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Centres of Excellence

Guild of Research-Intensive European Universities

The Guild and ARUA have jointly made an urgent call for the EU budget supporting the Africa-EU Partnership to ring-fence at least €1bn per year for strengthening African research universities, working in partnership with European universities. The call further outlines concrete proposals for the measures that would bring about transformative change.

An Insight Paper published by the Guild shows that African Universities have responded far better to an expansion of student demand to the detriment of developing its research base, which could potentially diminish the quality of the education at all levels. The paper argues that more than 50% of Africa’s research capacity is in its universities and investing here is essential to the development of the African knowledge society.

In recognition of the call for African universities to deliver on the growing expectations and knowledge needs of their societies, the Guild and ARUA propose the establishment of 40 Centres of Excellence (CoE) each funded by up to €20m per year. Each CoE will address key common societal challenges in one of five areas, within the local, national and regional contexts of African partner universities. The priority areas for investment in research, innovation and higher education include:

  • Public Health
  • The Green Deal, Blue (Marine) Economy and Energy Transitions
  • Digital Transformations for a more sustainable economy and society
  • Good Governance, Peace and Security
  • Migration, Mobility, and Overcoming Discrimination

Towards the Africa-Europe Clusters of Research Excellence

Since 2018, the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities have established a close partnership, at the heart of which has been a joint appreciation that we can – and must – address global challenges affecting the African and European continents much more effectively if we develop new, long-term partnerships based on equity.

In pursuit of this, ARUA and the Guild launched twenty Africa – Europe Clusters of Research Excellence in Summer 2023. These address key societal and scientific challenges framed by the AU-EU Innovation Agenda.   The Clusters now bring together researchers from more than 160 institutions across 60 countries. More information.