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Two heads are better than one: Strengthening partnerships in research and higher education

Sharma, S., Doepel, D. and McHenry, M.P. (2014) Two heads are better than one: Strengthening partnerships in research and higher education. In: RUFORUM Fourth Biennial Conference, 19 - 25 July 2014, Maputo, Mozambique


Perhaps more than ever our survival as a species is dependent on our collective problem solving ability. Our ability to thrive requires creativity and innovation to seize some amazing opportunities. In both cases - solving problems and seizing opportunities - two heads are better than one. There is empirical data to support this. In both journals, Nature and Science, there is a positive correlation between multiple authorship (a proxy measure for collaboration) and impact of the research. If we are to truly strengthen partnerships in research and higher education it is imperative to understand what is effective collaboration and how it can be nurtured within and between institutions and to what end(s). Murdoch University, an international research university based in Western Australia, has emerged as an institution with a hub of interdisciplinary collaborative activity committed to innovation and quality higher education at a world-leading level. Our successful strategic international partnerships bring together the best minds and enable the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, information, and expertise. Through some specific examples including a work-in-progress case study on the nexus between mining and agriculture in rural and regional Africa under examination by members of Murdoch’s Africa Research Group, we will examine the ingredients necessary for producing high impact research, and how partnerships forged out of mutual respect and a genuine desire to achieve results can create a lasting legacy for communities and make a material difference in the quality of the lives of people. The lessons learned may be useful for others who desire to strengthen partnerships in research and higher education.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Conference Website:
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