Carnegie Corproration of New York Announces $3.4 Million Dollar Grant to African University



The University of Dar es Salaam, in Dar es Salaam Tanzania has received a $3,491,000 three year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to implement a major overhaul of the institution which began a process of reform in 1993. Since independence, Tanzania has focused on creating a democratic society where stability and economic development can move the country forward. Critical to that progress is Tanzania’s central university in Dar es Salaam, which educates the scholars, public policy professionals, educators, scientists and civil service leadership. The process of reform has radically changed the efficiency and organization of the university. This grant will allow the implementation of curriculum and technological changes that will permit the university to operate in the more demanding global environment.

"The Partnership is dedicated to strengthening reform movements that are already underway in African higher education. We believe the University of Dar es Salaam is an educational leader than can make a contribution, not only in Tanzania but in other institutions across the continent," says Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation. "The University has increased enrollment in the last decade and tightened administrative procedures while offering more flexibility to faculty. This grant will enable Dar’s leadership to focus on improving the environment for teaching, learning, research and publications."

"There is strong and dedicated leadership at the University of Dar es Salaam who are ready to move the institution to the next stage — academically and technologically," says Narciso Matos, Chair of the Corporation’s International Development Program. "This financial commitment is made with the understanding that the quality of education, research and academic programs can improve if modern technological tools and scholarly publications and data can be made available to this academic community. The will is there throughout the University community to make changes and with our grant there will be resources to implement the consensus for reforms."

The grant will support activities that build a modern technological infrastructure that can advance teaching and research but will also invest in work by individual faculties, student life and the library. Funds will allow the upgrading of training of students and staff that will improve the quality of the educational opportunities. This grant will allow integration of the multi-library systems at Dar and create easier access to library resources and computers for students and faculty. The process of reform will continue in financial and management areas of the university, and to ensure that the lessons learned in this process are not lost, the grant will permit the recording and disseminating of the process. It is expected that two books documenting the process of change will be written and widely shared with other universities throughout Africa.

Part of the university’s strategic plan is to create profit centers within the campus that can build the financial capacity of the institution. Its Faculty of Engineering and its computer center are two resources that offer the possibility of income generation and both are key elements of the university’s strategic plan. The case study undertaken for the Partnership to Strengthen African Universities indicated that since most of the administrative reforms have been implemented the university should shift focus on improving the teaching, research and learning environment throughout the university community.

"We believe an investment in the University of Dar es Salaam is an investment in the people and knowledge of Tanzania. The country has shown modest but sustained growth, continued decentralization and fiscal reform and that progress will create a demand for people with the skills to lead the country further," says Dr. Matos.

The Partnership to Strengthen African Universities is a four-foundation collaboration aimed at raising awareness about the importance of higher education to African development. The partner foundations are working collaboratively on research and communication, while keeping distinct the individual foundation grantmaking priorities. The partnership has announced an investment of $100 million dollars in African Universities during the first five years of its work. Since the Partnership to Strengthen African Universities was launched in New York in April 2000 by the Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller Foundations and Carnegie Corporation, case studies are nearing completion in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. Additional case studies are anticipated for Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Grantmaking will be influenced by the results of those case studies.

The Rockefeller Foundation has made planning grants to Makerere University in Uganda and anticipates a grant for capacity building that would address the challenges and opportunities brought forth by the process of decentralization in Uganda.

As announced in April, the MacArthur Foundation's work will focus on higher education in Nigeria. Since last spring, the foundation has been exploring grantmaking opportunities through a series of consultations and site visits. Support will focus on institutional leadership and governance, strength of the faculty, and compatibility with MacArthur's program interests. It is expected that grants will be developed in collaboration with a small number of universities in areas such as university renewal and renovation, fund-raising in keeping with the intellectual and scholarly mission of the university, library development, and, where possible, internet connectivity. The first grant recommendations will be made in the near future.

The Ford Foundation has provided 1.5 million dollars to the University of Dar es Salaam for specific academic projects like research and teaching in political science, community mobilization, forced migration coursework and a summer school leadership program for undergraduates. Ford is also supporting higher education in Nigeria including grants to Lagos State University, Obafemi Awolo and University of Ibadan and work at the University of Ghana.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was begun by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 for the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding" and has an endowment of $1.7 billion as of September 30, 1999. The Corporation expects to give grants of $75 million dollars in the next year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and special projects involved in questions facing citizenship for a 21st Century.