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Higher education in Mozambique: a case study

Mario, Mouzinho; Fry, Peter; Levey, Lisbeth A.; Chilundo, Arlindo


Of all the countries in southern Africa, Mozambique is probably the one that has experienced the most dramatic changes over the past 30 years. Mozambique has now marched forward into the 'new world order' and is regarded as one of the most successful African attempts at structural adjustment.

While the relative merits of private and public educational Institutions are vigorously debated, there is widespread consensus on the social significance of higher education in Mozambique. Despite the rapid growth of its economy in recent years, Mozambique continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world. Sustained economic growth is critically important for social development and the reduction of high levels of poverty. Yet Mozambique still suffers from a critical shortage of highly qualified professional skills that are fundamental for the development and execution of appropriate public policies, for effective leadership throughout society and for the training of successive generations of professionals and educators. It also suffers from acute regional disparities in wealth, development and qualified human resources, leading to all provincial governments and civic leaders demanding institutions of higher education in their regions. This combination of factors has led the government to attach great importance to higher education, inaugurating the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCT). The new ministry is charged with devising an overall plan for higher education in Mozambique, deciding on the relative roles of governmental and non-governmental institutions and the most appropriate utilization of public funding.

The emergence of non-governmental universities has led to passionate debate on the nature of higher education in Mozambique. On the one side, there are those who are highly critical of non-governmental institutions of higher education.  On the other side, the proponents of a diverse field of higher education in Mozambique defend the emergence of non-governmental institutions, arguing that they bring healthy competition to the field, lead to a growth in the number of university places without cost to government and society and stimulate greater regional equity by bringing higher education to the provinces.

The field of higher education in Mozambique is in great flux and provides the scenario for considerable dispute. This study is therefore not a straightforward account of a stable system. Rather it tries to describe and analyse a rapidly changing field and the various positions within it.


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Title of Paper: Higher education in Mozambique: a case study
Publisher: Imprensa & Livraria Universitária, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane
City: Maputo, Mozambique

Document Type:Book (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Higher Education, Mozambique, Equity, Staff, Information & Communication Technology ICT, Finance, Governance

File Size:868 KB
Rights:Permission to use this paper was granted by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa
Date Added:27 August 2007

Mario, Mouzinho; Fry, Peter; Levey, Lisbeth A.; Chilundo, Arlindo (2003). Higher education in Mozambique: a case study, Maputo, Mozambique:Imprensa & Livraria Universitária, 1-114