Higher Education In Africa: Quality And Globalization

Higher Education In Africa: Quality And Globalization

Universities and colleges are trying to improve the African panorama of higher education through glocalization, research and academic collaboration. And global private higher education institutions have the key role in promoting the raise of quality and the expansion of higher education across the entire African continent.

The African continent has a lot of potential. Still, even if it is a fast-growing region in the means of yearly enrolments in higher education, students need to be equipped with valuable skills for the labour world.

Earlier attempts

Many public higher education institutions have tried to improve this situation: they have worked with local governments and companies. No matter the effort academia has put in easing the case: the public higher education institutions have it tough primarily due to low financial aid.

As socio-economic and sustainability challenges put the African continent to the test, higher education becomes a critical element in academic research and local problem-solving. The implementation of innovative solutions through research in science and technology and the socio-economic field should be one of the table stakes in the attempt to improve the continent. Anyhow, this kind of research is challenging to conduct in a climate of severe underfunding. 

Indeed, as a continent, Africa’s main issues in higher education vary from limited institutional supply to compromised governance systems.

Even if higher education has undergone significant growth, many universities and colleges and enrolment rates remain too low. There is still not enough human capital because the rate of learners who complete their degree is not as high as it should be for producing enough graduates. Since the research output is inefficient, the 4.0 industry is not evolving like other parts of the globe. There is not enough infrastructure, and Covid19 proved it – the digital and technological means used for distance learning were often inadequate or insufficient. There would be even more issues to address but let us stop here to understand the African higher education panorama needs.

Why is the private sphere so important?

Thus, there is a need for private universities and colleges with strong relations with the industry; there is an urgent need to engage investors in the private sphere of higher education. The labour market is often light-years apart from the academic scenario; therefore, private institutions with proper and solid funding are needed since it could be the key to filling in the gap between the industry and academia. Besides, the private institutions work with several stakeholders, contributors, funders and brands, so they have a solid choice of sourcing companies.

It is not only about funding research or not even internships for students, researchers, and professors but also long-term international collaborations that will benefit society. Consider, for instance, the Sustainable Development Goals, which should be achieved in 2030, or the Africa We Want in 2063.

Quality education

Quality education is what the continent currently needs. To reach the abovementioned goals, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2063 Africa We Want, it is necessary to improve the delivery conditions of higher education in Africa. To begin with, it would be better to launch institutional transformation. Promoting financial sustainability would be the first wise step to take, especially by requiring more aid from the government. Of course, help for small universities and colleges who wouldn’t survive otherwise would be a solution.

For instance, the African network of national implementation structures has been established to reach a broader solution: they needed to facilitate the interinstitutional information qualifications exchange and quality enhancement. In a few words, this association emphasizes quality measurement and the creation of appropriate tools to measure educational quality all over the continent.

Glocalization, research and international collaboration

As said before, glocalization, research and international collaboration are the main characterizing vital elements of the future of African education. However, this is not enough: what must be done is to implement international education. 

The teaching must become global, and higher education institutions must implement collaborations in terms of research and other academic-related spheres. That happens because the students must be encouraged to use critical thinking and illustrate examples from international scenarios, which can be done, for example, thanks to international student exchanges. 

With global experience at their back, the graduates should be encouraged to think globally and act locally by improving the society they inhabit. Besides, as already mentioned, technology and digital devices in higher education should be implemented. Therefore, there is a growing need for higher education institutions that use technology in delivering lessons and course materials and offer blended (online and on-spot) teaching methods. 

And finally, as already mentioned, the research activities and filling in the gap between the academic and the labour world should be more on the shoulders of private universities and colleges than the public ones. That is important since public institutions often do not receive as many funds as private ones. Besides, private institutions have broader opportunities for using technology to deliver their lessons and global internships and research projects.

ACS - ASOMI College of Sciences

What is more, a college does precisely that: ACS ASOMI College of Sciences has its headquarters in the only English-speaking state in the EU: Malta. It is an international higher education institution, and it is also technology-oriented since a lot of lessons take place remotely. ACS has several international partners and offers internships in different continents worldwide. Besides following a global educational model, they promote innovation, a highly evaluated characteristic on African soil.

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