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Higher education finance and accessibility: tuition fees and student loans in Sub-Saharan Africa

Johnstone, Bruce

Abstract:

“Revenue supplementation” in higher education refers to shifting higher education costs away from relying mainly (sometimes virtually exclusively) on government, or the taxpayer, and toward parents, students, philanthropists, businesses, and other sources. “Cost-sharing” refers more specifically to requiring that parents and students pay all or most of tuition, lodging, and food costs, and other fees, as well as lessening the value of grants or raising the effective interest rate on student loans. This article identifies some of the historic resistance to cost sharing as well as its rationales—the most compelling of which is the sheer need for revenue, coupled with the increasing unlikelihood that African governments can raise enough revenue by taxation to meet currently underfunded social needs and simultaneously provide substantially more to meet the rising costs of higher education. The article identifies some limitations to the “dual-track” tuition policies in East Africa and some reasons for the many failures African countries have experienced with student loan programs. It cautions against the prevailing fascination with income-contingent loans and makes recommendations, drawn both from theory and from the few empirical examples of “things that work.”

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Document Title: Higher education finance and accessibility: tuition fees and student loans in Sub-Saharan Africa


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Finance and Physical Resources
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Financing of Higher Education, Cost Sharing, Student Loans, Tuition Fees, Sub Saharan Africa


Rights:Codesria
Additional information:Journal of Higher Education in Africa, 2 (2): 11-36
Date Added:11 December 2006


Johnstone, Bruce (2004). Higher education finance and accessibility: tuition fees and student loans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Higher Education in Africa, 2 (2): 11-36