the myriad needs of its education system. This announcement marks the beginning of our work with universities, but also includes initiatives in other educational venues like libraries."

"It was important for President Gregorian that the Corporation work with South Africa's national education leaders and in the context of the National Plan on Higher Education that was approved last March" says Narciso Matos, chair of Carnegie Corporation's International Development Program. "We wanted to ensure that the financial support from Carnegie Corporation would respond to the needs and priorities that the country has identified. We think this cluster of grants does that."

Ten different grants are part of this new investment in South Africa and its education programs. The majority of grants are focused on bolstering South Africa's higher education system and building an infrastructure that is excellent, equitable and accessible to the widest range of citizens. These grants include support for infrastructure development within higher education including establishment of accreditation standards and preparation of education leaders to implement them, as well as programs that will plan and implement student admission services. Other grants will focus on the specific needs in South Africa in a post-apartheid environment, such as the training of teachers in mathematics and science, the need to review and strengthen the teaching of history within the country and the challenge of educating people about and dealing with HIV/AIDS.

"These grants are aimed at responding to a number of specific needs," says Matos. "Some reflect our belief that to move forward at this time in its history, it is important for South Africa to address challenges such as teacher training and HIV/AIDS. We expect to work with selected South African universities, as we have in other countries on the continent, and to build long-term relationships that will allow a number of excellent institutions to make strides academically and institutionally. But first, we felt it was important to help build the base with the Ministry of Education and the Commission on Higher Education."

This round of grants also marks the opening of Carnegie Corporation's return to the field of libraries in South Africa. The new initiative launched with this round of grants is called Gateways to Information: African Public Libraries. The initiative's goal is both to revitalize South Africa's libraries and to create models for service to both urban and rural citizens. Currently, the Corporation is also working in Botswana and Kenya. At the beginning of 2001, a competitive process was established for South African libraries that would identify and support a few excellent library systems. The six chosen were singled out for their commitment to extending the library's reach, their innovative plans for literacy and learning and because they could serve as models for other systems. "We believe, because so many citizens were denied entrance into the education system, that libraries can serve as important assets for both young and old who want to learn," says Gloria Primm Brown, senior program officer overseeing the Corporations work in African libraries. "There is great promise in the potential of these library systems and great enthusiasm and commitment on the part of their leaders. Over the next three years, we hope thousands will benefit from these libraries, all of which are committed to literacy development." Carnegie Corporation of New York ( was begun by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 for the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.9 billion as of September 30, 2000. The Corporation expects to issue grants of $75 million this year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy. A description of the ten grants made in the summer of 2001 is attached.



The University of Cape Town's University Science, Humanities and Engineering Partnerships in Africa (USHEPiA) program was initiated in 1994 with planning support from the Corporation and the Rockefeller Foundation. The goals of the program are to promote collaboration among African researchers and build institutional capacity in its seven partner universities: Makerere University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the universities of Botswana, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It operates primarily through the provision of staff development fellowships, which are awarded to junior faculty at the partner universities to complete either masters or doctoral degrees at the University of Cape Town. In addition to funding five science and engineering fellowships, this grant supports the initiation of a small grants program for fellows who have returned to their home universities. $705,600


The Council on Higher Education, established as a statutory body under the Higher Education Act of 1997, has the mandate to design and implement a national quality assurance system for higher education institutions in South Africa. To accomplish this task, the members of the council's Higher Education Quality Committee are undertaking a variety of activities over the next several years, including developing an accreditation process for new programs in public and private higher education institutions, conducting educational outreach to promote the importance of implementing quality assurance practices, building the committee's capacity to carry out its activities and designing and pilot testing frameworks for the new quality assurance system. The first round of institutional audits using the new system is scheduled to begin in 2002. $400,000.


To foster broader access to higher education and provide institutions with data on enrollment trends and other information essential to strategic planning--including the rate at which gender and race equity is being achieved at universities--South Africa's Department of Education is developing a proposal for a national information and application service. The goals of the service, to be operational by 2003, are to inform applicants of available programs and career opportunities and acquaint higher education institutions with the pool of qualified applicants. Project members are conducting surveys of schools and applicants, reviewing and assessing models of services to identify best practices and convening meetings with stakeholders to discuss emerging findings. The proposal will comprise a plan for the structure, governance and funding of the service, as well as a program for its implementation. $283,400


Gateways to Information: African Public Libraries is a new initiative established by Carnegie Corporation of New York to revitalize public library systems in selected Commonwealth countries in Africa. The initiative comprises four objectives: to foster the development of literacy programs; strengthen linkages between education systems and library systems; promote continuing education and adult learning in collaboration with ongoing programs; and support library services as a method for bridging the digital divide. After an extensive review by Corporation staff members, six library systems in South Africa with high potential to become models for other systems were selected to receive grants. Corporation funds are being used to enhance the capacity of the systems to deliver services, strengthen infrastructures and in some cases, develop exemplary centers of learning and communications.

Durban Metropolitan Library Services (DMLS)
$750,000 towards activities to increase adult literacy and access to a community information database.

Free State Provincial Library and Information Services (FSPLIS)
$650,000 towards activities to expand services, enhance collections for children and adults, and develop an electronic infrastructure. 

City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services (JLIS)
$500,400 towards activities to increase literacy and reading enrichment programs for children and adolescents.

Mpumalanga Provincial Library and Information Services (MPLIS)
$493,900 towards activities to provide electronic networking and Internet access to public libraries and bookmobiles.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipal Library Services (NMMM)
$750,000 towards activities to increase services for children, expand services in underserved areas and train staff.

Northern Cape Provincial Library and Information Services (NCPLIS)
$666,500 towards activities to increase literacy, preserve indigenous languages, enhance technology and train staff.


A panel on history and archeology established by the South African government released a report in December 2000 addressing the quality of history programs in high schools and recommending the establishment of a National History Commission to identify ways of strengthening the teaching of history, including the improvement of teacher training and the provision of quality textbooks and other secondary materials. Corporation funds are supporting curriculum development, textbook development, oral history activities and advocacy materials. This is a special grant made in the context of South Africa's circumstances, where efforts are being made to rebuild national identity and move the process of reconciliation forward. $500,000.


To address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which in South Africa has reached virtually every sector of society, the University of Natal-Durban is establishing the KwaZulu Natal Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking. The university, which hosts some of the most advanced HIV/AIDS research teams in South Africa, is creating the research and networking center to analyze the strategies of other countries--particularly African countries--in addressing HIV/AIDS, coordinate and stimulate research and community service in the region, mainstream AIDS education within the university and conduct HIV/AIDS-related data collection, publication and dissemination to researchers, policymakers, members of the university community and of the public. $1,120,700


For fifteen years, the University of Natal-Durban's Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) has been training science and mathematics teachers in KwaZulu Natal, one of the most populous and poorest provinces of South Africa. To strengthen science and math teaching in the region, foster sustained teacher participation in ongoing training and enhance students' access to science-based university degrees regardless of race, gender and income, the center is undertaking a science and mathematics teacher development project. Members of the project, which targets nearly 250 schools, 500 teachers and 40,000 high school students, are convening five-day training institutes for teachers, conducting assessments of students' skill levels and developing teaching materials for inservice and teacher training. A distance-learning Bachelor of Education program will also be designed and offered to teachers. $467,100


The NBI Foundation, a consortium of corporations in South Africa that aims to bring business and management skills to development issues, is extending its educational program, currently implemented in three of the country's nine provinces, to the Eastern Cape Region. To increase schools' capacity to implement reforms, the program called the Education Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP)--fosters school-community partnerships and provides training and technical assistance to teachers, administrators and parents on effective school management. EQUIP is coordinated by a team of educationalists and supervised by a Board of Directors. $500,000


With the dismantling of apartheid, education policymakers and practitioners in South Africa have recognized the need to set common standards of quality in the provision of higher education. With Corporation support, the South African Universities Vice Chancellors Association's (SAUVCA) Quality Assurance Forum is conducting a project to participate in the development of a national quality assurance system and prepare, in particular, the historically disadvantaged universities to respond successfully to the system's requirements. Forum members are convening four workshops on key themes related to quality assurance, conducting research on themes highlighted in the workshops, setting up regular communication with and among forum members through publications, news briefs, an information database, a web site and a listserv, and arranging technical assistance for individual universities on an as-needed basis. $129,000.


An AIDS Research Summit is being held at the University of the Witwatersrand to plan the creation of a research institute designed to coordinate and promote AIDS research and prevention and focus on basic, clinical and behavioral sciences. The institute will convene annual meetings of academics and experts in the field to review knowledge, discuss research directions and disseminate information. A project director and a committee of scientists and university leaders will coordinate and lead the initiative, aimed at strengthening the already important participation of the university in understanding and combating HIV/AIDS in the province of Gauteng, and in South Africa, more generally. The Corporation is providing a special, one-time grant to help meet the institute's operational costs during the first two years. $500,000.