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Funding Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Damtew Teferra (ed.). Funding Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-137-34577-6. Pages: 372.

Although funding for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa is, according to the editor, more problematic than in other parts of the world, the issue shows similar challenges and characteristics as anywhere else. Dealing with various funding models embedded in a context of increasing diversification of resources for higher education, this edited volume presents interesting insights on funding issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Each article examines specific aspects of the funding situation of a particular African country and provides an extensive analysis of funding and its development according to different socioeconomic backgrounds. A common factor in the development of funding for higher education in most of the countries the authors deal with is the exploding population growth and the increasing access to higher education which, however, is barely commensurate with economic development. The situation in Ethiopia, for instance, is characterised by a huge increase of private higher education institutions within a decade only. Consequently, one essay on funding higher education in Ethiopia deals with institutional autonomy of higher education institutions and the potential of a performance-based funding formula. Higher education funding in Kenya is examined from the perspective of a dual-track system and the increasing lack of equity which results from this funding scheme. The liberalisation of student fees within the framework of two educational policy reforms in Uganda demonstrates how financial needs in public funding can be eased. Overall, nine different Sub-Saharan African countries are presented in detail within 12 essays, allowing not only to gain valuable insights on the development of the higher education funding situation in those countries, but also to know more about specific aspects such as tuition fees, financial management, and cost sharing. 

Palgrave MacMillan