Interwiew in University World News

Pandemic exposes need for new university funding strategy. My interview with Wagdy Sawahel for University World News Africa Edition touched on philanthropy and higher education in Africa and the potential of university foundations. As governments around the world redirect capital spending towards mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and health sector requirements, universities are bracing themselves against the financial impacts on their own operations.

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China’s big donors are pitching in to deal with the new coronavirus – and not just in their own country

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, left, is funding African entrepreneurs through his foundation.
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

by Charles Sellen, Indiana University and Fabrice Jaumont, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) – USPC for The Conversation US

Less than a month after China confirmed the emergence of what soon became the new coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba pledged US$144 million in medical supplies for Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan.

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China: Rise of a New Philanthropic Power

Jack Ma speaks at a meeting of the World Economic Forum Foundation in 2015. Jolanda Flubacher/World Economic Forum, CC BY

In response to the ongoing coronavirus emergency, on January 31, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma pledged the equivalent of US$144 million for medical supplies for Wuhan and Hubei as well as $14 million to help develop a vaccine. Just a few months ago, the former teacher had left the reins of a company of more than 100,000 employees, valued $450 billion, stating that he wanted to devote himself to philanthropy in the field of education. The emergence of the coronavirus threat showed his commitment to supporting public-health efforts as well.

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Chine : l’ascension d’une nouvelle grande puissance philanthropique

Jack Ma, l’ex-PDG d’Alibaba lors d’un concert pour marquer le 20e anniversaire du groupe à Hangzhou. L’entrepreneur charismatique se dédie désormais pleinement à des activités philanthropiques. STR / AFP

Fabrice Jaumont, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) – USPC et Charles Sellen, Indiana University pour The Conversation France

Le milliardaire Jack Ma, fondateur du site d’e-commerce Alibaba, a pris sa retraite des affaires. Cet ancien professeur laisse les rênes d’un groupe de 100 000 employés, valorisé plus de 450 milliards de dollars, et déclare vouloir se consacrer à la philanthropie dans le domaine de l’éducation où sa fondation innove.

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Philanthropy and Higher Education in Dakar

I was in Dakar for Thanksgiving and presented my books, Unequal Partners and Partenaires inégaux at the West African Research Center (WARC). I was equally pleased to visit Université Cheick Anta Diop and exchange with the administrators of Fondation UCAD as well as meet with several professors and students.

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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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