01. Higher Education in Africa

N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba, Africana Studies and Research Center, conducted a study on innovations in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of a team of researchers commissioned by the Foundation Partnership for African Higher Education (Carnegie Corporation and the Ford, Rockefeller, and MacArthur Foundations). The researchers studied Francophone Africa, Anglophone West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa. The study focused on three organizational levels—system, institution, and faculty/department—and eight areas—vision/mission, finance, governance, curriculum/quality, staff development, equity, relevance, and student life. Assié-Lumumba’s specific focus was the Francophone countries where she documented 105 innovations reported by 16 universities. She found that most universities are public, complemented by a small but growing number of private/secular universities. She also discovered that most innovations concerned quality and curriculum; the formulation of strategic vision and mission; and the relevance of teaching, research, and service. Three areas that lacked innovations were access/equity; student life; and finance. This finding suggests resistance to the pressure for marketization of higher education since the universities still rely on traditional public funding.

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