USAID Investment Establishes a New Higher Education Learning Network
USAID is making a new investment in higher education with the creation of the USAID Higher Education Learning Network (HELN). This network will bring together donors, practitioners, government officials, academics, researchers, students, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders to uncover and improve the ways higher education is uniquely positioned to support sustainable development across sectors. HELN has already begun hosting a series of events to connect network members, disseminate knowledge and tools, and develop new evidence for what works in higher education.
“The Higher Education Learning Network is an opportunity for USAID and its partners to harness a vast network of expertise to understand the scope of higher education and its impact,” says Dr. Samantha Alvis, Senior Advisor for Higher Education at USAID. “USAID’s commitment to learning from the community through the HELN is one way in which we are demonstrating that higher education programming is critical to meet development objectives.”
HELN will officially launch at the USAID Higher Education Global Evidence Summit to be held over three weeks in May 2022. The Summit weaves together three interconnected themes—innovation, employability, and private sector engagement—to uncover evidence and best practices from around the world. In addition to hosting the Summit, which will bring together hundreds of participants in more than 80 keynote sessions, break out sessions, lightning talks, and poster sessions, HELN will host a series of convenings on these and other topics over the next year to localize learning and knowledge.
“I am excited to bring together this diverse community of scholars, practitioners, and other higher education stakeholders in a new global forum where members can share their expertise with each other and USAID in new ways.” says Jennifer Lebrón, Network Leader for HELN. “My goal is to create a platform for new perspectives that can positively impact USAID policies and practices.”
Membership to HELN is open to anyone interested in learning more about or working with USAID to understand how higher education can support a wide range of development objectives within and beyond the education sector. HELN members come from a variety of backgrounds including agriculture, science, health, teacher education, and workforce development, and from a variety of organizations such as universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions (TVETs), national and international civil society organizations, private sector actors, and NGOs. Individuals who are interested in joining the Higher Education Learning Network can sign up to find out about upcoming events, professional development opportunities, and ways you can co-create knowledge and learning products for the global community.
Part of the USAID Leading Through Learning Global Platform, HELN contributes to a global education learning system for USAID, its partners, and the wider community to enhance thought leadership and program quality.