James R. Ochwa-Echel – Neoliberalism and University Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

No comments yet

university-thSage Publications. September 2013. This article reviews the history of university development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and discusses the impact of neoliberal policies. This will be followed by an examination of the problems facing universities in the region. The following questions will be explored: (a) Are the existing universities in SSA serving the development needs of the region? (b) Are these universities up to the task of moving SSA out of the predicaments it faces such as famine, HIV/AIDS, poverty, diseases, debt, and human rights abuses? Finally, the article argues that for universities to play a role in the development of the region, a new paradigm that makes university education a public good should be established.

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continue to struggle economically since the massive decline of the 1980s. For instance, according to Gilbert (2004), 315 million people in SSA lived on a dollar a day in 1999. In addition, the World Bank (2011) indicates that SSA had an external debt of US$195,999 million in 2008. In the quest to resolve the crisis, governments in the region sought financial assistance from developed nations and international financial institutions, principally the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. As part of the conditions for borrowing money, the financial institutions laid out a set of policies (“structural adjustments”) that the governments had to follow. The policies were based on neoliberal principles, which call for state withdrawal from administering public resources to promote social justice and replacing it with market-based solutions (Apple, 2000).

This phenomenon will be discussed in detail below. In the area of education, it sought cost sharing in university education, private provision of schooling at all levels, and diversification of funding to primary education. Due to these neoliberal policies, university education in the region has faced and continues to face major challenges (Lulat, 2005).

First, I will review the history of university education and its overall evolution and discuss the impact of neoliberal policies. This will be followed by an examination of the problems facing universities in the region. The following questions will be explored:

  • Research Question 1: Are the existing universities in SSA serving the development needs of the region?

  • Research Question 2: Are these universities up to the task of moving SSA out of the predicaments it faces such as famine, HIV/AIDS, poverty, diseases, debt, and human rights abuses?

Finally, I argue that for universities to play a role in the development of the region, a new paradigm, which makes university education a public good, should be constituted.

Read more: http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/3/3/2158244013504933

image_pdfimage_print
Bookmark and Share

Comments

Leave a Reply





What is 17 + 16 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)



Ads by Google

  • About

    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
  • Support

    Rozenberg Quarterly does not receive subsidies or grants of any kind, which is why your financial support in maintaining, expanding and keeping the site running is always welcome. You may donate any amount you wish and all donations go toward maintaining and expanding this website.

    10 euro donation:

    20 euro donation:

    Or donate any amount you like:

    Or:
    ABN AMRO Bank
    Rozenberg Publishers
    IBAN NL65 ABNA 0566 4783 23
    BIC ABNANL2A
    reference: Rozenberg Quarterly

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please see our About page or contact us: info@rozenbergquarterly.com
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Follow us on Twitter


  • Ads by Google
  • Recent Articles

  • Rozenberg Quarterly Archives