by Anita Makri, SciDev.Net
The ‘how’ might be contested but there’s agreement on one thing: universities need reform to help drive development.
Higher education is increasingly important to Africa’s drive fordevelopment and knowledge-based economies. Having more PhD holdersin research and teaching is widely seen as key to producing the intellectual power for this drive.
But it’s an uphill battle. After decades of donors and governments focusing investments on primary and secondary education, under-resourced universities struggle to keep researchers from seeking greener pastures abroad.
Our Spotlight — part of a broader collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York — throws some light on why producing more African academics is difficult and explores current thinking on how to make higher education work in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The emphasis of this collection is on training with practical applications for development and employment — but this is not to underestimate therole of theoretical or other forms of knowledge, including basic researchand the humanities.