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

  • Experiences of Student Affairs Professionals in Facilitating Co-Curricular Leadership Development Programmes in South African Universities

    Xaba, Gugulethu (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    Despite the important role that student affairs practitioners play in supportinguniversities to produce well-rounded graduates, few studies have beenconducted on their lived experiences. This article examines the challengesconfronted by these professionals in interacting with student leadersand facilitating leadership programmes in South African universities. Aqualitative methodology was adopted and semi-structured interviews wereconducted with 20 student affairs practitioners responsible for facilitatingstudent leadership development programmes. A focus group discussionwas also held with six student affairs experts. The findings point to a lackof seamlessness in the structure, staffing, and operation of these programmes,as well as a lack of university support to professionalise student affairs.Furthermore, student leadership development programmes werefound to lack proper theoretical grounding. Key words: Student leadership development programmes, students,student affairs professionals
  • The Impact of Tertiary Students' Entry Characteristics and their Academic Performance

    Afua Nkrumah, Maame (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    This article examines the effect of tertiary students’ entry characteristicson academic performance using the ‘value added’ approach and METPolytechnic, Ghana as a case study. The input-process–output-contextframework presented in the Global Monitoring Report (2005) by Scheerenswas used to select appropriate variables for the study. The studyfocused on three generic courses - African Studies, Communicative Skills,and Computer Literacy. Data from different sources, including secondarydata and administrative records from the Polytechnic were analysed usingmultilevel analysis. The overall effect of the selected variables was mixedand outcomes specific. For example, English language impacted positivelyon African Studies but negatively on second-semester Computer Literacy,while age and gender had a negative effect on first-semester ComputerLiteracy. Although the findings may not directly benefit analogous institutions,several lessons, including the need to create appropriate institutionaldatasets for future comparisons across institutions can be learnt. Key words: Age, gender, department context, previous achievement, SES,‘value added’.
  • Social Innovation in the Academic Curricula of Chemical Science Degrees in South Africa

    Mohlala, Pheladi Junior; Msimango-Galawe, Jabulile (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    Social innovation is growing internationally and is a focus area for sub-Saharan Africa. While studies have been conducted on the factors thatcontribute to the failure to incorporate social innovation in academic curricula,there is a paucity of such research in the South African context, especially inrelation to university curricula. This qualitative study explored chemicalscientists’ perceptions on the interventions required to introduce socialinnovation to the academic curricula of the chemical science degree inSouth African universities. Semi-structured interviews were conductedwith 14 chemical scientists and the data was analysed using thematicanalysis. The key findings included the overall lack of awareness andunderstanding of social innovation and the social challenges confrontingSouth Africa. These factors hamper the development of sustainableacademic curricula, effective community engagement and societal change.Furthermore, academic institutions’ reluctance to embrace change is causefor concern. Key words: Social innovation, chemical sciences, academic curriculum,South African universities
  • COVID-19’s Impact on the Student Learning Process in Rwandan Higher Education Institutions

    Twesige, Daniel; Gasheja, Faustin; Isae Misago, Kadhafi; Muvunyi, Eugen (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    The coronavirus pandemic has not only challenged health systems, buthas also had a significant impact on education systems across the globe.This study analysed COVID-19’s impact on the student learning processin Higher Education Institutions in Rwanda. A quantitative research designwas adopted and pragmatism was selected as the research philosophy.Primary data was collected from 1 170 students in 30 institutions using aclosed-ended questionnaire. The data was analysed using descriptive andinferential statistical tools. The results indicate that the pandemic has led tochanges in the academic calendar, suspension of examinations, and final yearstudents being unable to conduct research and serve internships. Ithas also affected the quality of learning and learning from peers due tosocial distancing. Students in rural areas and those from vulnerable familieshave been worst affected. Key words: COVID-19, learning, higher education institutions, onlinelearning, students
  • The Methodological Consistency of Master’s of Education Dissertations at Eduardo Mondlane University (2013 - 2018)

    Zimbico, Octavio; Manuel, Arsenia (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    This study examined the methodological consistency of Master of Educationdissertations defended at Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU) from 2013 to2018 using the typology of educational research proposed by Postlethwaite(2005), Norman et al. (2002), and Creswell (2012). The qualitative, comparativestudy employed a grounded theory design. Data were gathered from apurposive sample of 33 dissertations, available on the university’s OpenInstitutional Repository. Coding and anonymous analysis were performedof the dissertations’ title, research methodology, and findings. The findingsreveal that a large number of these dissertations are not methodologicallyconsistent and thus do not lay the foundation for further research and otherinterventions for school improvement. They thus point to the need to improve the quality of supervision and research in postgraduate studies in Education at EMU.Key words: EMU, Master’s dissertations, educational research, methodologicalconsistency, supervision
  • Is Transition from Secondary to Tertiary Education Less Likely among Black South Africans than their Non-Black Counterparts in the Democratic Dispensation?

    Sewdass, Nisha; O. Udjo, Eric (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    Education provides the building blocks for skills development for acountry’s labour market. Investment in education is hence an importantdeterminant of economic growth and has been associated with various economicbenefits. However, non-transition to tertiary education is a common phenomenon.This study examined the probability of a specified age cohort transiting to tertiaryeducation in South Africa and compared Black South Africans with otherpopulation groups considering environmental and individual factors. Usingcross-sectional data from the 2016 South African Community Survey, the studyrevealed that the difference in the probability of transition to tertiary educationbetween Whites and Blacks was not statistically significant. The findings will beuseful to policymakers in formulating strategies to improve the quality of thelabour market, and thus South Africa’s economic competitiveness.Key words: Transition to tertiary education, South African education system,apartheid education, post-apartheid education, economic development
  • Continuous Workplace-based Assessment as an Indication of Clinical Competence in Paediatric Dentistry

    Mohamed, Nadia; Smit, Liezl (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2021-12-08)
    An authentic workplace setting provides the ideal opportunity for assessmentof students’ clinical competence at the ‘does’ level of performance.Final-year dental students in the Department of Paediatric Dentistry at theUniversity of the Western Cape are evaluated in the clinical environmenton a daily basis through multiple clinical evaluations which assess clinicaland diagnostic skills over a year. An additional end-of-module clinicalassessment in the form of a single-blinded patient case (BPC) determines ifstudents have reached the expected level of clinical competence in terms ofpatient evaluation and diagnosis. However, the reliability and feasibility ofthis single end-of-module clinical case have been questioned in this setting.This study aimed to determine if the current continuous workplace-basedassessment (WPBA) results could be used as an indication of final-yearstudents’ clinical competence at the end of the module. A retrospective,quantitative, cross-sectional study was conducted of all complete assessmentrecords. The correlation between the continuous WPBA components wasanalysed together with an evaluation of the reliability and validity of theassessment results. The continuous formative WPBA practices were foundto be both valid and reliable when using Kane’s (2013) and Royal’s (2017)frameworks for analysis. However, the BPC should be reconsidered due tofeasibility and reliability concerns. Key words: Dental education, Paediatric Dentistry, clinical skills, workplace,summative, formative, continuous assessment
  • Towards Enacting Social Justice in HE:

    Moyo, Zvisinei; Perumal, Juliet (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-01-31)
    The purpose of this review was to unearth the challenges of postdoctoral research fellows who are classified neither as staff nor students. It provokes research to rethink measures to support this group of academics who have been neglected. Three central questions guided this review: What are the common themes in literature and research on PRDF? What social justice issues arise from the PDRF literature? How can this literature and conceptualisation inform management of PDRFs in terms of social justice? A total of 45 publications were reviewed. The full text of the systematically identified studies were stored in a marked folder on a computer desktop and screened through examining topics and abstracts. Each of the studies was analysed to come up with six themes which were discussed through the lens of social justice, followed by a suggestion for further discussion in the field. The literature portrays a culture that has undermined issues and concerns of social justice. Universities are required to imagine new directions for future research, challenged to become activists and take a pro-justice stance to transform the culture, practices and procedures to benefit the marginalised. Universities can utilise these suggestions as a guide to evaluate their efforts and programmes.    
  • University-Community Engagement:

    Ogunsanya, Olajumoke; Govender, Ivan (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2020-01-31)
  • Student Loans Financing in Tanzania:

    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
  • 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

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