"Neo-liberal Higher Education Reform Processes and their Implications to Learning and Teaching at Makerere University"

ICGC Brown Bag Friday, January 20, 2012, 12:00 noon, 537 Heller Hall

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Andrew Ellias State,
ICGC Alumni and Sociologist at Makerere University in Uganda

Learning and teaching in higher institutions of learning (universities) in Africa continue to face daunting challenges today. Teaching and learning, a central activity of every university the world over has not been emphasized in a neo-liberal reform program agenda, as advocated by the World Bank, but instead administrative and financial reforms seriously affecting the quality of teaching and learning. Most reform emphasis have been on the financial and administrative reforms without necessarily considering the central core activities of universities, i.e. being a center of excellence in teaching, learning, and research. Makerere University, arguably the oldest institution of higher education in East Africa - established in 1922 as a small technical institution and evolved over time to a reputable institution of higher learning - has not escaped the neo-liberal reforms and the attendant challenges. The most significant reforms at Makerere University were the neo-liberal inspired reforms in the 1990s and early 2000s implemented at the orders of the World Bank (WB) reform of higher education in Africa. I argue that higher education reform should emphasize the importance of learning and teaching activities in order to achieve quality of education outcomes rather than focusing only on quantity of education products in the reform process.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology

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