The multi-million pound educational and research initiative will promote co-operation with Middle East/ North Africa universities.
The University of Huddersfield Business School has been awarded a key role in a £4.5 million EU-funded project to provide educational and research opportunities to researchers and students from five Middle Eastern and North African universities.
The aim is to boost their economic prospects and their links with Western Europe.
The project will enable the University of Huddersfield to partner some of the leading universities in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
The University Network for Business and Administration (UNetBA) will facilitate the mobility of 234 nationals from Maghreb countries – the region of western North Africa – to five EU universities and 20 European post-doctorates and staff to Middle Eastern universities. Each of the 13 Maghreb partner-universities will send undergraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students and staff members – academic and administrative – to EU partner-universities. This mobility will have significant impact on capacity building in the Maghreb partner universities.
In the first year of the programme, there are 11 visitors – 10 from Egypt – from the universities of Alexandria and Cairo – and one from Libya.
Sole UK representative
“The Business School’s membership of this international project is a reflection of our experience of this type of project and the esteem in which we are held,” said the University of Huddersfield’s project co-ordinator, Professor John Anchor.
“UNetBA is being run by a consortium of five universities, two in Spain and one each in Portugal and France with the University of Huddersfield as the sole UK representative. Funding comes from the EU’s Erasmus Mundus programme, which aims to promote dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through mobility and academic co-operation,” he added.
Professor Anchor’s involvement was sought because of his expertise in emerging markets – he is director of a research group in the Business School which specialises in the subject.
“UNetBA is a product of the EU’s ambitions to influence and provide support to emerging countries in strategically important areas such as the Middle East and North Africa”, said Professor Anchor, who is already leading an Erasmus Mundus project with five Central Asian countries.
“Through the transfer of these Maghreb nationals we hope to influence future opinion formers in those countries, improve their human capital and therefore their competitiveness. They will have a better trained workforce and it is in our interests if these countries are performing better from an economic point of view. The programme will also allow one or two Huddersfield colleagues to spend time in the Middle East North Africa universities,” he added.