North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities

Type of Publication
Link to Publication
Main Author
Edited by Tor Halvorsen and Jorun Nossum
Associated Authors
Mahmood Mamdani, ABK Kasozi
African Minds

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Description: Since the 1990s, internationalisation has become key for institutions wishing to secure funding for higher education and research. For the academic community, this strategic shift has had many consequences. Priorities have changed and been influenced by new ways of thinking about universities, and of measuring their impact in relation to each other and to their social goals. Debates are ongoing and hotly contested.

In this collection, a mix of renowned academics and newer voices reflect on some of the realities of international research partnerships. They both question and highlight the agency of academics, donors and research institutions in the geopolitics of knowledge and power. The contributors offer fresh insights on institutional transformation, the setting of research agendas, and access to research funding, while highlighting the dilemmas researchers face when their institutions are vulnerable to state and donor influence.

Offering a range of perspectives on why academics should collaborate and what for, this book will be useful to anyone interested in how scholars are adapting to the realities of international networking and how research institutions are finding innovative ways to make North–South partnerships and collaborations increasingly fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial.



  1. The role and impact of funding agencies on higher education andresearch for development – Göran Hydén
  2. ‘The first philosophers were astronomers’: Curiosity and innovation in higher education policy – John Higgins
  3. Research training, international collaboration, and the agencies of Ugandan scientists in Uganda – Eren Zink
  4. The status of research at three Ugandan universities – ABK Kasozi
  5. Undoing the effects of neoliberal reform: The experience of Uganda’s Makerere Institute of Social Research – Mahmood Mamdani
  6. South–North collaboration and service enhancements at Makerere and Bergen University libraries – Maria GN Musoke & Ane Landøy
  7. North–South research collaborations and their impact on capacity building: A Southern perspective – Johnson Muchunguzi Ishengoma
  8. Death on campus: Is academic freedom possible for students and academics at the University of Malawi? – Joe Mlenga
  9. The crisis of higher education in Sudan with special reference to the University of Khartoum, 1956–2014 – Fadwa Taha & Anders Bjørkelo
  10. Knowledge generation through joint research: What can North and South learn from each other? – Ishtiaq Jamil & Sk Tawfique M Haque
  11. Into the great wide open: Trends and tendencies in university collaboration for development – Jorun Nossum
  12. International co-operation and the democratisation of knowledge – Tor Halvorsen



International co-operation has ushered in a new era as vast shifts in social, political, economic and financial terrains are unfolding in the world. This book comes at an opportune time as the old paradigms, models and practices of international co-operation – ineffective, incoherent, and inequitable as they have been – are fracturing. — Damtew Teferra, Founding Director, International Network for Higher Education in Africa, and Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of African Higher Education

A timely interrogation of North–South research collaborations in a context of scarce resources, elucidating power and knowledge asymmetries while fortifying the importance of international academic co-operation. — Katri Pohjolainen, Senior Research Advisor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

The predicaments of international collaboration in knowledge production are thoughtfully confronted in this volume. As much as there are constraints, political choices also emerge as key to creating more equitable possibilities. — Suren Pillay, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape