Is competition the best approach to quality assurance for long‐term institutional research capacity strengthening?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceCommunication


Recently, Universities Denmark has introduced a new mechanism for university collaboration under the title “Building Stronger Universities in Developing Countries” (BSU). This initiative, financed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida), focuses primarily on institutional capacity building, especially in connection with PhD training. BSU represents an innovation in its bringing together all relevant Danish universities in a single collaborative structure. BSU is organized in four platforms that represent broad focus areas. The platforms have identified separate countries/universities as core partners, with three platforms present in Ghana and Tanzania, and one platform being present in Nepal, Kenya and Uganda. The platforms have been competing for resources for the initial two-year phase. This paper compares BSU with existing Danish mechanisms for support to research for development and discusses the role of competition in a project that focuses on long-term institutional capacity strengthening and identifies early lessons learnt. It concludes that quality assurance in this area must be established through other means than competition in order to avoid counterproductive discontinuities in long-term university development at the partner universities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational SANORD Symposium: Strengthening the Role of Universities as Hubs of Development through SANORD - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 6 Jun 20127 Jun 2012
Conference number: 3


ConferenceInternational SANORD Symposium
LocationAarhus University


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