Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education

Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education
Edited by Nico Cloete, Peter Maassen & Tracy Bailey

This volume brings together excellent scholarship and innovative policy discussion to demonstrate the essential role of higher education in the development of Africa and of the world at large. Based on deep knowledge of the university system in several African countries, this book will reshape the debate on development in the global information economy for years to come. It should be mandatory reading for academics, policy-makers and concerned citizens, in Africa and elsewhere.” – Manuel Castells, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley, Laureate of the Holberg Prize 2012 and of the Balzan Prize 2013

The dominant global discourse in higher education now focuses on ‘world-class’ universities – inevitably located predominantly in North America, Europe and, increasingly, East Asia. The rest of the world, including Africa, is left to play ‘catch-up’. But that discourse should focus rather on the tensions, even contradictions, between ‘excellence’ and ‘engagement’ with which all universities must grapple. Here the African experience has much to offer the high-participation and generously resourced systems of the so-called ‘developed’ world. This book offers a critical review of that experience, and so makes a major contribution to our understanding of higher education.” – Sir Peter Scott, former editor of Times Higher Education and Professor of Higher Education Studies, University College London, Institute of Education

Table of Contents


  1. Roles of Universities and the African Context by Nico Cloete and Peter Maassen
  2. Research Universities in Africa: An empirical overview of eight flagship universities by Nico Cloete, Ian Bunting and Peter Maassen
  3. Assessing the Performance of African Flagship Universities by Ian Bunting, Nico Cloete, Henri Li Kam Wah and Florence Nakayiwa-Mayega
  4. Research Output and International Research Cooperation in African Flagship Universities by Robert Tijssen
  5. South Africa as a PhD Hub in Africa? by Nico Cloete, Charles Sheppard and Tracy Bailey
  6. Faculty Perceptions of the Factors that Influence Research Productivity by Gordon Musiige and Peter Maassen
  7. Academic Incentives for Knowledge Production in Africa by Gerald Wangenge-Ouma, Agnes Lutomiah and Patrício Langa
  8. Functions of Science Granting Councils in Sub-Saharan Africa by Johann Mouton, Jacques Gaillard and Milandré van Lill
  9. Roles of National Councils and Commissions in African Higher Education Governance by Tracy Bailey
  10. University Engagement as Interconnectedness: Indicators and insights by François van Schalkwyk
  11. Student Engagement and Citizenship Competences in African Universities by Thierry M Luescher-Mamashela, Vincent Ssembatya, Edwina Brooks, Randall S Lange, Taabo Mugume and Samantha Richmond
  12. Managing Contradictory Functions and Related Policy Issues by Nico Cloete, Peter Maassen, Ian Bunting, Tracy Bailey, Gerald Wangenge-Ouma and François van Schalkwyk

About the authors
List of contributors