Another link from Twitter…
Higher Education and Innovation in Africa (Mesele Araya and Habtamu Legas), 10Feb14
It’s a research paper; open at your own risk.
Here’s what I highlighted:
African higher [education] institutions devoid of any productive innovation is that the existing low quality of education and unmatched educational curriculum. The deteriorated quality and outdated curriculum are among the main bottlenecks that hinder the African higher institutions to be a center of innovation and development. For this reason, Juma stresses that the educational landscape that Africa does have nowadays is so poor and does not go with the need of the contemporary world. Most of the African university graduates are now unfit to the ever changing demand of the contemporary labor market in particular and the whole economy in general.
As a response to this outdated education system and lack of innovation, many scholars — of whom Prof. Juma is a prime one — overwhelmingly believe that African higher institutions of learning need to be reinvented in a way that graduated young people will be equipped well with adequate skills that enable them to boost innovation, economic growth and competitiveness of the region. (page 3; emphasis added)
Then after showing that only 3 African universities (all in South Africa) are on the list of the top 400 universities in the world, these quotes:
The standards that African institutions of higher learning do have are believed to be lower in quality and unable to go with the emergence of a new institutional type around the globe. (page 4-5)
There is an urgent need that higher institutions of Africa have to provide relevant skills to the labor market and enhance community development based on science, technology and innovation, particularly in the field of agriculture, for the fact that majority of the African people support their livelihoods through this sector. (page 5)
Agreed. And though we’re trying on some level, we’ve got a long way to go at ACC.
The transition from preacher’s school and Bible college to Christian college and Christian university may be even harder than the transition from poor/mediocre institutions of higher learning to relevant ones.
It’s hard to let go of the preacher’s school roots. And I’m not talking about desiring to lose our Christian foundations and theological underpinnings.
It’s difficult to move a reputation from “training preachers” to equipping leaders for today in recruiting students (and faculty).
It’s difficult to change classroom content beyond just studying books of the Bible — even when developing new courses with new descriptions and objectives beyond studying a particular text in the Good Book.
But, as the authors here suggest (and I agree), to really prepare African women and men for the challenges they are and will face will require a different college, curricula, and work. than what we’re seeing in most places. Onward we go!