News and Events: Press releases

DFID: Opportunity for higher education to tackle global poverty

UK, 16 May 2006 - The UK Government and the British Council called on higher education institutions in the UK and 25 developing counties to bid for a share of £15 million of new funding for ways to fight global poverty.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is contributing the funds over seven years to support a range of partnerships that will include Higher Education institutions in the UK and overseas. The new projects will bring together understanding and expertise across the world which will contribute to reducing poverty, promoting science and technology and help meet international targets for providing basic health and education services by 2015.

The Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DELPHE) initiative will be managed by the British Council and the Association of Commonwealth Universities will assist by promoting DELPHE through its network of universities and academics around the world.

Gareth Thomas, the International Development Minister, said:

“Universities across Africa and Asia are the engine rooms of the fight against global poverty. We are working with the British Council and UK universities to help kick start exciting new research that we hope will increase our understanding of how best to improve the lives of poor people.

“Funding education and research at every level in the developing world will help unleash the potential of hundreds of researchers over three continents and drive solutions to poverty.”

David Green, Director-General of the British Council said:

"Partnerships between the UK's higher education institutions and their counterparts in the developing world have a proven track record in undertaking imaginative research and providing capacity-building solutions in areas such as health, education and science. By managing the DELPHE on behalf of DFID, the British Council will bring the expertise of its global network to bear to ensure this new initiative will be central to enabling some of the world's poorest countries to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals."

Institutions which link up will work on initiatives for skills development, knowledge sharing, problem solving research and other activities that will contribute towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. In addition to addressing core areas such as health, education, gender equality, DELPHE will also encourage projects aiming to promote science and technology in Africa and Asia.

Partnerships supported under DELPHE will involve at least two HE institutions and there will be particular emphasis on partnerships involving different countries where appropriate. Proposals for projects will have to be led by a partner in one of the 25 bilateral focus countries. These lead partners will be responsible for managing the projects, normally over a three year period.

The selection criteria and guidelines will be posted on the British Council website by the beginning of June. Each grant will range from £15,000-£50,000 and successful applicants will be announced in September.


Notes to Editors
1. Higher Education Institutions from the following 25 developing countries are eligible to apply for funding:

Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam.

2. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

It operates in 220 towns and cities in 110 countries and territories worldwide.
Builds relationships and understanding between people in the UK and other countries and increase appreciation of the UK’s ideas and achievements overseas.
Focuses on are creativity, education and civil society.
It is a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government.
The income in 2005/06 is expected to be £501 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government is £184 million.
3. For further information please contact the DFID Public Enquiry Point on 0845 300 4100 or e-mail or visit the British Council training website on 



email icon Email this article

printer icon Printer Friendly