Tag: Ethiopia

Guest blogger: From Massification to Quality Assurance in Ethiopia

Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis

Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis

In this guest entry, Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis examines recent change of focus in Ethiopian higher education, where after decades of focusing on expansion, concerns of quality have become high on the agenda.

Ayenachew has studied Management and Masters of Public Administration (MPA). For over eight years he has taught at Unity University and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Currently he is a student of Masters in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MARIHE) at Danube University (Austria), University of Tampere (Finland), Beijing Normal University (China) and University of Osnabruck (Germany). 

The past fifteen years are marked by a massive expansion in the Ethiopian higher education (HE). The number of public universities increased from just two by the end of 1990s to 32 in 2013. Total enrollment has increased from 42,132 in 1996/97 to 319,217 in 2010/11 and it is targeted to reach 467,445 by 2014/15 (MOE, 2005; 2010a). Yet, as much as it is hailed for its success in the massification, the government has been equally criticized for immensely neglecting quality. Recently the government has admitted to this  problem and declared that it has redirected its attention from expansion to quality assurance.

Ethiopia’s quality endeavor is now faced with a complicated set of challenges and requires a well thought out, comprehensive strategy and strong commitment. On one hand, the issue of quality has been long neglected implying that the problem has accrued over the years and the reform effort has to begin from almost zero. On the other hand, the very nature of quality assurance in HE is complex and demands multidimensional and concurrent attention on the various determinants. The overall strategy for quality should focus on (but not be limited to) the following major and interdependent challenges, each one of which can be further analyzed in greater detail. 

Guest blogger: Resistance towards the transplantations of management routines at the Mekelle University

Nigusse Weldemariam (Mekelle University, Ethiopia)

Hedda Master programme graduate Nigusse Weldemariam writes about the difficulties of introducing new management practices and the disparities between expectations and reality when putting new instruments to practice, not least due to the resistance shown by the academic staff. This post follows up on an earlier post on about the reform agenda that introduced of these processes.

Nigusse Weldemariam completed his master studies at University of Oslo in 2009. From before, he holds a bachelor degree in pedagogical sciences from Bahirdar university in Ethiopia. Currently, he is working as a lecturer at the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences in Mekelle University in Ethiopia. The institute provides pedagogical training to prospective high school teachers, university instructors and school principals.

Equating the universities with business corporate companies is becoming an emerging experience. That is, despite that universities are different from business corporate companies; there are experiences of transplanting the management principles of the business corporate companies to higher education institutions.

Mekelle University is amongst Ethiopian public universities that have reformed its management practices using the tools which were originally developed in the business corporate business companies. These tools include the BPR (Business Processes reengineering) and BSC (Balanced Score Card).

BPR is “a fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvement in critical contemporary measure of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed (Hammer & Champy, 1993, p. 32). The BSC is a management tool used to communicate, implement and describe organization’s strategy (Kaplan, 2010, p. 3). Both  tools have been developed in the business corporate companies in the 1980s. Therefore, the application of the tools in the university setting, which is different from the business corporate companies, scratches some theoretical and practical questions. Thus, one of the aims of the present post is to highlight these questions by reflecting on the experiences of the Mekelle University.