The Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Asia and Africa (SUEUAA) project is funded by the British Academy under the Cities and Infrastructure programme of its Global Challenges Research Fund.  The project, led by the University of Glasgow, includes six international partners from Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The project addresses a core problem in emerging economies of strengthening the urban engagement role of universities, and ways they contribute to developing sustainable cities in the context of the major social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges facing the global south. It uses a set of well-proven benchmarking tools as its principal method, and seeks to strengthen the capacity of universities to contribute to city resilience towards natural and human-made disasters. Examples of urban engagement include supporting the development of physical infrastructure, ecological sustainability, and social inclusion (including of migrants). It calls upon contributions from science and engineering, the arts, environmental sciences, social sciences and business studies. It assesses the extent to which universities in 6 countries under study can respond to demands of society, and how through dialogue with city stakeholders this can be enhanced and impact on policy; it uses a collaborative team from the UK and emerging economies.

SUEUAA Project Blog

This is the eighth case study from SUEUAA (Strengthening Urban Engagement in Universities in Asia and Africa), written by Dr Naudé Malan and Professor Elana Swanepoel, both of the University of Johannesburg. The project is interested in how Universities in the Global South can contribute to solving geographical, economic and social issues in their cities. The project is looking at six cities in six different countries: Harare (Zimbabwe), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Johannesburg (South Africa), Manilla (Philippines), Duhok (Iraq), and Sanandaj (Iran).

Our thematic paper series is currently undergoing a small facelift to ensure it meets the requirements of the British Library. Over the next few weeks, our thematic papers on policy, migration, environment, economy, and gender will receive ISSN numbers to enable them to be stored in the British Library. This will ensure a wider audience can access and reference the work conducted as part of this study. 

In this interim time, the PDFs of thematic papers will be unavailable while we update files to the new format.


This is the fifth blog in our series summarising the experience of the SUEUAA team in Manila, the Philippines.

During our time in Manila, we were given the opportunity to see some of the city to further our understanding  of some of the issues facing one of SUEUAA’s case study locations, including informal settlements and traffic congestion which were cited in many of the presentations given during the SUEUAA symposium.  We also saw some of Manila’s many baranguays, and witnessed the informal economy of street, or roadside, vendors.

One of the key elements of the Manila meeting was the knowledge exchange capacity of the meeting- particularly for the SUEUAA partners to highlight and discuss the issues facing their city, and also how their University is engaged in the Third Mission to seek to create solutions to these global challenges.