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In: Regionalization of African Higher Education
In: Regionalization of African Higher Education
Chapter 1 Higher Education Partnership in Africa
In: Partnership in Higher Education
In: Regionalization of African Higher Education
In: Regionalization of African Higher Education

Abstract

Regionalisation of higher education policies has always been undertaken not only as a collective response to challenges of globalisation but also as a regional roadmap for national higher education policy initiatives. The African Union (AU) has been initiating various Pan-African higher education policies and programmes on issues related but not limited to curriculum harmonisation, academic mobility, quality assurance protocols, and centres of excellence. This has been done to make the African higher education space more relevant and competitive within the context of the globalised knowledge economy. Most of these regional higher education policies have, however, been initiated, funded, and expert-advised by external donors and regional organisations, mainly the European Union (EU). Because of its long history of integration, this experience of the EU often becomes a recurrent point of reference and is viewed as the epitome of regional integration. It is further often considered as a model to be followed by other regional groupings. This chapter critically interrogates the neocolonial entanglement in regional higher education policy processes between the EU and AU, focusing on the AU Higher Education Harmonisation Strategy. The chapter discusses the implications and challenges of excessive dependence by the AU on external actors for higher education policy; it envisages a decolonial alternative future for the regionalisation of higher education in Africa.

In: Unyoking African University Knowledge

Abstract

The relationships among higher education institutions (HEI s), states and society have always defined the nature of the transformation of higher education sectors. African higher education systems have passed through different transitions and carried out various roles since the time of their respective inceptions. Thus, it is crucial to understand their historical, socio-economic and political context to properly conceptualise HEI s’ roles and functions. Higher education interacts with an increasing number and variety of stakeholders within a constantly changing socio-economic and political landscape. The chapter provides an overview of the ongoing and changing roles and functions in African higher education in precolonial, postcolonial and contemporary contexts. It sets the scene for higher education transformation, reflecting on historical contexts, current realities and the future of African universities. The discussions in the chapter are framed by questions including: What roles and functions do African HEI s play in their respective societies? How can we design African universities that are optimally structured and calibrated within African contexts to facilitate the production of knowledge that diffuses into action for the common good? The chapter argues that African HEI s and their associated roles should be responsive to the needs, demands, capacities and aspirations of African societies. The policies of African universities need to be responsive to the changing environment and become progressive, thereby embracing innovative approaches as the hallmarks of quality.

In: Creating the New African University
Chapter 2 The Challenges of Online Learning in African Higher Education

Abstract

Critical reflection of the challenges caused by the digital divide in African higher education is needed. The chapter analyses the difficulties of access to virtual teaching and learning platforms for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Accessing information and communications technology facilities and digital platforms from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a privilege mainly accessible to those who can afford to pay for services. Thus, online teaching and learning at this crucial juncture have intensified the digital divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, exacerbating the already existing inequalities in many African higher education systems. The impact is even more severe on the higher education institutions that work with relatively poor and historically disadvantaged students. This chapter thus aims to interrogate the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on African higher education, highlighting the challenges of the digital divide and access to learning infrastructure.

In: Higher Education in the Face of a Global Pandemic
Chapter 6 Responses and Mechanisms for Mitigating the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on East African Higher Education

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a new layer of complexity and uncertainty to an already volatile and contested higher education sector in Africa that had already triggered debates on the future of higher education services. Before COVID-19, transformation-oriented initiatives had already sought to effect institutional change in many of the higher education systems in Africa. These initiatives were aided by the adoption of regulations aimed at overcoming critical challenges including access, quality, relevance and equity. They have been grounded in several policy frameworks enacted within higher education systems on the continent. This chapter is intended to reflect on higher education policy transformation and the ongoing initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts induced by COVID-19 in selected East African countries, namely Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The chapter reflects on the institutional changes and COVID-19-induced transformation initiatives in the selected countries.

In: Higher Education in the Face of a Global Pandemic
In: Regionalization of African Higher Education