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Development impact of higher education in Africa: the case of Uganda

Obwona, Marios; Ssewanyana, Sarah N.

Using micro data from a series of household surveys, the paper demonstrates that to some extent there is positive correlation between per capita GDP growth and student enrolment in public universities in Uganda. It also finds that the higher education graduates are employed in those sectors which have recorded higher growth rates. The higher education graduates do contribute to the economy indirectly through tax revenues which are in turn used to support social programs among others that benefit the society at large. The paper also demonstrates that the share of taxes from higher
education graduates has been increasing over time.  The paper reveals that the returns to higher education are higher than at any other lower education levels. More importantly, university education shows the highest private returns.  As for the distribution, there are marked disparities across gender and geographical locations. There is a stronger gender disparity with nearly twice as many male students as female higher education graduates. The poorer less developed regions have a lower stock of higher education graduates as well as lower higher education enrolment rates.  Finally, the paper identifies the main sources of financing higher education in Uganda to be both government and private funds. While public higher education institutions are mostly funded from, public funds, the private institutions rely exclusively on tuitions received from students and other well-wishers. As for the public higher education institutions, while they also admit private students, they have not been able to compensate for the declining funding from the government.

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Title of Paper: Development impact of higher education in Africa: the case of Uganda
Publisher: Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC)
City: Kampala, Uganda

Document Type:Other
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Higher Education and Development, Developing countries, Uganda, Impact Studies, Economic Growth

File Size:455 KB
Rights:Permission granted by author
Additional information:Commissioned by UN IDEP, Dakar, Senegal.
Date Added:02 November 2007

Obwona, Marios; Ssewanyana, Sarah N. (2007). Development impact of higher education in Africa: the case of Uganda Research Series No. 48. Kampala, Uganda: Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC)