Diversify and Differentiate African Higher Education Systems!

This policy brief is produced by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) for the Summit on Higher Education on Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s future (Dakar, Senegal, March 10-12, 2015). The main purpose this policy brief is to examine the contextual situation of diversification and differentiation, suggest policy options and recommendations for policy makers to consider.

The set of policies that generally promotes higher education differentiation comprises the following:

  1. the definition of a stratified system,
  2. formulation of a framework for workforce development,
  3. encouragement for private provision,
  4. increased institutional autonomy with accountability,
  5. use of innovative funding approaches and
  6. quality assurance and accreditation procedures that avoid the implicit promotion of a particular organizational model for higher education.

By broadening the choice range for college and university studies, offering new degree programs and creating competition among various institutions, diversification and differentiation have been a boon for African higher education.