In a review published in the journal Africa (86/2), Jonathan Harle writes of Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education:
[Its] commitment to painstaking data gathering (working to improve university data collection systems as the project proceeded) […] marks out both this collection and the eight years of work by the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA) that underpin it. […]
The book’s examination of the different ways in which universities can and do play a developmental role is its particular strength.
Read the full review here.
A new title by African Minds, North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities, was launched on 9 February 2017 at a seminar of the same name held at the University of Cape Town. Presentations from contributors to the book were delivered by John Higgins on the absence of curiousity-driven research in South African higher education policy, by Suren Pillay on the role of funders and funding in supporting research in the humanities and the social sciences in Africa, and by Tor Halvorsen on the impact of neoliberal policies on knowledge creation. Supplementary presentations by Ole Olsen, Chris Tapscott, Francois van Schalkwyk and Mary Ralphs all contributed to lively discussions on how to promote equitable cooperation in research.
African university libraries and presses (‘knowledge disseminators’) need to rethink the ways in which they communicate and share resources in the digital age. In the face of declining government funding and donor fatigue, it is critical that knowledge disseminators work together to adapt and to find creative solutions to a rapidly changing environment.
This was the message delivered to delegates at the Reinventing African Libraries conference, held at the University of Johannesburg from 20-21 September. Using anonymised data from African Minds communications, Dr Warren reported that it was exceptionally difficult to establish contact with African knowledge disseminators, and that a new communications network would contribute to increased resource sharing and skills building.
African Mind’s highly anticipated publication on student politics, Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism, was recently launched at the University of the Freestate. The book, which incorporates studies from 18 scholars across Africa, finds that the rising costs of higher education is causing student uprisings across the globe. Student Politics comes after the mass protests across campuses in South Africa in 2015, though the project was conceptualised some time before the protest actions started.
Merridy Wilson-Strydom has reviewed Doctoral Education in South Africa for the South African Journal of Science, writing that “this important and well-researched book certainly takes the debate forward in meaningful ways, and clearly sets out the policy implications of different paths that might be considered as we continue to strive to improve doctoral education in South Africa. The data, conclusions, recommendations, and additional information included in the detailed appendices, are likely to be of much value across the sector, for doctoral students, supervisors, university management and leaders, and policymakers.”
Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, congratulated the authors and contributors of Doctoral Education in South Africa on the publication and launch of the book, calling it “an excellent contribution to scholarly work in South Africa and … support for our ambitions with respect to enhancing human capital development”.
Doctoral Education in South Africa was launched on 26 November 2015 in Cape Town and 2 December 2015 in Pretoria. Pictures of the Cape Town launch can be viewed here.