Differentiation and articulation in tertiary education systems: A Study of Twelve African Countries

The objective of the study was to explore the extent and nature of differentiationand articulation in African tertiary education systems for purposes of generalunderstanding on the sector. Although varied in nature and extent, differentiationis clearly evident in Africa. However, articulation seems to be in its infancyas some universities, in their admission requirements, do not recognise polytechnicqualifications, and mobility between similar institution types is rare.Though varied, the binary system is dominant, characterized by universitiesand polytechnics as distinct types of institutions. The rise in number and sizeof private universities has been high due to increased demand for universityeduca-tion and the public sector's inability to meet this strong demand. Whilenational policy, market forces, institutional reforms, industry, and regional initiativesdrive differentiation, resource constraints, iso-morphism, governanceand funding structures, and the absence of size and shape debates act as inhibitors.Demand for access appears the only driver for articulation while nationalpolicies, internal governance structures, and industry/labor market inhibit itsgrowth. In conclusion, the study observed that differentiation in African highereducation is mostly horizontal as opposed to vertical differentiation. Furthermore,our knowledge of both differentiation and articulation in African tertiarysystems is still scanty. Therefore, a great deal more research needs to be donewith a view to anchoring differen-tiation and articulation within national tertiaryeducation systems

General informations
Corporate authors: 
Beyond Primary Education: Challenges of and Approaches to Expanding Learning Opportunities in Africa
Serial number: 
Session 7
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ADEA Activities: 
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