Date: 5 March 2020 | Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town
Livestream via Vidyo
Presenter: Dr Ibrahim Oanda, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Senegal
Discussant: Dr Sam Fongwa, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Education and Skills Development research programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Facilitator: Prof Thierry Luescher, Research Director, Education and Skills Development research programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The sense of hope and promise for higher education (HE) in Africa and its place in global higher education (World Bank, 1999, 2002), felt at the beginning of the century, is ebbing. A crisis narrative akin to what predated the imposition of adjustment regimes in HE institutions is now prevalent.
For some this scornfully delegitimizes possibilities for a well-functioning HE sector being realized on the continent in the foreseeable future, while others recommend bailout options that disempower institutions, especially promising ones, as they become reliant on global HE networks and knowledge production systems. How did the promise of HE vitality on the continent dissipate so fast and what accounts for the crisis narrative? This seminar will speculate on these issues along three lines. First is the internal decomposition of HE institutions (the lack of all forms of internal capacities) that were brought about by the adjustment interventions of the of the 1980s and 1990s. The second is the lack of continental political will to embrace HE as a critical sector to realize sovereignty in its various forms, instead favouring external, ready made “products”. Third is the role of external actors in delegitimizing the flourishing of the HE space on the continent and its continued existence as an appendage of the global HE space.
Ibrahim Oanda works as a senior program officer and head of the Training, Grants and Fellowships program at CODESRIA, a Pan -African Social Science Research Council headquartered in Dakar Senegal. Before this role, Oanda taught at Kenyatta university Kenya, as Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations. His academic background is in the area of higher Education and Sociology of Knowledge and he has pursued research interests in a broad range of issues in African higher education.
Oanda has a two-year appointment as Associate Researcher at the Ali Mazrui Centre for higher Education studies, University of Johannesburg. He visits the HSRC in his capacity as an HSRC African Research Fellow and a collaborator on The Imprint of Education study in the Education and Skills Development research programme on which he serves as a Deputy Principal Investigator.
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