Since 2009, three European Universities’ Networks, Santander Group, UNICA, and Compostela Group have jointly organised workshops, designed to meet their member institutions' needs for latest and up-to-date information, good practices, and networking & cooperation opportunities: "University Collaboration in Adult Education" (2009), "Successful Management of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes" (2011), and "Strategies for Successful Europe-China Collaboration in Research and Education" (2012).
Following the interest expressed by its member universities, the 4th UNICA-Santander Group-Compostela Workshop will focus on academic collaboration between European and Sub-Saharan universities.
The vast region of Sub-Saharan Africa encompasses 54 countries (only 7 African countries do not belong geopolitically to Sub-Saharan Africa) and its overall population is 875 million (World Bank, 2011). Despite rapid expansion of HE institutions, qualified human capital remains scarce compared to the continent’s rising opportunities and development needs. The universities in Sub-Saharan Africa face numerous challenges and need cooperation to create incentives for research and entrepreneurship and fend off African brain drain (according to different sources, 30-40% of African university graduates live in OECD countries, predominately in Europe and North America).
The Workshop aimed to explore the tertiary education landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide hands-on examples of Europe-Africa academic cooperation initiatives, presenting different funding opportunities available, challenges faced during the projects' implementation and the response to them, as well as activities aimed at ensuring the sustainability of initiatives. It offered a forum for discussion how can European higher education networks facilitate the Europe-Africa academic cooperation.