Building Higher Education for Growth and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific Region
Analysis and Best Practices from the Philippines and Vietnam
This research brief profiles the USAID/Philippines Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Philippine Development (STRIDE) program and a series of three activities in Vietnam that started with the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP) and are collectively referred to as HEEAP 1.0-3.0. STRIDE and HEEAP represent two very different modes of USAID engagement in higher education, with substantially different goals. STRIDE is a cooperative agreement issued to an implementing partner in support of USAID's Partnership for Growth under a U.S.-Philippines bilateral agreement. Its purpose is to increase university research and innovation capacity in collaboration with industry. The HEEAP projects are a series of USAID Global Development Alliances initiated by a pre-existing industry-university partnership. They focus explicitly on improving the quality of the engineering workforce, rather than university research capacity.
Both STRIDE and HEEAP, however, represent distinctly American approaches to higher education. They emphasize demand-driven partnerships between higher education and industry; the self-organization of university-industry alliances based on mutual benefit; and the role of independent accreditation entities and professional organizations in higher education. These models offer tested pathways to improve the performance of local higher education systems and the capacity of government, the private sector, and civil society to work together to solve development problems--pathways that USAID prioritizes in the journey to self-reliance. They also represent clear alternatives to more centrally-planned development approaches.