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The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer: The impact of foreign aid experts on policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania

With the rise of the ‘knowledge for development’ paradigm, expert advice has become a prime instrument of foreign aid. At the same time, it has been object of repeated criticism: the chronic failure of ‘technical assistance’ – a notion under which advice is commonly subsumed – has been documented in a host of studies. Nonetheless, international organisations continue to send advisors, promising to increase the ‘effectiveness’ of expert support if their technocratic recommendations are taken up.

This book reveals fundamental problems of expert advice in the context of aid that concern issues of power and legitimacy rather than merely flaws of implementation. Based on empirical evidence from South Africa and Tanzania, the authors show that aid-related advisory processes are inevitably obstructed by colliding interests, political pressures and hierarchical relations that impede knowledge transfer and mutual learning. As a result, recipient governments find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of dependency, continuously advised by experts who convey the shifting paradigms and agendas of their respective donor governments.

For young democracies, the persistent presence of external actors is hazardous: ultimately, it poses a threat to the legitimacy of their governments if their policy-making becomes more responsive to foreign demands than to the preferences and needs of their citizens.

Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism

The second volume of the African Higher Education Dynamics Series brings together the research of an international network of higher education scholars with interest in higher education and student politics in Africa. Most authors are early career academics who teach and conduct research in universities across the continent and came together for a research project, and related workshops and a symposium on student representation in African higher education governance.

The book includes theoretical chapters on student organising, student activism and representation; chapters on historical and current developments in student politics in Anglophone and Francophone Africa, and in-depth case studies on student representation and activism in a cross-section of universities and countries.

The book provides a unique resource for academics, university leaders and student affairs professionals as well as student leaders and policy-makers in Africa and elsewhere.

Knowledge for a Sustainable World

The search for answers to the issue of global sustainability has become increasingly urgent. In the context of higher education, many universities and academics are seeking new insights that can shift our dependence on ways of living that rely on the exploitation of so many and the degradation of so much of our planet.

This is the vision that drives SANORD and many of the researchers and institutions within its network. Although much of the research is on a relatively small scale, the vision is steadily gaining momentum, forging dynamic collaborations and pathways to new knowledge.

The contributors to this book cover a variety of subject areas and offer fresh insights about chronically under-researched parts of the world. Others document and critically reflect on innovative approaches to cross-continental teaching and research collaborations. This book will be of interest to anyone involved in the transformation of higher education or the practicalities of cross-continental and cross-disciplinary academic collaboration.

The Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) is a network of higher education institutions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Universities in the southern African and Nordic regions that are not yet members are encouraged to join.

Leadership and Management: Case Studies in Training in Higher Education in Africa

There has been a resurgence of interest in training programmes for higher education leaders and management (HELM) at African universities in recent times. Although there have been a few cases of evaluation studies of such programmes in Africa, a more systematic review of the lessons learnt through these programmes has not been done.

This book aims to document and reflect on the learnings from intervention programmes at three African higher education councils. It is clear that university leaders face many leadership and management challenges. This is the starting point of the book. More specific questions that are addressed include:

Have the challenges for leadership in higher education management been documented: Not only the shifts in education but the challenges and how leaders at universities have responded to them?
There has been an increase in the number of interventions but little evidence of lessons learnt. What lessons have we learnt from the three training programmes?
The book commences with an introduction that sets the historical context for this initiative. The remainder of the book is divided into three main parts:

Part One consists of two chapters: A review of African scholarship on university leadership and management and the history and landscape of HELM training in Africa.
Part Two presents the ‘documentation and lessons learnt’ from the three country initiatives.
Part Three consists of two chapters: the first describes in detail the monitoring and evaluation process that ran concurrently with the implementation of the country training programmes; the second reviews the uptake and impact of these programmes.
The following stakeholder groupings will find the book useful: HE councils (especially in Africa) and other bodies that are in the business of designing and implementing interventions; senior leadership and management at African universities; international donor agencies and other agencies; and evaluators and scholars in the field of higher education.

Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education

Table of Contents

List of tables, figures and appendix tables | Acronyms and abbreviations | Acknowledgements |

Foreword

Roles of Universities and the African Context  Nico Cloete and Peter Maassen
Research Universities in Africa: An empirical overview of eight flagship universities  Nico Cloete, Ian Bunting and Peter Maassen
Assessing the Performance of African Flagship Universities  Ian Bunting, Nico Cloete, Henri Li Kam Wah and Florence Nakayiwa-Mayega
Research Output and International Research Cooperation in African Flagship Universities  Robert Tijssen
South Africa as a PhD Hub in Africa?  Nico Cloete, Charles Sheppard and Tracy Bailey
Faculty Perceptions of the Factors that Influence Research Productivity

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Higher Education in Portuguese Speaking African Countries

As the evidence from this study shows, Africa, in particular sub-Saharan Africa, comprises some of the poorest nations in the world and therefore desperately needs strong higher education systems that can assist in its rapid development. It is widely acknowledged that higher education plays a key role in the economic, scientific, social and human development of any country, and that the economically strongest nations are those with the best performing higher education sectors. Higher education, as the producer of knowledge and knowledge workers, is assuming an even more important role with the realisation that knowledge, not natural resources, is the key to Africa’s sustainable development. – Alice Sena Lamptey, ADEA