Higher Education and Capacity Building in Africa
The geography and power of knowledge under changing conditions
Higher education has recently been recognized as a key driver for societal growth in the Global South and capacity building of African universities is now widely included in donor policies. The question is; how do capacity building projects affect African universities, researchers and students? Universities and their scientific knowledges are often seen to have universal qualities; therefore, capacity building may appear straight forward.
Higher Education and Capacity Building in Africa contests such universalistic notions. Inspired by ideas about the ‘geography of scientific knowledge’ it explores what role specific places and relationships have in knowledge production, and analyses how cultural experiences are included and excluded in teaching and research. Thus, the different chapters show how what constitutes legitimate scientific knowledge is negotiated and contested. In doing so, the chapters draw on discussions about the hegemony of Western thought in education and knowledge production. The authors’ own experiences with higher education capacity building and knowledge production are discussed and used to contribute to the reflexive turn and rise of auto-ethnography.
This book is a valuable resource for researchers and postgraduate students in education, development studies, African studies and human geography, as well as anthropology and history.
Table of Contents
1. Why study higher education and capacity building in Africa? An introduction 2. Do ‘African’ universities exist? Setting the scene Part I: Capacity building of African universities – asymmetrical power relations? 3. Dilemmas of knowledge production in Ugandan Universities 4. Collaborative education across continents: lessons from a partnership on sustainable resource management education 5. The Confucius Institute at the University of Zambia: a new direction in the internationalisation of African higher education? Part II: Researching and teaching climate change in Africa – whose reality counts? 6. Power of knowledge under changing conditions: lessons from a Sahelian village under climate change 7. Producing scientific knowledge in Africa today: auto-ethnographic insights from a climate change researcher 8. Negotiating scientific knowledge about climate change: enhancing research capacity through PhD-students Part III Creating and using academic knowledge in Africa – decolonising research? 9. My knowledge, your knowledge, whose knowledge is it? Reflections from a researcher’s journey through universities in North and South 10. Creating an African university: struggling for a transformational curriculum in apartheid South Africa 11. African Universities and rights in African polities, cultures and communities: Africanising universal knowledge? Conclusion 12. Dilemmas and paradoxes of capacity building in African higher education: concluding remarks
Hanne Kirstine Adriansen is Associate Professor at the Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Lene Møller Madsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Stig Jensen is Associate Professor and former director at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.