Knowledge for Development


Edulink in action, empowering the people of Africa, The Caribbean and the Pacific through higher education

By ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Higher Education, 2009EDULINK represents a harmonized approach for the implementation of EC funded programmes in ACP countries to improve the effectiveness, management, visibility and impact of ACP-EU co-operation in the field of higher education. This report presents the ongoing EDULINK programme, its current projects, actors, expected results and areas of intervention. These include the search for environment and eco-friendly solutions, quality and the paradigm shift from instruction to learning, access to health, rural development, information technologies and equitable development processes, all critical components in EC’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


ANAFE/CTA – Report of the evaluation of tertiary level agricultural institutions in the African humid tropic region

The overarching objective of the survey was to assist ANAFE and RUFORUM in updating existing database and information on higher education in agriculture at African tertiary education institutions and contribute to improving the outreach and impact of the work of University networks, and CTA and its other partners; NEPAD and FARA.The specific objectives were: To assist in reviewing and updating existing database and information on tertiary education institutions in Africa including student enrolment and the courses offered. To assist in the evaluation and collation of lessons learned from improvements/ innovations in the curriculum. To assist in the conduct of a mini-survey among students at his/her institution. The overall conclusion is that there is a need for radical changes in the tertiary agricultural curriculum and the way they are implemented, especially the integration of scientific disciplines. The report gives various recommendations on how to improve tertiary level education and states that the responsibility to initiate the change process rests with the faculty and administrators of agricultural education systems. A key recommendation is that universities need to lobby for funds to support acquisition of facilities and in particular improve on practical lessons.


Workshop Report CTA/USP Regional Workshop on “Reshaping Tertiary Education to meet the Global Challenges”

By David Hunter, Mary Taylor, and Pa’olelei Luteru, reviewed by Judith Francis, December 2008. Co-organized by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) and the University of the South Pacific (USP), a regional workshop on Reshaping Tertiary Education to meet the Global Challenges was held from 10 – 12 September 2008 at USP Alafua Campus, Samoa. The workshop led to a consensus that the universities and colleges should strengthen linkages and cooperation amongst themselves, and restructure and update their academic programmes, research and outreach activities, to enable them to contribute to improving agricultural performance and enhancing food security in the Pacific region, in view of the national, regional and global challenges. This document reports on the discussions held during the workshop and highlights the key messages and action points to be taken forward. This report is part of the Knowledge for Development dossier on Reshaping Tertiary Agricultural Education.


Is Science Education in a crisis? Some of the problems in South Africa

By Johnnie W. F. Muwanga-Zake, Science in Africa Why is there a need to improve and encourage science in South Africa? A greater number of science graduates results in a more skilled and therefore a more productive work force, which in turn contributes to an internationally more competitive nation and to redressing the balance of trade problems (Robottom & Hart (1993: 591). This belief is reiterated frequently, for example in the South African White Paper on science and technology (1996: 10), which states that science is considered to be among the requirements for creating wealth, and improving the quality of life. Realising the importance of science to development, Africa has, according to Ogunniyi (1996: 268), been eager to develop its scientific human power to attain a measure of self-reliance in the production of goods and services, by expanding its educational facilities, and setting up curriculum development and research centres, as well as developing policies on science education.


From margin to mainstream

An innovative extension training initiative being implemented in selected universities and colleges in sub-Saharan Africa is discussed. The authors argue that African agricultural universities and colleges must strengthen their capacities to develop and deliver responsive extension training programmes in order to train extension staff to become critical thinkers and reflective practitioners. A framework is proposed to guide universities and colleges interested in developing and launching responsive agricultural extension training programmes. Read this document.


Tertiary education for mid-career level extension personnel

One of the major problems facing agriculture extension services in Sub-Saharan Africa is the low level of staff education. This lack of proper education and training hampers research-extension linkages and results in a slow or ineffective diffusion of technology to farmers. It is also argued that as extension services move more to incorporate participatory approaches in rural development, most field-level extension personnel do not have sufficient education to benefit from training or in-service activities. A university educational programme was developed in Ghana with an innovative curriculum including supervised practical field experience. Mid-career level extension personnel can apply and 76 of these non-traditional students have graduated from the programme. Read this document.


New external providers of tertiary education in the Caribbean

The recent diversification of tertiary education provision in the Anglophone Caribbean is explored, paying particular attention to the role of “external” (foreign/private sector) providers of tertiary education. Main areas for consideration are the identification of such providers, the impact this provision has had on student enrolment at the national level, and the level of quality assurance associated with the new providers. Recommendations are made as to how they might be harnessed to provide the greatest benefits to the region. Read this document.


Makerere University in transition 1993–2000

Makerere University, Uganda, has developed a distinctive model of reform, driven by the 1992 Government of Uganda Education Policy White Paper and national policies of liberalization, privatization and decentralization. In less than ten years, Makerere University's student population has expanded almost fourfold, with the vast majority now paying fees. Academic programmes are being transformed, while power and authority are being decentralized and rehabilitation of the infrastructure has started using funds generated from student fees. Under the reform process, the university curriculum has been greatly expanded, diversified and modified. To ensure correspondence with private and public demand, new professional courses have been added to existing programmes. Several demand-driven courses were established, including the Master of Agribusiness Management in the Faculty of Agriculture. Read this document.


Higher education in Tanzania

The study demonstrates what is possible by way of self-generated university reform in Africa, underscoring the important role of government in creating a favourable economic and political environment. Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) has embarked upon a long-term transformation process that includes expanding student intake, improving quality and relevance in teaching and research and achieving financial sustainability. Growing government and donor concerns with agriculture as a vehicle for poverty alleviation and economic growth provide SUA with strong incentives to reform its teaching, research and service functions with a view to enhancing their relevance. The introduction of demand-driven courses reflects this concern with relevance, but the need to address growth and poverty issues in smallholder agriculture through research and outreach is equally vital. Read this document.


Higher education in Mozambique

Considerable progress has been made in higher education in post-independence Mozambique. The country now possesses a higher education system that offers a wide variety of course options, undertakes first-rate research in some areas, and, although concentrated in the capital city of Maputo, is also present in outlying regions such as the town of Cuamba, where a Faculty of Agriculture has been established. A major problem is that the majority of the students who succeed in entering governmental and non-governmental higher education institutions are the sons and daughters of relatively well-to-do families. In order to improve equity of access, the report presents a number of recommendations. Read this document.


Higher education in sub-Saharan Africa with specific reference to universities

The framework used in this research starts with the argument that innovations in African universities could be taking place in seven areas: Strategic Vision and Mission; Financing; Access/Quality; Governance; Quality/Curriculum; Staff development and retention; Relevance in teaching, research and service. Furthermore, the innovations could be located at three levels: System; Institution; Faculty. The framework, therefore, sought to identify and analyse innovations on the basis of area of innovation and the level at which the innovation has taken place. The University of Cape Coast (Ghana), for example, has introduced community involvement by way of a Supervised Enterprise Project for B.Sc. Agriculture Extension students who now must spend one semester of their programme undertaking an enterprise developed and driven by farmers. Read this document.


We need to reinvent the African university

Calestous Juma argues that addressing Africa's development challenges requires the creation of a new generation of universities that focus on solving community problems. Africa has a large number of important innovations in higher education to learn from, many of which are from the continent itself, or elsewhere in the developing world, for example in the field of curriculum development. One of the most pioneering examples in curriculum reform is EARTH University in Costa Rica, whose curriculum is designed to match the realities of agribusiness, and is therefore able to dedicate itself to producing a new generation of young people trained specifically to focus on changing the human condition though entrepreneurial activities. Read this document.


Science policy and agricultural research in Africa

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) plans to design and implement a programme for building the capacity of African scientists and research managers to understand and address science policy issues emerging with developments in Agricultural research. NEPAD intends to facilitate efforts aimed at raising awareness and building the capacity of agricultural scientists and managers to handle emerging science policy and related issues of institutional change. This background “needs assessment” study was commissioned to guide NEPAD’s Office of Science and Technology and the African Ministerial Council for Science and Technology to develop a comprehensive programme on science policy. The assessment suggests that emphasis ought to be given to issues of cross-regional coherence, improvements in pedagogy and delivery, integration with policy research and the importance of an “innovation systems” perspective. Read this document.


Learning to make change

The overall objective of this research was to assess how an innovation competence development programme for university lecturers could be set-up and implemented to increase the relevance of universities to national development. The thesis specifically discusses a pilot programme in innovation competence development in the agriculture-related faculties of Makerere University in Uganda. Read this document.


The evolution of agricultural education and training

This paper is part of a larger World Bank study of agricultural education and training (AET) in sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on the institution-building experience of countries outside Africa. Many African governments and donors are currently myopic about investing in higher agricultural education. But with dwindling opportunities for overseas study, African universities will ultimately be responsible for training and replenishing the stock of human capital in their respective nations’ research and extension services. Based on a global literature review and the experience of a number of donors and African countries, it is proposed that the World Bank prepare an Africa AET Plan with a 30-year time frame for strengthening AET in Africa. Read this document.


Annotated bibliography on e-learning and application of educational technology in African countries

The bibliography includes references related to the use of technology for teaching and learning within universities, the use of technology for distance learning, and the use of technology for the professional development of teachers. Read this document.


The contributions of ODL to teaching and learning

What we know about Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is that it has led the way in structuring teaching so that learners acquire the skills for self directed and independent learning. These skills are now regarded as essential to be successful in the modern knowledge economy. The methodology requires that the whole institution is involved, and the policy and operational integration of all systems are critical to the mission’s success. Moreover, these systems require monitoring and evaluation to check if they are working, and to enable them to be improved when necessary. Developments like those at the University of the South Pacific (USP) show how central such ODL lessons have been. Read this document.


Strengthening agricultural education and training in Sub-Saharan Africa from an innovation systems perspective

The role of post-secondary agricultural education and training (AET) in sub-Saharan Africa is examined in the context of the region’s agricultural innovation systems. Specifically, the paper looks at how AET in sub-Saharan Africa can contribute to agricultural development by strengthening innovative capabilities, or the ability to introduce new products and processes that are socially or economically relevant to smallholder farmers and other agents in the agricultural sector. The paper emphasizes the importance of improving AET systems by strengthening the innovative capabilities of AET organizations and professionals; changing organizational cultures, behaviours, and incentives; and building innovation networks and linkages. Read this document.


Public & private universities in Kenya

At the time of the study, there were 17 private universities in Kenya, and six public universities: Egerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta University, Moi University, Maseno University, and the University of Nairobi. This case study illustrates both the contemporary situation and the government's reformist intentions toward public and private universities in Kenya. What it shows above all is the extent to which public and private universities can learn from and complement each other. University reforms related to access, equity, quality and relevance, reforms related to governance/management and planning, and reforms related to university financing are discussed. Read this document.


Transforming post-secondary agricultural education and training by design

Increased attention to post-secondary agricultural education and training in sub-Saharan Africa is needed as competent employable human resources in agricultural disciplines are a necessary condition for Africa’s advancement. An important constraint on this undertaking is the insufficient attention given by African governments to the development of agricultural innovation strategies. Innovation capacities and incentives (in technical, commodity, institutional and policy spheres) are needed in order for Africa to build and maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly global agricultural market. These strategies can be advanced more effectively by incorporating educational institutions with other stakeholders in this transformational process. Read this document.