Do ‘African’ universities exist? Setting the scene

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  • Stig Jensen, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Hanne Kirstine Adriansen
  • Lene Møller Madsen, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
This chapter provides a background for understanding the book. We outline some of the debates in which the individual chapters are situated and thereby show how the book contributes to and fills gaps in existing research. After providing a short history of African universities, the chapter subsequently outlines the international dimension of higher education in Africa, including an introduction to issues of capacity building. The last half of the chapter concerns knowledge production; first we point to the hegemony of Western thought in education and knowledge production as well as Africanisation as an opposing trend. Then, we discuss knowledge production within universities including how scientific knowledge is spatially situated, the role of local knowledge in academia and finally argue for seeing scientific and local knowledge as different modes of knowledge. The chapter concludes by arguing that it is incorrect to talk about African universities as a certain type of university due to the different colonial heritage. However, universities in Africa are facing a number of similar challenges related to the European heritage of the university for instance what counts as legitimate, relevant and valuable knowledge is measured by the same standard as in the Global North.
TitelHigher education and capacity building in Africa : the geography and power of knowledge under changing conditions
RedaktørerHanne Kirstine Adriansen, Lene Møller Madsen, Stig Jensen
Antal sider26
Udgivelsesår8 nov. 2015
ISBN (trykt)978-1-138-83815-4
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-315-73462-0
StatusUdgivet - 8 nov. 2015
SerietitelRoutledge Studies in African Development


  • Videregående uddannelse, Uddannelsespolitik

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