University bids to aid developing world

Published: 29 January 2007

First Scottish Centre for International Development launched

An ambitious plan to channel the expertise of staff at the University of Glasgow into helping the developing world has been unveiled.

More than 40 academics are to pool their resources to create University of Glasgow Centre for International Development.

The first of its kind in Scotland, the Centre brings together a wide range of expertise and projects currently on-going at the University and bridges the gaps between disciplines.

The University of Glasgow already has well-established international development projects in Africa including Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Uganda.

And the Centre will identify and develop new programmes with other African countries and other continents.

The University's expertise will be pooled in the fields of human and animal health, environmental management and sustainable development, life sciences, development economics, education and life-long learning.

Professor Peter Holmes, Pro-Vice Principal and Chair of the Board of Management of the Centre, said: 'The establishment of the Centre will make a real difference in the way that the University can contribute to international development.

'By utilising the talent, expertise and experience available across the University, we will be able to provide assistance across a large and probably unique range of subject areas and geographic regions, providing enhanced opportunities for cross and interdisciplinary collaborations that address problems sustainably.

'This is not a pipe dream. The work of the Centre will build upon the long-term links that the University of Glasgow has with overseas countries, particularly those in Africa.

'The Centre will promote and strengthen interdisciplinary research and teaching in international development, within Glasgow University, within Scotland and in low income countries.

'And it will encourage partnerships to be forged between low income countries where the University of Glasgow is a common link.'

University of Glasgow principal Sir Muir Russell said: 'The Centre for International Development shows our commitment to assisting low income countries.

'Many of the academics at the University have been working in these regions for years, putting their expertise to good use.

'This Centre will build upon that work and strengthens the commitment the University has to making a difference. I am immensely proud of the establishment of the Centre for International Development.'

Scottish Executive Minister with responsibility for International Development, Patricia Ferguson, said: 'The Scottish Government encourages and supports Scots from all sectors to help the developing world by sharing knowledge and experiences which will help to tackle global inequalities.

'The establishment of this new centre, which brings together a wide range of experts across a variety of areas, is an excellent step forward.'

The Centre for International Development will also promote cultural exchange and capacity building between low income countries and Scotland through shared collaborative research programmes, the provision of joint research training workshops and short courses, and the delivery of appropriate Master's degree programmes.

The Centre for International Development will be divided into four key clusters -

Health, incorporating researchers from medicine, veterinary medicine, bio-medical sciences including infectious diseases, immunology, sports science and epidemiology.

Environmental management and infrastructure, with researchers from geographical and earth sciences, chemistry, engineering, and life sciences.

Education, lifelong learning and global citizenship, with staff involved in research and capacity building in Africa.

Economic development, enhancing expertise in the University's existing Centre for Development Studies and extending into governance and social policy.

For more information, go to University of Glasgow Centre for International Development.


Ray McHugh (

For more information, please contact the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535 or email

On-going University of Glasgow projects

Salinity intrusion in The Gambia Estuary, West Africa. Professor Alan Ervine

Development of combined hydropower and irrigation in rural Malawi - Professor Alan Ervine

The development and improved production of a diagnostic for Human African Trypanosomiasis in Angola and Uganda Professor Mike Turner

Combating drug resistance in Human African Trypanosomiasis in Angola and Uganda - Dr Mike Barrett

The University of Glasgow is a partner in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded consortium, centred at the University of North Carolina, that is currently involved in phase III trials for the introduction of the first orally available drug to treat human African trypanosomiasis ? Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Angola - Dr Mike Barrett

British Academy African Partnerships programme involving capacity building and research collaborations into non-formal education and poverty reduction with Botswana, Nigeria and Malawi ? Professor Julia Preece

Proposed project ? Edu-link partnerships network for education and sustainable development involving University of Groningen (Netherlands) and universities in Kenya, Mozambique, Lesotho, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania ? Professor Julia Preece

Environmental management and sustainable development programme, in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Malawi, and North-West University in South Africa (funded by the Scottish Executive International Development Fund)- John Briggs and Joanne Sharp

Women's literacy and handicrafts programme in Bedouin communities ? Professor John Briggs and Dr Joanne Sharp

Environment, development and sustainability in semi-arid South Africa, in collaboration with North-West University Professor John Briggs

Indigenous environmental knowledges and sustainable development in semi-arid Africa - Professor John Briggs and Dr Joanne Sharp

A systems biology approach to infectious disease transmissions ? linking individuals populations and eco systems. ? Dr Heather Ferguson

International Centre for East African Running Studies ? Dr Yannis Pitsiladis

Animal Health in the developing world/ The genetics of drug resistance in African trypanosomes ? Professor Andrew Tait

Professor Ashraf Ayoub is Secretary General of The African Association of Oral &

Maxillofacial Surgeons and runs annual courses in Egypt

Tropical medicine group in The Gambia, research collaboration with University of Buea in Cameroon, research links with the Aga Khan in Pakistan and the Children's Hospital in Lahore - Professor Laurence Weaver, Samson Gemmell Chair of Medicine

Heart of Soweto project - Professor John McMurray

First published: 29 January 2007

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