Ford Foundation Grant to UB Graduate School of Education Extends Support for International Study, Conferences

Release Date: January 17, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Ford Foundation has awarded a $130,000 grant to the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education extending support for an international conference in Africa and a study examining the worldwide shift in the burden of higher education costs from governments and taxpayers to parents and students.

UB will use the grant in conjunction with the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to organize an international conference in Dar es Salaam focusing on higher education in Africa. The conference will be held from March 24-28, with experts from around the world in attendance to address the issue of cost sharing in relation to rising tuition fees in both public and private universities.

The $130,000 grant supplements a grant of $416,000 awarded in January 2000 by the Ford Foundation to spearhead a three-year project directed by D. Bruce Johnstone, UB professor of higher and comparative education and former chancellor of the State University of New York.

"We're very pleased the Ford Foundation has chosen to extend its already generous support and commitment to the university, which will further the cause of affordable higher education around the world," said Mary Gresham, dean of the Graduate School of Education.

"In most African nations a huge demand for higher education is greatly outpacing the capacity of the tax systems to continue providing this higher education free of charge. There simply isn't the money," said Johnstone.

Johnstone directs The International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project (ICHEFAP) through the GSE's Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education.

ICHEFAP's goal is to build an international database on the costs of higher education, complete with models of tuition, student-aid and loan-policy packages, and to document emerging solutions to the access dilemma. Future plans are to establish an international network that will review and update the database, prepare papers on the pertinent topics and provide fellowships that will attract visiting scholars and graduate students to UB.

The Ford Foundation's grant to the university is part of UB's $250 million campaign, one of the largest ever conducted by a public university in New York and New England. Although it's the fifth major fund-raising campaign conducted by UB, it's the first national/international campaign, the first university-wide campaign and the first to be alumni-driven with campaign volunteer leaders from all over the country. Funds raised will be used to enrich academic programs, support students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral students and to enhance university life.

For information on how you can support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving.