| 15.08.2023

Hanken receives funding to promote knowledge on sustainable growth together with African higher education institutions

Afrikanska studenter på ett campus
Hanken School of Economics receives 192.000 euros in EU-funding to produce knowledge on sustainable growth between African and European higher education institutions.

The Hanken-led consortia COPAFEU (Co-producing Knowledge on Sustainable Growth Through Service-learning Pedagogy between African and European Higher Education Institutions) is a three- year project, which starts in January 2024. The project targets the sustainability challenges of Sub-Saharan Africa.

As outlined in the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 Opens in new window , African higher education institutions need to increasingly bring together and exploit the intersections of research, social innovation, and sustainable entrepreneurship to support sustainable, local growth and provide the skills needed for employability.

Nikodemus Solitander
Nikodemus Solitander

“There is a need for producing graduates with skills needed both for understanding and creating local, sustainable growth but also providing them with the necessary knowledge for addressing the social and environmental challenges attached to such growth”, says Nikodemus Solitander, project lead and Hanken Associate Dean of Sustainability.

COPAFEU will develop an innovative, enhanced service-learning methodology for the production and dissemination of high-quality open-access teaching material on sustainable local growth. The project wants to create a strong impact on society by promoting the education capacity of the African higher education institutions, and brings together eleven universities from Nigeria, South-Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Greece and Finland.

“Our aim is to bring out the potential for educational reforms through the professionalization of academic, and administrative staff – and, most importantly by utilizing students not as passive consumers of knowledge but as active producers of science-based knowledge. Through COPAFEU we want to impact employment in the targeted countries by better aligning the students’ skills to the local labour market and community needs as well as joint learning with community actors about new, innovative opportunities for local, sustainable growth”, Solitander explains.

The COPAFEU project is funded by the Erasmus+’s Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) action programme. The total amount of project funding is 900.000 euros.