Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Damtew Teferra
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 18)

Higher education in sub-Saharan Africa, in the form and shape we recognize today, is a young and nascent phenomenon. Since its inception (through the incarnation of the educational systems of colonial powers), higher education in sub-Saharan Africa has made significant strides, but also faced major challenges. Higher education in sub- Saharan Africa has emerged from virtual nonexistence some four decades ago to an enterprise that enrolls several million students and recruits hundreds and thousands of faculty and staff.

The number of institutions in sub-Saharan Africa has increased from half a dozen in the 1960s—when most of the nations in the sub-region declared independence—to over 300 in 2003 (Teferra & Altbach, 2003). However, as impressive as these developments are, the systems and the institutions face a plethora of problems and challenges. This chapter provides an overview of the state of higher education in the sub-continent, covering historical and contemporary challenges, and concludes on a guardedly optimistic note.


High Education High Education Institution Knowledge Creation Academic Freedom High Education System 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damtew Teferra
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeUSA

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