Introduction

The Mobilising Regional Capacity Initiative (MRCI) is a programme of the Association of African Universities, which is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom for the strengthening of partnerships between the AAU and the main sub-regional and national bodies representing higher education institutions in Africa, as part of the drive for sustainable development of the continent.

The role of the AAU in the revitalisation of African higher education would be to mobilise resources and facilitate interaction in order to enhance the capacities of its members and partner organisations, which in turn will support the contribution of their constituents and networks to the development process throughout the continent.

The four-year programme is currently being funded by a £3.5 million grant from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. The Fund was meant to be competitive, in the sense that project proposals had to be selected and assessed on merit, before approval. While DFID is not directly involved in the management of the projects supported by the Challenge Fund, the DFID expects timely reports that reviewed project implementation and progress in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Goal of MRCI and the Challenge Fund
To strengthen African Higher Education institutions to act as catalysts for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Purpose of MRCI and the Challenge Fund
Renewal and strengthening of African higher education institutions

Expected Outcomes of MRCI and the Challenge Fund:

  1. Enhanced capacity of higher education institutions for information sharing, innovation and reform.
  2. Policy-oriented research leading to policy briefs on innovative ways for higher education institutions to contribute to national development programmes and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
  3. Development of policy frameworks that addressed key issues such as schemes for enhancing enrolment of under-represented groups and quality of teaching and learning, among others.

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