Tag: African HE

On the move towards research-led universities – Meeting of the HERANA project discusses institutional change in African flagship universities

This guest entry is written by Jens Jungblut and summarises some of the key activities at a recent HERANA workshop in Cape Town. Jens is currently a post-doctoral researcher at INCHER, University of Kassel. 

From November 20 until November 24 the Center for Higher Education Trust (CHET) organized a workshop in the context of the HERANA research project in Cape Town. During this meeting representatives of seven flagship universities from different Sub-Saharan African countries discussed together with a group of international experts the institutional developments of the different universities on their road to becoming research-led universities.

HERANA workshop participants

The workshop started out with a presentation of the activities of CHET by its director Nico Cloete, which was followed by a short lecture from Peter Maassen, professor of higher education at the Department of Education at the University of Oslo, who presented findings from a research project that investigated the characteristics of research flagship universities in Europe highlighting commonalities but also differences between several successful institutions. Afterwards, Åse Gornitzka, professor of political science at the University of Oslo, discussed organizational change processes in higher education with an emphasis on explanations from organizational theories why change processes can be slow, unpredictable and sometimes even fail. Professor Leo Goedegebuure, director at the LH Martin Institute in Melbourne, presented to the participants recent developments in higher education in South-East Asia and offered some conclusions on institutional factors that allowed some universities in Asia to strengthen their research function and catch up with global developments. His presentation was followed by a reflection from Fred Hayward on his work during the last years for USAID supporting the reform of higher education in Afghanistan in which he also highlighted some common challenges between Africa and Afghanistan.

Call for papers: Higher education partnership trends and policy issues between African and European higher education institutions

bigsasThe Workgroup “Higher Education and Society in Africa” is organising a conference at Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth on 3–4 November 2016. The conference is themed: “Higher Education Partnership Trends and Policy Issues between African and European Higher Education Institutions

Trends in institutional partnership in higher education have shown tremendous growth in the past three decades. The conference aims to stimulate academic discussion on trends and key issues in higher education cooperation between European and African universities pointing to pressing important policy and practical issues. Are there patterns of higher education partnership among African and European universities and how do such patterns evolve overtime? What are the current debates on internationalization strategies between Africa and Europe and the circulation of knowledge in individual and institutional partnerships between the continents? Which insights can be drawn from various case studies of higher education partnerships schemes? Read more about the conference theme here (pdf)

The conference is organised around five themes: 

  • Trends in higher education partnership between African and European universities
  • Policy and practical issues on joint programs, student and staff mobility and research collaboration among African and European universities
  • Strategies in higher education partnership and internationalization
  • Case studies on higher education collaboration among African and European universities
  • Practical challenges and opportunities in higher education collaboration among African and European universities – student mobility, join programs, harmonization strategies etc.

Abstracts deadline: 10th of June 2016. 

Read more about how to submit your abstract and the guideliens here. 

Tuning project in Africa

tuning africaTuning Africa

Tuning Africa was launched as a cooperation project between the EU and African Union. Following the 2007 Joint Strategy, a process was initiated to create more compatible structures and systems of higher education across the African continent.

Phase I had its aims to create a “collaborative, consultative process involving academics working in subject groups with employers and other stakeholders in curriculum development to enhance student competences”. The first phase period was 18 months, and 5 subject areas were in focus.The project has now entered Phase II where additional subject area will be examined, among others also higher education management. In October 2015, the first general meeting as held, collecting participants from over 100 universities in 42 African countries.

The “Tuning” methodology originates from Europe, and was initiated in 2000 as a process to follow up the objectives of the Bologna Process and Lisbon Strategy. The aim is to create cross-national points of reference and common understanding in specific subject area levels.

Developing a post-graduate programme in Higher Education Management

As part of the Tuning and Harmonization of HE Initiative supported by the African Union and European Commission there is a process to develop a Post-Graduate Programme in Higher Education Management. The developers are kindly inviting friends and colleagues in this forum to participate in a survey that involves students, academics, employers and graduates interested/concerned in HE to provide their opinions on the proposed generic and specific competencies for the Programme.

If you wish to contribute to the development of the programme, view the survey here. The survey takes approximately 20 mins. 

Book review: Higher Education in Africa: Crises, Reforms and Transformation

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu (University of Ljubljana)

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu
(University of Ljubljana)

This book review is written by Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu, a Hedda master graduate who is currently undertaking his doctoral studies at the Center for Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) at University of Ljubljana as a part of the UNIKE project. Earlier, he has studied history at Addis Abbaba University, and obtained a MA degree in general education at Umea University in Sweden. His PhD project is titled: ‘’A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Impacts of Internationalization of Higher Education on the Academic life in the Centers and Peripheries’. 

In this review, he reviews the book by N’dri T. Assié-Lumumba, titled “Higher Education in Africa: Crises, Reforms and Transformation” (2005). arton962-9f7bc

Significance and organization of the book

This book is imperative for the fact that it deals with the complexities of higher education in the region of Africa. It convenes and confers the historical background of higher learning, the complex problems, their causes, and possible solutions for the African higher education. Chapter one  discusses the origin and mission of African universities, chapter two deals with cultural colonialism and its cultural effects, chapter three explains the crisis of higher education, the consequences of crisis and the need for change, chapter four clarifies the waves of reforms and recent innovation, chapter five is about new challenges with in the global and local objective conditions, and the last chapter elucidates the need for structural changes, transformation, and localisation of higher education. Methodologically, the book is developed on the review of related literature purposely African related.

This book tries to examine the historical development of indigenous higher education in Africa. N’dri T. Assie-Lumumba  describes how this indigenous academic institution had been interrupted and replaced by the colonial higher education systems and institutions. The author critically explains the complexity, diversity, and multi-dimensionality of the African higher education/university crises and its socio-economic, political, and cultural implications, and the need for a positive and constructive reform towards the indigenization and transformation of the higher education institutions in Africa.

Hedda podcast: Doctoral education in Africa and the challenges for scientific growth in the Region

moutonEpisode 46 of our podcast series features Johann Mouton (CREST, Stellenbosch University). In the podcast he talks about doctoral production in Africa and the challenges for the scientific growth of the region, including the role of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology and opportunities for PHD positions in Higher Education in South Africa.


Listen without the Flashplayer

Johann Mouton is Professor in and Director of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University and the African Doctoral Academy. He is also the Programme Director of five post-graduate programmes in Monitoring and Evaluation Studies and Science and Technology Studies. He is on the editorial board of 6 international journals including the International Journal of Research Methodology, the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Science and Public Policy, Science, Technology and Society and Minerva. He received two prizes from the Academy for Science and Arts in South Africa including one for his contribution to the promotion of research methodology in South Africa. In 2012 he was elected to the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa. His main research interests are the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences, higher education knowledge production, sociology of science, scientometrics and science policy studies