ISBN 9781920355807
Pages 110
Dimensions 280mm x 210mm
Published 2011
Publisher African Minds Publishers, South Africa
Format Paperback

Universities and economic development in Africa

Pact, academic core and coordination

by Nico Cloete, Tracy Bailey, Peter Maassen

Universities and economic development in Africa: Pact, academic core and coordination draws together evidence and synthesises the findings from eight African case studies. The three key findings presented in this report are as follows: 1. There is a lack of clarity and agreement (pact) about a development model and the role of higher education in development, at both national and institutional levels. There is, however, an increasing awareness, particularly at government level, of the importance of universities in the global context of the knowledge economy. 2. Research production at the eight African universities is not strong enough to enable them to build on their traditional undergraduate teaching roles and make a sustained contribution to development via new knowledge production. A number of universities have manageable student-staff ratios and adequately qualifi ed staff, but inadequate funds for staff to engage in research. In addition, the incentive regimes do not support knowledge production. 3. In none of the countries in the sample is there a coordinated effort between government, external stakeholders and the university to systematically strengthen the contribution that the university can make to development. While at each of the universities there are exemplary development projects that connect strongly to external stakeholders and strengthen the academic core, the challenge is how to increase the number of these projects.

The project on which this report is based forms part of a larger study on Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa, undertaken by the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA). HERANA is coordinated by the Centre for Higher Education Transformation in South Africa.

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About the Authors

Nico Cloete

Nico Cloete is the director of the Centre for Higher Education Trust (CHET) in South Africa. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Oslo, and extraordinary professor in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP) at Stellenbosch University. He was general secretary of the Union of South African Democratic Staff Associations (UDUSA), and the research director of the South African National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE). Recent publications include Castells in Africa: Universities and Development.

Tracy Bailey

Tracy Bailey has been a Researcher and Project Manager for the Centre for Higher Education Transformation and HERANA since 2007. She holds a Master of Social Science degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, and is currently registered as a PhD candidate in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Stellenbosch University.

Peter Maassen

Peter Maassen is currently Professor of Higher Education and Science Policy Studies in the Department of Education at the University of Oslo, and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Stellenbosch University. Previously, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the University College Oslo (2007–2011); the Acting Director at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies at the University of Twente (1996–1999); and a visiting professor at various universities in Europe, Japan, Australia, the United States, Canada and South Africa.

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