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Universities and Economic Development in Africa

Pact, academic core and coordination

Nico Cloete, Tracy Bailey

Publication Year: 2011

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.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. iv-v

Tables, figures and boxes

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pp. v-vi

About this report

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pp. vii

A note about the data timeframe

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pp. viii

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pp. ix-x

During the post-independence period, every African country has struggled with the vexing issue of the role of higher education in development. While many studies on higher education in Africa deal with this problematic indirectly, very few have actually taken it on directly. ...

The project group

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pp. xi-xii

Acronyms and abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Executive summary

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pp. xv-xxvi

In recent decades the phenomena of ‘globalisation’ and the ‘knowledge economy’ have been accompanied by new challenges and increasingly important roles in development for new competencies and skills as well as for research, innovation and technological development. ...

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Chapter 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Over the past couple of decades, ‘globalisation’ and the emergence of the ‘knowledge economy’ have given rise to new economic, social, political and cultural challenges to which nations, regions and higher education systems and institutions are responding. It is widely assumed that in the context of these new challenges specific knowledge, competencies and skills ...

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Chapter 2 Universities and economic development: Evidence of a pact?

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pp. 13-22

The key actors of the pact are national, institutional and external stakeholders. It is assumed that the stronger the pact between universities, university leadership, national authorities and society at large, the better the universities will be able to make a significant, sustainable contribution to development. ...

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Chapter 3. The academic core of eight African universities

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pp. 23-36

The university’s unique contribution to development is via knowledge – transmitting knowledge to individuals who will go out into the labour market and contribute to society in a variety of ways (teaching), and producing and disseminating knowledge that can lead to innovation or be applied to the problems of society and economy (research, engagement). ...

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Chapter 4. Coordination and connectedness

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pp. 37-58

As highlighted in section 1.3, our analytical framework proposes that the following three interrelated factors need to be in place in order for universities to make a sustainable contribution to development: agreement amongst the major actors (pact) about the role of universities in development; academic core capacity in universities; ...

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Chapter 5. Conclusions and some implications

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pp. 59-67

Three years of HERANA research into the role of universities in economic development in Africa, including surveys of three successful innovation-driven OECD countries and eight African nations and universities, produced an analytical framework to explore the role of universities in (economic) development and how this role might be operationalised. ...

List of sources

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pp. 68-70

Appendix A. A higher education and development profile of the countries

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pp. 71-74

Appendix B. List of interviewees

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pp. 75-78

Appendix C. Indicators of pact, coordination and implementation

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pp. 79-80

Appendix D. Problems in collecting academic core data

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pp. 81

Appendix E. Academic core indicators and ratings

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pp. 82

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781920355838
Print-ISBN-13: 9781920355807

Page Count: 110
Publication Year: 2011