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3.7. The Higher Education Industry and Citizen Responses in Africa

In the next lecture of the FIW series ›Perspektiven der Moderne‹, Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, University of Ghana, is going to present emerging new ideas in African higher education sectors.

3.7. The Higher Education Industry and Citizen Responses in Africa

The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century

We would like to cordially invite you to the next lecture in our series on ›The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century‹, organized by the FIW Department of Science Studies. The lecture series aims to start a discussion about the diversity of universities in the world society in the 21st century beyond the international rankings.

The next lecture, on July 3rd, will focus on the African higher education industry: Prof. Akosua Adomako AmpofoInstitute of African Studies, University of Ghana, is going to talk about The Higher Education Industry and Citizen Responses in Africa.


The lecture will take place on June 12 at 6 p.m., at Bonner Universitätsforum (Heussallee 18-24), room 0.109.


Abstract: Over the last few decades there has almost been an explosion of debates and counter debates about Africa in relation to “development” as well as knowledge production in both the popular and academic press, as well as social media. Different protagonists are engaged in diagnosing, interpreting, re-claiming, and sometimes re-writing the African higher education story. For example, The Economistdeclared Africa the Hopeless continent in 2000 and by 2011 had discovered that there was hope and Africa was Rising. These were not innocent declarations and had a direct impact on the conceptualization of, and support for higher education via institutions such as the world bank and other northern governments and organizations who provide “budgetary support” to African governments and organizations.  At the same time, contemporary players (often youth) are providing some of the ingredients of higher education via alternative means, and not infrequently outside the academy.  Within this industry, as I refer to it, the perspectives of Africans working on the continent as well as in the diaspora frequently collide with the perspectives of so-called “international” (gate-keeping) standards and what is privileged in the global higher education ecosystem.  Efforts to centre African experiences and realities in the conceptualization, design, delivery and management of the higher education knowledge project is undergoing new actors and strategies.  In this paper I will map some of the trajectories of this process in the African higher education sector, including emerging responses that provide alternatives to the traditional (Euro-centred) model. In this broad overview, the paper seeks to pay particular attention to issues such as academic freedom; curriculum development and teaching; tenure; research and publication; and internationalization. 




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