Increasing Higher Education enrolment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and implications for quality

11 October 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa is under increasing pressure to increase enrolment at higher education institutions as a result of recognition of the sector as being vital to development, rapid growth in young populations in African countries and improved access and success at school levels. But what are the implications of such pressures for quality of teaching and learning?

In a recent lecture at South Africa’s University of the Western Cape on “The Changing Higher Education Landscape in Africa: Its impact on quality”, former vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius and former secretary-general of the Association of African Universities Professor Goolam Mohamedbhai said the main driver behind the changing landscape in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa was increased tertiary student enrolment.

He added that some of the key strategies adopted by African countries to cater for the huge demand for tertiary education included increasing enrolment in existing public higher education institutions and the creation of new ones; the use of open and distance learning; facilitating the creation of local private higher education institutions (with public funding being insufficient to meet the growing pressure for access); and encouraging cross-border higher education.

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