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Universities and social transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: global rhetoric and local contradictions

Lebeau, Yann

Abstract:
The main purpose of this paper is to explore the range of ways in which African universities act as public institutions.  The author considers the multiple dimensions of African universities as political actors in politics, civil society and the public sphere.  The paper tries to explain how the degraded state of most universities in the region should not be taken to mean that they have become irrelevant to the societies and the polities in which they were embedded.  The paper provides examples of how higher education institutions as well as public universities have often remained key sites for upward mobility strategies, critique and mobilisation on behalf of political change even in the face of authoritarian and corrupt regimes.  The author concludes the discussion by mentioning current initiatives undertaken by international donors and development agencies to revitalise higher education in Africa.

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Document Title: Universities and social transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: global rhetoric and local contradictions
Journal: Compare: A journal of Comparative Education
Volume: 38
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 139-153


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Universities, Social Change, Sub Saharan Africa, Public Good, Role of Universities, Political Change, Transformation, Developing countries


File Size:79 KB
Rights:This is the author's post print.
Date Added:29 April 2008


Lebeau, Yann (2008). Universities and social transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: global rhetoric and local contradictions, Compare: a journal of comparative education 38(2): 139-153