Financing a massified African higher education: Emerging approaches and issues

E Okalany, Adipala
Increased recognition of higher education's role in Africa's economic transformation has led to massification of higher education in Africa. The immediate consequences of massification have been half-baked graduates due to reduction in practical sessions, inadequate library and laboratory facilities, and large staff to students' ratios, limited class room space and limited time for faculty to conduct research. The increasing outputs from secondary schools in Africa make it impossible to reverse
more » ... possible to reverse the massification policy but rather focus has to be on quality enhancement amidst increased enrolment and number of universities. At national and continental level, quality assurance mechanisms and institutions have been established but funds required to operationalize these strategies in universities are limited. It is therefore proposed that universities should adopt fund raising strategies that enable them function amidst declining Government funding and development partner support. Proposed is institutionalization of research consultancies for Governments and other institutions and strong marketing of university services. Intensification and institutionalization of resource mobilization for research, training and from development partners needs to be done. North-South and South-South cooperation in training and research to share and leverage existing resources among African universities will contribute to sustain the training and research functions of universities. Engagement of private sector to support research, host internships and field attachment for students, establishment of business incubation and university enterprises to generate income and engagement of Alumni are some of the approaches that African universities can employ based on the success of these approaches in developed countries. For success, joint advocacy by universities at national and continental level for increased financing and long term support is needed while at institutional level, established of designated Offices and strategies for fund raising/development programmes, international relations, university enterprises and Alumni relations should be encouraged.