1st Edition

Higher Education Transformation in Africa A Quest for Epistemological Rupture

    296 Pages
    by Routledge


    This book critically interrogates the notion of transformation in higher education, focusing on epistemological and structural issues in postcolonial and contemporary Africa.


    The book considers the multifaceted challenges facing higher education in the continent and uses the concept of transformation as a common thread weaving through a range of issues, including epistemology, identity, relevance, research, collaboration, and decoloniality. Arguing for a holistic approach towards progressive and innovative education systems, the book calls for a fundamental transformation that expands access, enhances quality and competitiveness, addresses past injustices and improves the capacity to act together for a more sustainable and just future. Overall, the book makes a powerful case for the power of transformation in higher education to shape the social, economic, and cultural fabric of society.


    This book’s critical evaluation of knowledge production in Africa will be an important read for researchers and policymakers involved in Africa’s higher education sector.

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis, Logan Govender and Dennis Zami Atibuni


    Chapter 2: South–South Inter-Epistemic Dialogue and Africanisation of African Universities: Language, Knowledge and Decolonial Impulses

    Hamza R’boul


    Chapter 3: The Challenge of Locally Assisted Epistemicide to African Epistemic Autonomy

    Babalola Joseph Balogun


    Chapter 4: Decolonising and Indigenising African Indigenous Research: Why Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Living Matter in Research

    Monicca Thulisile Bhuda


    Chapter 5: From Access to Success: Decolonising the Teaching of Academic Literacy

    Brian Sibanda and Thandeka Maseko


    Chapter 6: Interrogation of Decoloniality in Higher Education Curriculum Reform: Examining Influences of the Subconscious Mind

    Jabulani Nyoni


    Chapter 7: Decolonisation of Education in Africa: Imperatives for Fusing Indigenous Knowledge Systems

    N’drie Assie-Lumumba


    Chapter 8: Financial–Intellectual Complex Revisited: Framing Education Research in Africa

    Joel Samoff


    Chapter 9: Privatisation, Flawed Educational Assessment, and Encumbered Higher Education Access

    Dennis Zami Atibuni


    Chapter 10: The Resilient Epistemic Empire and Neoliberal Constructions of Higher Education and the University: A Case Study of the National University of Lesotho

    Munyaradzi Mushonga


    Chapter 11: Enhancing the Responsive Capacities of Ethiopian Public Universities: The

    Role of Sustainable Professional Higher Education Leadership and Management Training Programmes

    Yohannes Mehari, Rediet Abebe, Elias Pekkola, Jussi Kivistö and Seppo Hölttä


    Chapter 12: Reimagining and Realising an Expanded Research Profile: A Case Study of Strategic Planning at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa

    Kirti Menon, Saurabh Sinha, Denyse Webbstock, Nolwazi Mamorare, Letlhokwa Mpedi, Tshilidzi Marwala and Bettine van Vuuren

    Chapter 13: Africa–China Engagement in Higher Education: Issues and Questions

    Jane Knight and You Zhang


    Chapter 14: Conclusion

    Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis, Dennis Zami Atibuni and Logan Govender





    Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis is an Associate Professor and Director at the Ali Mazrui Center for Higher Education Studies (AMCHES), University of Johannesburg. He is a distinguished NRF-rated researcher with a portfolio of over 30 peer-reviewed academic publications, primarily focusing on higher education research.

    Logan Govender Prior to his appointment as a Research Associate at the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies (AMCHES), University of Johannesburg, Dr Govender was a Senior Lecturer at AMCHES (September 2019 - April 2024). He has several research-based, peer-reviewed publications to his credit, focusing on education policy analysis, teacher union-state relations and higher education transformation.

    Dennis Zami Atibuni is a Research Fellow at the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies (AMCHES) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interests include student (research) engagement, educational assessment, pre-service and in-service teacher education, student and staff mentorship, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and psychological determinants of effective academic leadership at higher educational institutions.