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.

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  • Gender-Related Factors Influencing Female Students’ Participation in Higher Education in Rwanda

    Rubagiza, Jolly; Umutoni, Jane; Iyakaremye , Innocent (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    Rwanda is widely seen as one of the most progressive countries in the world with regard to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. In education, for example, girls’ access to primary and secondary education is among the highest in Africa. However, female students’ participation remains limited in public universities and they constitute only around a third of the student population at the University of Rwanda. This article explores the factors that influence female students’ participation in public higher education in the country. It draws from a study commissioned by the University of Rwanda on the causes of low female enrolment at the institution that was conducted between 2016 and 2017. The study employed a mixed methods approach, and data was gathered by means of questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. The results revealed interlinked structural (such as university policies) and socio-cultural factors that contribute to the exclusion of female students from Rwanda’s top university. Given the complexities involved, this calls for a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of female representation at the University. Key words: Gender disparities, female students, higher education, Rwanda
  • The Student Psychological Contract as a Predictor of University Brand Evangelism in Tanzanian Higher Education:

    Amani , David (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    This study sought to extend empirical and theoretical understanding of university brand evangelism as an outcome of the student psychological contract in the higher education sector. The conceptual model was developed and tested using structural equation modeling on 451 students at two colleges of higher education in Tanzania. The findings indicate that the student psychological contract influences university brand love en route to university brand evangelism. Thus, university operations should be well-defined by a social contract that stipulates the obligations of both students and staff. For students to engage in university brand evangelism, higher education institutions must fulfill their expectations as stipulated in the contract. More specifically, their staff should fulfill their obligations emanating from promises made to students. This calls for specific standard procedures to fulfill expectations and thus optimize university brand evangelism. Key words: Higher education sector, higher education institutions, university, branding strategies, student psychological contract, university brand evangelism
  • A Fourth Industrial Revolution Paradigm Shift in Teacher Education?

    Zami Atibuni, Dennis; Manyiraho, Deborah; Nabitula, Agnes Nabitula (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    This article explores the plausibility of shifting from the instruction paradigm to the learning paradigm in order to prepare teachers to meet the needs of 21st century learners within the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). While the instruction paradigm is dominated by teacher-centred instructional strategies, a shift to the learning paradigm would require teacher training institutions to prepare teachers who will facilitate the teaching/learning process through interactive strategies, that is, teachers who are ‘meddlers in the middle’, who create puzzling situations and work alongside students to construct knowledge. Key aspects of such a shift include training institutions’ mission and purpose, criteria for the institutional and personal success of teacher trainers and trainees, teaching/learning structures within institutions, learning theory, productivity, funding, and the nature of educational stakeholders’ roles. In line with the dictates of the 4IR, training institutions should cultivate versatility to continuously identify, develop, test, implement, and assess effective learning technologies. In turn, their graduates should value learning as a continuous process for themselves, their learners, and their institutions. Key words: Fourth industrial revolution, paradigm shift, teacher training, instruction paradigm, learning paradigm
  • Institutional Organisation of Distance Secondary School Teacher Training in Malawi:

    Chizengo-Thawani , Annie Tamara; Shawa , Lester Brian (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    There is a paucity of research on the institutional organisation of distance education. This article stems from a larger project that explored the learning implications of distance secondary school teacher training in Malawi. Drawing on the industrial education theory, it focuses on the nature of institutional organisation of distance teacher training at Domasi College of Education and Mzuzu University. Data were collected by means of semi-structured in-depth interviews with two administrators and two instructors, as well as document analysis. This study revealed challenges relating to the one-size-fits-all approach to the institutional organisation of distance teacher training in terms of distance education systems; their functions and coordination; documentation of plans; and instructional material design. This points to a lack of lucid planning for open and distance education in Malawi. Based on the findings, recommendations are offered to improve the country’s distance education system. Key words: Institutional organisation, distance secondary school teacher training, Malawi
  • First-year Students’ University and Programme Selection at a South African University:

    Dube, Nomzamo; Nyambo, Siphamandla; K. Kanjiri, Nkosiyazi; S. Ruzungunde, Vongai (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    Higher education is a tool for social and economic development as well as global competitiveness. It is thus crucial for students to make informed decisions when enrolling at university and, ultimately, deciding what career to pursue. This article offers insights into the factors that influence students’ selection of a university and programme, focusing on students at a historically disadvantaged university in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Data was gathered by means of qualitative focus groups and convenient sampling was employed to select the sample from a population of first-year students. The findings indicate that residential proximity to the university, the university’s reputation, programme image, entry requirements, affordability and funding influence university selection. With regard to programme selection, the factors considered include background dynamics, the subjects involved, failure to meet the requirements, family, peer or the influence of others, failure to be selected for first choice programmes, a lack of career guidance and funding availability. It was thus found that university selection was principally influenced by the student’s informed choice while programme selection was largely influenced by external factors. Key words: University, programme, selection, students, higher education
  • Precursors and Outcomes of Perceived Value in Achieving Student Loyalty in Open Distance Electronic Learning Institutions

    Mbango, Phineas (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in contact universities entering the distance learning market, creating new competition for Open Distance Electronic Learning (ODeL) institutions. To achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, these institutions need to formulate sound strategies to attract and retain students. This study investigated the precursors and outcomes of perceived value in achieving student loyalty in ODeL institutions. A quantitative approach was employed to gather data using self-administered online questionnaires, with 1430 responses. The partial least squares structural equation modeling technique was used to test the proposed model. The results indicate that an ODeL institution’s reputation and service quality positively influence student value, while the outcomes are trust, commitment, and student loyalty. However, institutional reputation was found to have more influence on student value than service quality, and commitment had more influence on loyalty than trust. While a number of studies have been conducted on the relationship between the variables/constructs, service quality and reputation as determinants of customer value and trust and commitment’s influence on loyalty, they do not show the differences in the magnitude of each variable. This study showed that although all these factors correlate and positively influence one another, there are major differences in the magnitude of influence. It is thus recommended that ODeL institutions should formulate strategies aimed at enhancing institutional reputation, value, and student commitment in order to retain student loyalty. Key words: Service quality, institutional reputation, open distance electronic learning, perceived value, commitment
  • Challenges Confronting Postgraduate Supervision at the National University of Lesotho:

    Tlali, Tebello; Chere-Masopha, Julia; Sebatane, Edith; Khalanyane, Tankie (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    Postgraduate supervision can be a challenging form of teaching, with the challenges further compounded by context or institutional-specific factors.The Faculty of Education at the National University of Lesotho has faced numerous challenges in offering postgraduate degrees, with a few qualified supervisors for the large number of students who enroll in these programmes. This study explored the nature of the challenges confronting postgraduate supervision in this context. It was underpinned by the interpretivist paradigm and employed a qualitative approach. Fifteen supervisors participated, of whom nine (three associate professors and six senior lecturers) were individually interviewed. Six junior lecturers took part in a focus group discussion. Guidelines on postgraduate supervision were also subjected to document review. The findings revealed that while some supervisors had positive experiences, others are frustrated. This is due to a lack of training, and lack of clarity on supervisory procedures, as well as the low academic literacy and lack of commitment exhibited by some students. It is recommended that supervisors should be capacitated through training. Furthermore, supervisory guidelines should be reviewed and benchmarked against best practices in the field. Key words: Postgraduate supervision, constructivism, reflective practice, supervisory guidelines, challenges in supervisory practice
  • A Comparison of Staff Development Policies and Practices and Teachers’ Job Performance in Nigerian and Pakistani Universities

    Adewale Awodiji, Omotayo; Y. S. Ijaiya, Nike; Ahmad, Mansoor (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-07-13)
    A university’s ability to remain competitive in a knowledge-driven world depends on the development of its teaching staff. The government and the private sector have invested in staff development in Nigerian and Pakistani universities. This article compares their staff development policies and practices as well as teachers’ job performance. An expo-facto comparative research design was adopted. We found significant differences between universities’ staff development policies and practices as well as lecturers’ job performance in the two countries (F (3, 657) = 41.879, ρ =.000). The article recommends effective implementation of staff development policies (funding, selection, performance appraisal, and promotion) to enhance staff’s skills and competencies and improve Nigerian universities’ position in global rankings. Key words: Staff development, policies, practices, teachers, performance
  • ‘Sexist Humour’ towards Female Students in Higher Education Settings

    Kanyemba, Roselyn; Naidu, Maheshvari Naidu (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    Sexism and sexual harassment in educational settings have rightfully gained much attention from researchers. Explicit harassment has seemingly been restrained through the introduction of policies criminalising these acts, but latent or less discernible harassment still occurs through channels such as sexist humour. This study sampled 20 female and ten male students at a university in Zimbabwe. Through interviews and focus group discussions, it explored how gender intersects with ‘culture’, manifesting in sexist humour, and how this contributes to campuses being hostile to females. Grounded on Bourdieu’s theory of practice, the study explored issues of power and powerlessness and the invisible power that underlies sexist humour in education settings. It revealed that females in higher education settings are often subjects of gender ideology and stereotyping where female submission is emphasised, as evidenced by the kind of sexist humour that prevails. The study concluded that sexist language use is related to a particular kind of hegemonic masculinity that condones verbal violence against female students. Key words: Misogyny, sexist humour, patriarchy, harassment, gender
  • Student Satisfaction with Private Tertiary Education Provision in South Africa in the Times of #FeesMustFall

    Simpson, Zach; Jingura, Valentine; McKay, Tracey (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    Against the backdrop of a growing population and increased demand for tertiary education, South Africa’s private higher education sector has grown considerably since 1994. However, it has long been beset by perceptions of poor quality. This study surveyed private university students to gauge their satisfaction with their institutions. It also explored whether, as posited by some scholars, the disruptions caused by the #FeesMustFall movement across South African public universities may result in greater private tertiary education enrolment. The students who participated in the online survey expressed moderate satisfaction with their universities. Their biggest concern was the high cost of private tuition. Moreover, they were sympathetic to the #FeesMustFall movement, expressing a willingness to enroll in public education in the future. Nonetheless, concerns regarding safety and security in public universities loomed large, whereas they were confident that their private institutions fully met their safety and security needs. Key words: Private higher education; South Africa; student satisfaction; voice exit loyalty; higher education studies
  • Ethical Codes of Conduct in Teaching Practice:

    Kriel, Carike; Livingston, Candice; Kwenda, Chiwimbiso (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    The lack of codes of ethics and codes of conduct in teaching practice is of international concern, with South African universities seemingly lagging behind in recent research. This study aimed to establish the status of ethical codes and procedures regarding teaching practice at South African universities, and what is included in such codes. Critical content analysis was conducted of the ethical policies posted on the universities’ websites. The analysis revealed that most South African universities have not enacted dedicated ethical codes of conduct for teaching practice. It was also found that the elements included in the codes vary across universities. Due to the unique nature of ethical dilemmas relating to teaching practice, this is cause for grave concern. A lack of ethical codes poses potential risks for various role players in teaching practice. The concerns include but are not limited to, unethical relationships between pre-service teachers and staff members, unfair treatment of learners, and teaching incorrect information due to a lack of competence. Key words: pre-service teachers, teaching practice, code of conduct, code of ethics
  • Stakeholder Perceptions and Uptake of Private Higher Education in South Africa

    Singh, Divya; Tustin, Deon (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    Globally, private higher education offers access to higher education, especially where public provision cannot cope with demand. However, South Africa does not mirror this trend. This article reports on a survey of stakeholders’ understanding of private higher education in South Africa that aimed to determine why it has not grown to complement public higher education in mitigating the access gap. The findings point to limited knowledge of private higher education, especially amongst parents. Furthermore, there are perceptions that it is expensive with low returns on investment, as well as a lack of trust in the value of the qualifications and quality of the tuition offered. However, the respondents also acknowledged the advantages of private higher education and graduate success. Based on these results, addressing perceptions of costs and more effective communication should be priorities for both this sub-sector as well as the national authorities. This is important as South Africa will be unable to reach the National Development Plan’s target of 1.62 million students in higher education without the private higher education sub-sector complementing public universities. Key words: Private higher education, reasons to select private HEIs, teaching and learning quality, private higher education cost, graduate employability, contribution to the HE sector
  • The Relationship between Spousal Violence and Levels of Education:

    Masaiti, Gift; Mapoma, Chabila C.; Sikwibele, Muyapekwa; Kasonde, Mwewa (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    Domestic violence against spouses, especially women, is a serious human rights issue and a well-recognised global public health concern. While it is often attributed to low educational levels, research on this relationship has produced mixed results. This study investigated the association between domestic violence against women and education level, especially higher education, in Zambia. The data were sourced from the 2013-14 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, which surveyed a nationally representative sample. A total of 11 778 women responded to the survey’s module on domestic violence. Given that the study was interested in domestic violence experiences perpetrated by spouses, the sample was restricted to currently married women. The results show that wives with a higher level of education than their husbands were more likely to experience different forms of domestic violence than those with a lower or the same educational level as their husbands. Women’s household wealth and age, the husband’s level of education, and spousal education differences were found to be significantly associated with domestic violence. It is thus concluded that increasing the educational level of both spouses could be effective in reducing domestic violence in Zambia. Key words: Levels of education, spousal violence, Demographic Health Survey
  • Algerian Engineer Training at a Time of Major Environmental Challenges:

    Gardelle, Linda; Djennadi, Lydia; Beguerna, Mohamed (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    Environmental problems are having a brutal impact on the daily lives of the North African population. These countries have a young population, with significant numbers in higher education. Given this context, are future graduates being made aware of environmental issues? Since future engineers are the creators of tomorrow’s technological and socio-technical changes, an analysis of their training is of particular interest. This article explores the ways in which choices are made in program creation and what influences changes in three engineering graduate schools in Algeria. Through a curriculum sociology approach, we examine how curricular offers are discussed and implemented when major environmental constraints weigh heavily on Algeria. We analyse higher education policies on engineer training, as well as the creation of programs, via an analysis of the programs themselves and interviews with 24 stakeholders. The article shows that in the absence of instructions imposed by political decision-makers,  teachers enjoy a remarkable amount of freedom when creating curricula. However, tensions arise since there is no authority to arbitrate disagreements. The results open avenues for further reflection for researchers interested in macrosociological reconfiguration in higher education. Key words: engineer training; environment; curriculum; Algeria; macrosociological reconfiguration
  • Students with Disabilities’ Access to Distance Education:

    Aluko, Folake Ruth; Mampane, Motlalepule Ruth (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-17)
    There has been much debate on access and social justice, and the role ofdistance education in redressing social injustices. However, little is knownabout these issues in relation to students with disabilities. The South AfricanDepartment of Higher Education and Training’s Strategic Policy Frameworkon Disability for the Post-School Education and Training System aims to improvepeople with disabilities' access to and success in post-school education andtraining. The document notes that despite the ground gained in transforming the the country's higher education landscape, systematic, institutional and personal   challenges persist in relation to integrating such students into postschool education and training. This article highlights the challenges typically encountered by students  with disabilities despite policy responses and why these have not worked. It proposes transformational leadership nestled within Ubuntu to transform the issue of disability                                                                                                                                                                                                                                in post-school education and training and offers directions for further research directions. Key words: distance education; disability; access, social justice; Ubuntu;transformational leadership
  • Decoloniality and Africanisation as Instruments for Change:

    Letsekha, Tebello (International Network for Higher Education in Africa, 2022-06-16)
    The end of 2017 marked a significant change in South African higher education with the government’s announcement that free higher education would be extended to poor and working-class students. For students who engaged in protest action to demand a curriculum which centers Africa and takes African discourses as its point of departure, this was a partial victory. While concessions were made regarding fees and the removal of colonial-era statues, students continue to grapple with the form and purpose of higher education. This struggle is not a new one; it can be traced back to the early 1960s when Black student movements rejected colonial and apartheid ideas at an intellectual level. In grappling with the critical epistemological questions raised by students, scholars have proposed the notions of decoloniality and Africanisation as instruments to rethink the purpose and form of higher education. Using sociological discourse analysis, this article examines the pragmatism of these concepts in the quest for relevance in higher education. Key words: Africanisation, decoloniality, sociological discourse analysis, higher education
  • 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