The Influence of American Foundations on Universities in Africa. Towards an Anglicized World?

In the context of higher education, the primary language of instruction—the language that is used in class and to conduct research—is an important but complex factor. In many countries, the language of instruction varies between the primary, secondary, and university levels. Unsurprisingly, American foundations investing in higher education on the African continent target institutions where English is the primary language of instruction. English is the primary language of instruction at more than 90% of the institutions of higher education that have received grants from American foundations; the equivalent figures for French and for Arabic are 4% and 3%, respectively. I was thrilled to present on this issue during the Comparative and International Education Society’s annual conference in San Francisco in a panel chaired by legendary scholar, Robert Arnove.

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The Evolution of Education Financing in Africa

On April 9, I took part in a panel discussion on the evolution of education financing in Africa at Teachers College, Columbia University. The conference, which was organized by The Center for African Education, in collaboration with NORRAG, Tri-State Area Africa Funders, and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, explored how new funding mechanisms and philanthropy can compensate for funding gaps and support most vulnerable students in equitable ways.

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[FR] Antoine Vaccaro parle de philanthropie et de mon livre “Partenaires inégaux”

Antoine Vaccaro (credit FMSH)

Antoine Vaccaro est un spécialiste français de la levée de fonds et de la philanthropie. Il est également le président du CerPhi, le premier institut d’étude et de recherche français dédié à l’étude de la philanthropie, et de Faircom, un groupe international d’agences spécialisées dans la levée de fonds au service de plus de 100 organisations caritatives.

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Arts Education and the Sun Future Foundation

credit: Sun Future Foundation

As a former school director and education researcher I often think about what we need to teach our children. To me, the 4 C’s that are Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity are essential skills to equip our children with for today’s and even tomorrow’s world too. But we need to go even further than that by teaching our children a fifth C: Compassion.

This point culminated during my recent visit to China to an art education project in a school for migrant workers’ children in one of Beijing’s outer rings, Beijing Shijingshan Cement Factory Elementary School, through a program called “Enlightenment of Love.” The project received support from Sun Future Art Education Foundation which bases itself on the belief that “Art Education Makes Good People,” and aims to help children grow both heart and mind. I was impressed by the teachers’ focus on exploration and innovation through aesthetics and photography, particularly as a way to build identity and encourage love and compassion among their students who predominantly came from disadvantaged families.

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China Global Philanthropy Institute in Beijing

During my visit to Beijing for Philanthropy in Childhood Education in China: Trends and Perspectives conference, I was thrilled to learn more about China Global Philanthropy Institute (CGPI), a think-tank established three years ago to provide information on China’s rapidly expanding philanthropic sector and training programs for foundation executives as well knowledge exchange, reporting and monitoring on the sector which currently totals 7,000 foundations.

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Laoniu Children’s Discovery Museum in Beijing

During my trip to China I was offered the opportunity to visit Beijing’s Children Discovery Museum, a 0-to-7-year-old early childhood education project jointly developed by Lao Niu Brother & Sister Foundation together with China National Children’s Center, China Philanthropy Research Institute, and Beijing Normal University. By creating this museum in Beijing, and a similar one in Inner Mongolia, Lao Niu Foundation sought to introduce innovative and interactive exploration to Chinese children, through advanced design concepts and practice models commonly found in children’s museums in the United States and Europe, while combining Chinese traditional culture in the model. Since opening on June 1, 2005, Lao Niu Children’s Discover Museum is the first large-scale children’s museum in Beijing.

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