In a world characterized by globalization processes, nations need their own higher education systems more than ever, yet international co-operation is the key to survival in the 21st century. To be effectively cosmopolitan however, both individuals and nations need a strong identity, an understanding that new developments are often both an opportunity and a threat, as well as the intellectual stamina to make sound judgements and well-founded distinctions between opportunities and threats. A sustainable higher education structure is therefore indispensible if a nation is to take advantage of the possibilities the world offers, and if it wants to participate meaningfully in the global concert. Despite the enormous growth - both quantitatively and qualitatively - of higher education in the South, research is still almost a monopoly of the North. Only 1% of scientific research is done outside the traditional industrialized countries in the northern hemisphere. One way to fill that gap is to promote international co-operation between Northern and Southern institutes of higher education aimed at supporting counterparts in the developing nations. Is this method effective? Does it work? Does it lead to enough momentum in the South for universities to be able to develop independently without outside support? In this publication Ad Boeren sums up the practical experience of Southern institutes of higher education which have set up co-operation programmes with counterparts in the Netherlands. The author identifies the conditions for success, the constraints, the opportunities and the threats. His analysis is a useful tool for anyone interested in the development of higher education: teachingstaff, managers, and policy makers, within both institutes of higher education and government.