Call for applications: NORHED 2016 – 2021: Education for Development

Norway invites university partnerships to submit applications for NORHED funding. The focus for this call is quality improvement for primary and lower secondary education.

As part of the Norwegian focus on Education for Development, improving quality in education is a top priority. The teacher is acknowledged as the most important factor to improve quality in teaching and learning.

Norad wants to encourage university collaboration on education and research with the aim to revitalize the learning situation for children, leading to improved teaching and learning.

This call is for applications to the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED). NORHED aims at strengthening Higher Education Institutions within key areas for development.

Thematic priorities

The focus for this call is quality improvement for primary and lower secondary education. Projects focusing on early grades of primary school will be particularly interesting. Special priority will be given to the topic of teacher education with a strong focus on pedagogy, innovative pedagogical approaches and teacher-pupil relations.

Project designs can also include one or more of the following components: teaching in the local context, curriculum development, literacy and numeracy, instructional languages, inclusive education for marginalized groups including children with disabilities, and innovation and technology in teaching and learning.

Focus on gender and education is a priority, with special emphasis on girls’ education.

Projects may also include capacity development within management and administration of the higher education institutions.

Applications must be based on needs and priorities identified by the partner institution(s), and must be linked to government policies and priorities at national and/or regional level. It is a clear intention in the short- to medium-term to achieve synergies with other Norwegian-funded programmes and initiatives.

Country priorities

The Norwegian government has identified a number of focus countries for development cooperation in general, and some for educational development cooperation in particular.

The target countries for this call are countries identified as priorities for the development cooperation within education: 

Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, Niger and South Sudan.

The projects must aim at building capacity at one or more universities in one or more of these six countries. Regional collaborations with other universities is encouraged, but the role of other participating countries should mainly be limited to developing capacity at the institution(s) in the focus countries. The role of each partner must be specified in the application, including a clear description of how each participating institution will contribute to building the institutional capacity in the focus country.

Who can apply?

The NORHED programme supports collaborative partnership projects between higher education institutions in Norway and one or more higher education institutions in the countries identified for this call.

Partnerships where universities can demonstrate collaboration with teacher training colleges or primary and secondary schools will be of particular interest. 

Eligible applicants are nationally accredited universities and university colleges. Partners from LMICs must be higher education institutions (HEI) accredited by in-country national authorities. Norwegian partners must be HEIs accredited by NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Education).

NORHED projects may consist of one or more partner institution in a priority country and one or more Norwegian partner institutions. Although regional collaboration is encouraged, this has to be balanced with due consideration to project efficiency, effective coordination and clear objectives about where institutional capacity is to be developed.

When possible, the agreement partner (the partner with legal responsibility towards Norad regarding achieving project results, submitting annual reporting and overall financial management) should be the same partner as where the capacity will be developed, but all projects must do a realistic assessment of the capacity of the agreement partner to hold such a responsibility. Another partner institution in the partnership can also be the agreement partner for the project.

How to apply

All applications for NORHED funding must use the NORHED application form and budget template on

The application with all attachments must be submitted by e-mail to

No other forms or means of submitting applications will be accepted. Incomplete applications will be rejected.


The deadline for submission of the online application is 15 February 2016, at 15.00 CET.

Applications submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

Application procedures

Applications should be submitted no later than 15 February 2016, GMT 1500 hrs.

Norad will manage the process for selection of projects to be supported by August 2016.

Norad may ask for further explanations or clarifications regarding any part of the application by the same date.

Norad aims at signing agreements and disbursing the first funds by August 2016.

Application assessment

All applications will be reviewed by an Independent Review Committee (IRC) according to pre-defined criteria, including the project’s thematic and geographic relevance, quality of education and research components, results framework, gender equality aspects, sustainability strategy and risk assessment, and synergies with programmes/projects financed by Norway. 

In addition, the applications will be reviewed by the relevant sections in Norad, and the relevant embassies in the different countries. The final decision remains with Norad.

Published 09.10.2015
Last updated 09.10.2015