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Inside African Private Higher Education: Contradictions and Challenges Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

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Presentation on theme: "Inside African Private Higher Education: Contradictions and Challenges Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Inside African Private Higher Education: Contradictions and Challenges Professor Louise Morley Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) University of Sussex, UK http://www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer 22 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 2014

2 The Rise of Private Higher Education Worldwide, more than 1 in 3 university-level students in a private institution (Bjarnason et al., 2009). Private higher education (PHE) = response to capacity challenge (World Bank, 2009). In South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia = 80% students in PHE (Altbach, 2004). 2010 sub-Saharan Africa = 650 universities 200 public 450 private (Morley et al., 2010) 22 April, 2014

3 Drivers for Growth Social demand for higher education; Fiscal constraints; Needs of specific groups in society (religion); Influence of market ideology (Brown, 2011; Thaver; 2004); Profit opportunity for business (Ball, 2007). 22 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 2014

4 Concerns about Private Higher Education Commodification of knowledge Changing the ethos, curriculum and values of higher education Abdication of state responsibility Compromise of quality and standards – diploma mills Threat to social diversity and equality of opportunity Exclusion of students from low socio- economic backgrounds? Binary between those who enter HE on merit and those who pay? Education for what - employment, citizenship, criticality, social responsibility? Dismantling the welfare state/ public services? (Morley, 2013) 22 April, 2014

5 Widening Participation in Higher Education in Ghana and Tanzania Measuring: Gender, age, socio-economic status (SES) In Relation to: Access, retention and achievement. In Relation to: 4 Programmes of Study in each university. 2 Public and 2 private universities. Quantitative Data 100 Equity Scorecards Qualitative Data 200 interviews/ students 200/ staff and policymakers. Both private universities = non-profit Christian organisations. 2,809 students in Ghana 2,063 in the Tanzania (Morley et al. 2010) (www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer/wphegt) 22 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 2014

6 Questioning Quality: Lack and Deficit Well the key thing is more quality; its the quality and facilities. Quality, comfort and facilities, yes...Private universities…you can see that we tend to focus more on facilities than they do – the reason is simple: the public universities have to depend funding from Government... We have a science laboratory... (Male staff, private university, Ghana). The performance is very, very bad. Because we lack resources, we are more into reading actually thanpracticals. (Male student, private university, Ghana). First of all we have very small library. We have very small computer rooms we have very few computers. (Female student, private university, Tanzania). 22 April, 2014

7 Spatial and Cognitive Injustice? So sometimes we have more than eight hundred students in the class (Male student, private university, Ghana). Assessment Reported in the vocabulary of instability and unfairness. Relay of power/ potential for corruption, sexual harassment (Morley, 2011). Lacked consumer rights e.g. appeals, grade criteria, service-level agreements. Surfaced lack of professionalism/ student voice. Collided with financial considerations e.g. students evicted from exams. 22 April, 2014

8 Spoiled Identity Loss Opportunity to enter higher status public university universities. Status, with PHE seen by some as second choice. Entitlement to state funded provision (buying an education) (Kenway et al, 1993). 22 April, 2014

9 Equity Scorecard 1: Access to Level 100 on 4 Programmes at Ghanaian Private University According to Age, Gender and Socio-Economic Status 22 April, 2014

10 Equity Scorecard 2: Access to Level 100 on 4 Programmes at Tanzanian Private University According to Age, Gender and Socio-Economic Status 22 April, 2014

11 The Symbolic Power of Being a Student/ Somebody Positional Advantage/ Material Rewards I grew in a poor family, … in a village where very few people who get opportunity to go to school, … maybe I want to be someone... my aim was just to pass and pass and pass until I came to the university (Female student, private university, Tanzania). I am privileged... Because there are few Tanzanians who get this education (Male student, private university, Tanzania). 22 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 201422 April, 2014

12 New Competitions/ New Distributions Questions Values Value for money How students are valued. Does the private sector represent: Enhanced, demand-led opportunities Market opportunism Or a complex combination of opportunity and exploitation? 22 April, 2014

13 Follow Up? 22 April, 2014 Morley, L. (2013): Inside African Private Higher Education. In, D.Araya & P. Marber (eds) Higher Education in the Global Age: Education, policy and emerging societies. London: Routledge. Morley, L. (2012): Researching Absences and Silences in Higher Education: Data for democratisation. Higher Education Research and Development, 31(3): 353-368 Morley, L. (2011). "Sex, Grades and Power in Higher Education in Ghana and Tanzania". Cambridge Journal of Education, 41(1): 101-115. Special Issue: Research in Comparative and International Education 2011 6 (4) African Higher Education: Researching Absences, Equalities and Aspirations. 'Widening Participation in Higher Education in Ghana and Tanzania: Developing an Equity Scorecard (www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer/wphegt).


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