IJAHE is a peer-reviewed journal aiming to advance knowledge, promote research, and provide a forum for policy analysis on higher education issues in the African continent.


The Globethics.net library contains articles of International Journal of African Higher Education as of vol. 1(2014) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Transnational Diaspora Engagements in HIgher Education:

    Woldegiyorgis, Ayenachew Aseffa (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    The literature on diaspora engagement in higher education focuses on broadenvironmental, policy, and institutional issues as critical determinants ofthe scope and efficiency of engagement. Using data from interviews with 16Ethiopian diaspora academics in the United States, this article undertakesa micro-examination of factors in their personal spaces and immediateenvironment that influence such engagement. Using a phenomenologicalapproach, it examines how professional, personal, familial and otherindividual attributes shape the trajectories of diaspora engagement. Itdemonstrates how nuances in personal and micro-environmental factorsshape motivation for, and sustenance of, engagement, while they maintaina complex and interdependent relationship. The article concludes byhighlighting the importance of a holistic approach to the study of diasporaengagement in higher education that pays attention to personal and microenvironmentalfactors as well as institutional, legal, and political issues. Key words: Ethiopia, Ethiopian diaspora, diaspora engagement, highereducation, transnational engagement
  • Looking Towards the Motherland:

    Gueye, Abdoulaye (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    In the past 20 or so years, the African diaspora’s engagement in universitiesin Africa has inspired numerous studies. This article contributes to thisliterature both empirically and theoretically. Questioning the nationalismparadigm, which chiefly attributes African diaspora academics’ interventionsin African higher education institutions to patriotism, it arguesthat any explanation of the privileged forms of this engagement oughtto consider two major factors. The first is that African diaspora scholarshave been socialised in a strong colonial-era ideological imperative, whichvalues engagement in Africa; their socio-professional relevance on theircontinent of origin should thus be assessed in this light. The second factoris that African diaspora academics are integrated into professional foreignacademic institutions with their own rules and high stakes. While theyare urged to serve in Africa, they are also required to excel in their localinstitution and at the global academic level. Given the time constraints thisimposes, diaspora academics’ engagement in Africa is confined to rolesthat are compatible with the expectations imposed by Western academia. Key Words: diaspora, African academics, higher education, engagement,Africa
  • The Nigerian Diaspora’s Contributions to the Development of Higher Education

    Wapmuk, Sharkdam (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    While engagement with the Nigerian diaspora has focused on attractinginvestment and remittances, recently, attention has also shifted to its contributionto the development of higher education. The descriptive andqualitative study on which this article is based drew on secondary datathat was analysed through content analysis. The findings revealed that acombination of factors motivated Nigerians, including intellectuals, toemigrate, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. This compounded existingproblems in Nigeria’s higher education sector. Since 1999, successive governmentshave engaged the diaspora in national development, includinghigher education. The study found that through the Linkages with Expertsand Academics in the Diaspora Scheme, the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme’s Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals, andthe World Bank assisted Nelson Mandela Institution, known as the AfricanUniversity of Science and Technology, as well as alumni associations inthe diaspora, Nigerian diaspora academics have been returning home totransfer knowledge in universities. Other contributions include projects,donations, and programmes. However, several challenges constrain thetapping of their full potential. The article recommends that the Nigeriangovernment should create an enabling environment, ensure clarity ofexpectations, provide adequate funding and adopt long-term approaches toengage with the Nigerian academic diaspora. Key Words: Nigerian diaspora, higher education, brain-drain, brain-gain,knowledge transfer
  • Editorial: The Role of the African Intellectual Diaspora in Advancing HIgher Education

    Teferra, Damtew (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
  • An Assessment of Ghana’s Policies and Institutional Framework to Promote State-led Academic Diaspora Engagement

    Setrana, Mary Boatemaa; Arhin-Sam, Kwaku; Mensah, Joseph; Owusu Kyei, Justice Richard Kwabena (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    Despite African governments’ increased interest in tapping the developmentpotential of their diaspora, the transfer of skills by professors andresearchers in higher education institutions abroad has received limitedattention. Known as the academic diaspora, these groups are recognised asreliable mediators for African universities in the midst of unending globalisation,transnationalism and internationalisation of higher education. Thisarticle explores Ghana’s policy environment and institutional frameworkto tap the development potential of its academic diaspora for higher education.We conclude that capacity building and the extension of rights andprivileges are important elements that need to be embraced by the governmentto motivate experienced and highly skilled academics to contribute tothe country’s higher education sector. Key words: academic diaspora, Ghana, diaspora engagement, highereducation, skills transfer, brain gain
  • Education and Migration:

    N. V. Varghese (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    The Indian diaspora consists of low- and semi-skilled migrants mainly tothe Middle-East; migration of the highly-skilled to developed countries;and cross-border students who seek employment and remain in their hostcountries. India initially viewed the migration of the best educated fromits prestigious institutions as ‘brain drain’. However, with the reverse flowof these professionals, the diaspora came to be seen as ‘brain gain’. Thehighly-skilled Indian diaspora assumed positions of responsibility in thecorporate world, in academia (including Nobel laureates), and in the politicaland social spheres in some host countries, thereby enhancing India’simage abroad. Key words: India, skilled migration, human aspirations, brain drain, braingain
  • The Multiple Waves of the African Academic Diaspora’s Engagement with African Universities

    O Oanda, Ibrahim; Obonyo, Mark M (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-05-23)
    This article analyses the various historical phases in the evolution of theAfrican academic diaspora’s engagement to support the development ofhigher education in Africa. It examines the drivers and motivation for suchengagement and its implications for higher education development onthe continent. The data were derived from a critical review of secondarysources, supplemented by primary observations by one of the authors whois engaged in a programme that supports diaspora academics to travel toAfrican universities for engagement, as part of the third wave. The analysisof the secondary material shows that while the first wave of engagement wasdriven by a strong sense of Pan-Africanism at the global level and laid thefoundation for the establishment of universities across the continent, thesecond wave became trapped in Cold War rivalries that limited engagementand drove more academics from African universities into exile, mainly inEurope and North America, thus swelling the ranks of diaspora academics.The third wave has been caught up in a similar situation. While the forcesof globalisation and internationalisation that are driving this wave ofdiaspora engagement have the potential to support African universities toachieve international standards, they can equally undermine and mute thedesire for higher education decolonisation. The article recommends thatAfrican countries and higher education institutions should play a centralrole in designing the broad policy context that drives engagement and thatthe activities undertaken by African diaspora academics should align withnational higher education priorities.
  • Students' Reflections on the Use of the Zoom Video Conferencing Technology for Online Learning at a South African University

    Mpungose, Cedric B. (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    The majority of universities in South Africa offer face-to-face lectures, resulting in the neglect of online lectures, although learning management systems (LMS) have been adopted and are capable of supporting onlinelearning (e-learning). The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) forced universities to move fully online and to adopt Video Conferencing Technologies (VCT) to supplement LMS for e-learning. However, most students confront challenges related to a digital divide, raising the question of whether universities are able to address these effectively. This study explored students’ reflections on the use of the Zoom VCT for e-learning at a SouthAfrican university. An interpretive qualitative case study was conducted, with data generated using emailed reflective activities and Zoom focus group discussions with 26 students in a curriculum studies programme.The framework of connectivism was employed and the data were thematically analysed. The study found that Internet access was a major challenge. While most students enjoyed synchronous Zoom discussions, they wereunable to use other Zoom functions for effective engagement. It is thus recommended that the university should develop an e-learning policy and provide the necessary resources and training to students in order to ensure fitness for purpose. Key words: students’ reflections, Zoom VCT, e-learning, face-to-face, curriculum, university
  • Partnership Dynamics in University-Community Engagement:

    Mutero, Innocent T. (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    Cooperation and reciprocity between university actors and community research assistants through university-community engagement has the potential to lead to knowledge creation and improved research uptake.However, there is a paucity of research on the relational dynamics and operating processes in successful partnerships between multi-disciplinary university scientists and community research assistants. This study investigated the case of the Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (Tiba) research team based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to identify the attributes associated with constructing and sustaining transformative university-community engagement through multi-disciplinary research teams. Data was collected by means of participant observation, ethnographic conversation interviews, and in-depth interviews with key participants including co- --mmunity research assistants and university-based researchers. The results show that organisational structure and qualities, academic principles and social qualities underpin the success of multi-disciplinary research teams. Based on the findings, we assert that dialogic interaction, respect, ‘demystification of science’ and knowledge plurality facilitate relationships between researchers and community research assistants that can aid in framing sustainable university-community engagement as a way to work with the community rather than ways to work for it. Key words: university-community engagement, social attributes, partnership dynamics, multi-disciplinary research, community research assistants  
  • Who Guards the Guard?

    lipumbu, Nangula (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    Meta-evaluations by Quality Assurance Agencies (QAAs) aim to evaluate the quality of the evaluators of quality assurance. While such evaluations are the norm, especially in Europe, they are rare in Africa. A critical literaturereview was conducted to ascertain whether meta-evaluations were conducted in Namibia. The study estab-        -lished that such evaluations have yet to be practiced in the country. Drawing on Clark’s model of the organisa- -tional analysis of higher education institutions and the higher education system as an analytical lens, and based on the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance and some cases of meta-evaluation byQAAs, we argue for the need to conduct such evaluations in Namibia. The article provides an overview of QAAs’ operations and functions, as well as the current external quality assurance system for higher education inNamibia and justifies the necessity of meta-evaluation in the Namibian context in order to enhance the capacity of QAAs and the quality of higher education institutions. Key words: Higher Education, meta-evaluation, Namibia, quality assurance, Quality Assurance Agencies
  • The Influence of Collective Agency on the Culture of Employee Learning:

    Mavunga, George (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    This study investigated the influence of collective agency on the culture of employee learning among administrative assistants at a comprehensive South African university. Data were gathered through semi-structured  interviews with 15 participants; the senior human resource training and development coordinator and a trade union leader. The study found that there is positive intentionality in the official domain of employee learning at the institution, resulting from the need for agents to collectively re-contextualise the knowledge constituting the employee learning curriculum. Similarly, there was evidence of the positive influence of collect- -ive agency in the administrative assistants’ responses to institutional employee learning initiatives. However, some tensions were noted between senior management’s and administrative assistants’ exercise of collective agency in the practice of employee learning. This hampered alignment between the institution’s strategic intentions and the administrative assistants’ collective employee learning goals. Based on these findings, it is recommended that efforts can be made to promote congruence between management’s exercise of collective agency in the official re-contextualisation of the employee learning curriculum and the administrative assist-      -tants’ collective responses to employee learning practices. Key words: employee learning, administrative assistants, collective agency 
  • Academic Staff Practices and Challenges of Publishing:

    Alehegn, Abatihun (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    This article reports on the findings of a study undertaken to establish practices and challenges to academic publishing at a higher education institution in Ethiopia. A descriptive survey design was employed and con- -venience and purposive sampling were used to select the sample. The data were gathered by means of a questionnaire with closed- and open-ended questions and were analysed using descriptive and thematic analysis. The results show that, despite the benefits of publishing, not all academics in the university are publishing in local and international journals due to a number of challenges. These include a lack of commitment and motivation, lack of experience and exposure to publishing, and inadequate information,knowledge and skills to access accredited journals. Academics also suffer from work overload, a lack of support from the university to publish, and challenges emanating from journals themselves. It is recommended thatthe university, the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Higher Education and other relevant stakeholders should collaborate to address this situation. Key words: academics, academic publishing, higher education institution, challenges, practices, university
  • The Validity and Reliability of Student Evaluation of Teaching at the National University of Lesotho

    Thetsane, Regina (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    Many Higher Education Institutions use the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) scale to evaluate the quality of instructors’ teaching. It includes students’ evaluation of the teacher, the teaching process, teaching approaches and the learning outcomes. Due to its reported dubious reliability and validity, and inherent bias in measuring the quality of teaching, SET remains a hotly debated and controversial instrument. This study evaluated thereliability and validity of the SET scale adopted by the National University of Lesotho. Self-administered SET questionnaires were distributed to 104 third- and fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce students to evaluate ten lecturers, resulting in 751 assessment records. The data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). While the findings suggest that the SET instrument used at the university is reasonably reliable and valid, minor concerns were raised with regard to discriminant validity, and serious concerns in relation to content validity. Based on the existing literature and the psychometric properties of this SET instrument, it is recommended that university management exercise caution in using its results to make evaluative personnel decisions such as promotions, confirmations, and dismissals. It is also recommended that the SET instrument should be revised and validated and be primarily used for formative purposes such as obtaining feedback for the development of individual instructors. Key words: formative assessment, reliability, student evaluation of teaching, summative assessment, validity
  • The Effect of Internationalising the Student Community on Graduate Students' Global Citizenship:

    Ayebare, Justine (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    This article examines the effect of internationalising the student community on graduate students’ demonstrated commitment to global citizenship at a university in Uganda. It arose from a sequential explanatory survey study. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from a sample of 180 graduate students, with the former analysed employing descriptive and inferential statistics, while the latter were analysed using thematic content analysis. The quantitative results revealed that an internationalised studentcommunity has a statistically significant positive effect on graduate students’ demonstrated global competence, but not on their demonstrated commitment to social responsibility. The qualitative findings produced similar results. They revealed that the presence of international students on campus coupled with graduate students’ participation in international activities such as conferences and inter-cultural activities promoted their commitment to global citizenship. These findings are in line with those of previous studies. We thus recommend that universities in Uganda and other developing countries in the Global South further internationalise their graduate student community as a strategy to promote their commitment to global citizenship. Key words: internationalisation, global citizenship, globalisation, higher education, student community
  • Student Loans Financing in Tanza:

    Dachi, Hillary A. (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-04-18)
    This study examined the mechanisms employed to finance student loans in Tanzania and who benefits and how. The findings show that student loans are financed by the public exchequer. The number of students fromhigh-income families accessing these loans is disproportionate to their representation in Higher Education Institutions, while the share for middle and low-income students reflects their representation. There is also animbalance between male and female beneficiaries across programmes, notably in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. It is concluded that such disparities are the result of the fact thatthe student loan scheme seeks to satisfy a number of government policy objectives in relation to higher education beyond access and equity, and that means testing is not rigorously conducted. Key words: Higher Education, higher education policy, financing higher education, higher education student loans, public subsidisation of higher education
  • Internationalisation of Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean:

    Gacel-Ávila, Jocelyne (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-11-11)
  • The Disjuncture between Private Higher Education and Internationalisation

    Tamrat, Wondwosen (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-11-11)
  • Internationalisation of Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean:

    Gacel-Ávila, Jocelyne (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-11-11)
    This article assesses the current process of internationalisation of highereducation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Based on data and findingsfrom different national, regional, and international studies, it showsthat, while the region’s primary form of internationalisation is studentmobility, the numbers are relatively small compared to other regionsand that other strategies such as internationalisation at home are largelyunderdeveloped. The article concludes that, while some progress has beenmade in past decades, the internationalisation process needs to be consolidatedand strengthened, particularly in terms of public policy at national and the regional level.
  • Editorial

    Teferra, Damtew (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-11-11)
    This special issue of the IJAHE is one of the outcomes of the Second Symposiumof the Higher Education Forum for Africa, Asia, and Latin America(HEFAALA) which took place in July 2019. One of the flagship initiativesof the International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA),HEFAALA was launched in 2016 to promote mutually constructive andproactive academic and professional engagements in higher education (HE)between and among these three world regions. It aims to foster dialogue,advance research and promote favourable policies in HE in recognition ofthe enormous common challenges as well as potential and opportunitieson the three continents.
  • The Climax of Globalisation:

    Sall, Ebrima (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-11-11)
    This article examines the contradictory trends in globalisation andtheir impact on internationalisation in higher education. It arguesthat the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, that hasposed one of the most formidable challenges to globalisation andinternationalisation, was made possible precisely because of the advancedstage of development that globalisation had reached. The lockdownsand near total restriction on international mobility, closure of schoolsand universities, and other effects and responses to the pandemicadd to the restrictions on internationalisation imposed by conservativeregimes in the North and the South. The article focuses on threeissues: i) the contradictory trends in globalisation as relevant to internationalisation;ii) Trumpism and deepening neoliberal globalisation; andiii) networks and institutions in promoting internationalisation in theGlobal South. It argues that Trumpism and Brexit involve a renegotiationof the terms of engagement and attempts to reposition and re-assert thehegemony of certain players in the global economy. The article arguesthat, although certain aspects of internationalisation in higher educationhave become more difficult to preserve, it has deepened in other ways andtaken new forms, thanks to the extensive use of new communicationsmedia and technologies. Internationalisation has not always been, andwill not always be, ‘intentional’, but it can be harnessed to being about amore equitable form of globalisation.

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