Mark Paterson and Thierry Luescher
Universities on the continent are so dominated by frameworks for understanding that were established in the Global North that they cannot be considered authentically ‘African’ in terms of what they teach and the kinds of knowledge they produce, says South African philosopher Mogobe Ramose.
Indeed, the very idea of the university – if seen as a site where only one version of what constitutes knowledge is promulgated – denies the value of other ways of knowing, such as those which address the material realities of life in Africa, and contradicts the ethical foundations of African society.
This article is based on an interview conducted by researchers of The Imprint of Education project, which is being implemented by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. This project, which includes a series of critical engagements with experienced scholars and thought leaders on their reimagining of higher education in Africa, investigates current and future challenges facing the sector, including best practices and innovations. A full transcript of the interview can be downloaded from the HSRC’s website.