Webinar: The past and futures of the African University

26 July 2021
12:30 – 14:00 CAT

Graduate student

There is currently much debate about youth livelihoods and the shape, form and function of higher education on the African continent, with many compelling and competing views. The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), is currently undertaking a wide-ranging study entitled The Imprint of Education (TIE). The study, which is funded by the Mastercard Foundation, focusses on understanding the impact of university education on mostly first generation graduates – both their career trajectories and their contributions to family, community and society. The study comprises a number of learning activities, and this webinar forms part of the learning activity 4, that engages experienced scholars and thought leaders on the kinds of universities we need to ensure a continent able to deal with its challenges and takes its place in the world. 

This seminar offers a comprehensive overview of the state of African higher education in two parts. The first part sketches the long history of the African university from its roots in ancient Egypt to the significant contribution it has made in the last 1000 years  – from institutions that arose out of religious centres, predominantly Muslim, to institutions which emerged in the colonial and post-colonial period. This part of the seminar concludes with an analysis of the impact of structural adjustment programmes on the university system. The second part of the seminar offers a review of how institutions and systems have attempted to reform themselves after the difficult 1990s and leads into the question of the future of the African university. This view of the future is derived from considering the strategic plans of ten key institutions across the continent – to understand their contexts, missions and visions for the future.


CHAIR

  • Prof Catherine Odora Hoppers, Professor of Education, Gulu University, Uganda 

OPENING WORDS

  • Prof Sharlene Swartz, Division Executive: Inclusive Economic Development, HSRC

PRESENTERS

  • Prof Crain Soudien, Honorary Professor, Nelson Mandela University
  • Ms Tarryn de Kock, Senior Researcher: Inclusive Economic Development, HSRC

CLOSING WORDS

  • Prof Thierry Luescher, Research Director: Inclusive Economic Development, HSRC

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

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