Norwegian educational programmes in development countries have positive effects for both individuals as well as for their employers. Most students get work in their own home country and do not leave their region.
This is the results from a tracer study by The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). Almost 2,000 students in 36 countries were approached, all previous students within the frame of two large Norwegian education and research programmes. Both programmes have now been concluded.
More than 90 per cent of the students included in the study had found work in their own country or region. The same proportion of respondents were in employment within one year of completing their Master's degrees.
Building capacity in the South
“The aim of the tracer study was to determine the extent the programmes had succeeded in reaching their objectives, which included building capacity in the students' home countries”, says Assistant Director Gro Tjore at SIU.
“We wanted to find out how the students made a contribution afterwards, in their own communities. It is difficult to pin down the exact point in time when an investment in an individual transforms into capacity building, but the results from the study show that this is what seems to be happening.”
Around a third of the graduates have found work in higher education, according to Senior Adviser Torill Iversen Wanvik, leading the work with the tracer study.
“We asked the graduates three key questions: Have you found employment? If so, where - both geographically and in which sector? And does the job allow you to utilise your qualifications?”
Qualitative interviews were also conducted with scholarship recipients in three countries: Tanzania, Uganda and Nepal.
“There are significant differences between Uganda and Tanzania on the one hand and Nepal on the other. Students from the two African countries said that their Master's degrees have given them both higher salaries and higher-ranking positions. Unemployment is generally higher in Nepal, and more people are employed by voluntary organisations than by the public sector", Wanvik adds.
One of the Master's degrees resulting from North-South and South-South co-operation is the Master's degree in midwifery and women's health at Makerere University in Uganda. The programme was set up in partnership with Bergen University College and three other African universities.
Rose Chalo Nabirye is head of the nursing faculty at Makerere University. She considers the Master's programme to be a form of capacity-building:
“Uganda has very few qualified midwives relative to its population. As well as setting up a Master's programme, we also exchanged specialists with our partners. We are now training teachers to help us further develop the training programme”, she explains.