The British Council is delighted to launch the Innovation for African Universities (IAU) project.

The IAU is  a learning and collaboration platform that brings together Universities in the UK and SSA to engage, interact and learn from one another with the aim of developing mutually beneficial partnerships that strengthen the capacity of Higher Education systems in both locations and increase their capability to participate and provide meaningful contributions as key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The project will be delivered by a centre of excellence – a partnership comprising 1 UK and 1 SSA University, that would be selected through a competitive process.

The centre of excellence partners must possess national, regional, and international experience supporting entrepreneurship ecosystem strengthening and development as well as contextual knowledge regarding the challenges of higher education and business development in SSA.

*Download a copy of the Terms of Reference below for further project details

Innovation for African Universities - CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

As part of its evolving global Higher Education programme, the British Council in Sub Saharan Africa designed the Innovation for African Universities programme, a programme that promotes collaboration between Universities in the UK and SSA (specifically Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa)  

In January 2021, we put out a call for partners to manage certain programme components and host the center of excellence. After a rigorous selection process with over 30 applications received from a cross-section of universities within the UK and SSA, we are happy to announce the selection of tripartite partners, University of Nairobi,  City University of London, and the Change School.

Over the next 18 months, we will work with these institutions to develop a network of collaborative partnerships which support an exchange of learning that fosters an increased culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities across focal programme locations.             

Stay tuned with us to receive updates on various programme and funding opportunities available over the next couple of weeks and months.

Key Project Information

Start date  - April 2021

Geographical Locations – Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, UK

Duration – 18 months

Specific Activities – the establishment of a peer learning network with equitable knowledge sharing, collaboration grants for network members, showcasing grant projects, dissemination and learning from project findings.

Centre of Excellence

The project will be delivered through an implementing centre of excellence. Joint partnerships applications must be made by a UK and SSA university (in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa) for applications to be eligible for consideration as the centre of excellence. The partners must be committed to the goals of the project and assume shared responsibility for its success.

Selection Criteria

  • Depth in expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation partnerships delivery within Universities.
  • Understanding of the needs underpinning the design of a capacity-building programme for beneficiary partners.
  • Ability to support beneficiary partners to build communities of practice with local start-up ecosystems.
  • Expertise in using technology and digital resources to deliver higher education programmes
  • Track record of working in the Green Economy and with local climate and innovation ecosystems


To apply

Complete the EOI form and submit a copy to The deadline for applications is 19 February 2021.

For detailed information on the project, refer to attached terms of reference, expression of interest (EOI)

For further enquiries and clarifications on the project, please contact