More information about NORHED



The Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) is Norway’s flagship programme on higher education and research. Higher education and research are priority areas of Norway’s development cooperation policy, and Higher Education Institutions play a vital role in ensuring evidence-based policies and practices, which are fundamental to the structural transformation required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The NORHED II programme

NORHED aims at strengthening the capacity of higher education institutions in Least Developed Countries and Lower Middle-Income Countries to produce higher-quality graduates, more and higher-quality research, and a more inclusive higher education[1].

The first phase of the programme was NORHED I, 2013-2020, which included 50 projects in 26 developing countries, involving 60 universities in collaboration with 13 academic institutions in Norway. NORHED II builds on this first phase, considering recommendations from the external mid-term review of the programme, feedback from partner institutions, and a broad domestic and international consultative process. Also integrated into NORHED II is the EnPe programme (Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development within the fields of Energy and Petroleum) as part of the sub-programme on energy. EnPe was funded by Norad and managed by NTNU in two phases, and included 10 projects in 9 developing countries in phase II from 2013-2020[2].

Through NORHED, Norad supports university partnerships for North-South-South academic collaboration, with four cross-cutting issues that are mandatory for all Norwegian development cooperation:

  1. Human rights, with particular focus on participation, accountability and non-discrimination
  2. Women’s rights and gender equality
  3. Climate change and the environment
  4. Anti-corruption

Intended impacts of NORHED

  1. Better qualified workforce
  2. Applied sustainable solutions and practices
  3. Evidence-based policies
  4. Enhanced gender equality and inclusion

To ensure a holistic approach to capacity development of higher education institutions, the intended capacity development outcomes are spread across six interrelated and interdependent key components.

  • Programmes and methods: Strengthened quality and relevance of education and research programmes and methods
  • Systems: Strengthened education and research systems
  • People: Increased capacity and competence of staff and students
  • Gender and equity: Improved gender equality and inclusion of marginalised groups in education and research
  • Infrastructure: Improved institutional small-scale infrastructure and equipment for education and research
  • Outreach: Increased engagement with relevant stakeholders, and dissemination of knowledge.

Norad has awarded funding to total 60 projects under NORHED II at the National level. Of these 13 have received funding at NTNU.

NTNU's International Action Plan 2018–2021

NTNU has a long tradition of working with low- and middle-income countries. This includes education, research, innovation and capacity building, and contributes to academic knowledge, mutual creation of value and creating awareness of a shared need to address global challenges.

According to the NTNUs International Action Plan 2018–2021, NTNU wants to strengthen its institutional foundation for collaboration with institutions in low- and middle-income countries to increase relevance and interdisciplinarity. Collaboration underscores NTNU’s ambitions for knowledge for a better world and contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Agreeements and contact

An Agreement will be signed at the institutional level between the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and NTNU.

Contact persons: The NTNU Office of International Relations is responsible for coordinating the administration of NORHED II projects at NTNU including reporting, disbursements of funds and other strategic issues under NORHED II objectives. A team consisting of 2 persons at Office of International Relations will coordinate the administration of all the projects at NTNU.

[1] Norad, 2020. NORHED II 2021-2026. Available at: NORHED ll (

[2] Norad, 2020. NORHED II Programme Document. [pdf] Available at : NORHED ll (