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The social science foundations of public policy in Africa

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revised on 2023-09-13, 08:40 and posted on 2023-09-13, 08:41 authored by Liisa Laakso

The multiple and sometimes contradictory expectations of African governments, the public and the international community on the role of higher education in development have afected the content and conditions of social sciences in particular. However, the existing research on university education in Africa has focused chiefy on the institutions, i.e., establishing universities, their resources, autonomy and performance (Nwauwa 1993; Kallaway 2020). It has revealed changing motivations in the key actors’ decisions to invest in higher education: those of the colonial authorities, the governments of the newly independent states, Cold War superpower blocks and commercial enterprises (Mamdani 2007). Independence, to begin with, was followed by a heated debate of the autonomy vs relevance of universities for the developmental state (Assié-Lumumba 2006). In the 1980s and 1990s, the economic crisis hampered the fnancing of public universities (Chachage 2006, pp. 49–50). At the beginning of the new Millennium, the universities’ diferent rankings and their reputation and critics of these rankings became almost standard ingredients of all debates of the university sector’s performance globally, Africa included (Mohammedbhai 2012).

Other Information

Published in: Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003143840-3

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This chapter is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU

Geographic coverage

Africa

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