Strengthening African Universities for Economic Transformation: Approaches that Work

Thursday 12 February 2015 17:00 to 18:30
Fulton B, University of Sussex

The last two decades have seen a number of African economies anxious to transform their structures. They have accepted that meeting the growing needs of large populations in a rapidly changing world requires new skills and the application of new technologies.

They accept that proper development of skills and application of new technologies thrives in the presence of improved learning methods and significant research at different levels. This is what makes a changing role for universities essential in many countries. They should be relevant to the growing needs of their societies. African universities have generally accepted this new role and are making efforts to meet the challenges.

Different universities use different approaches depending on their own orientations, relationship with national governments, their strengths and weaknesses, and attitudes to change. The efforts have seen some universities move much faster than others, reflected by various indicators. The presentation will look at current efforts by some African universities to make themselves more relevant in the areas of skills development and research in the new dispensation.

About the speaker

A Professor of Economics, Dr. Aryeetey became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana in 2010. Previously he was Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research of the University of Ghana. Dr. Aryeetey’s research focuses on the economics of development with interest in institutions and their role in development, regional integration, economic reforms, financial systems in support of development and small enterprise development. He is well known for his work on informal finance and microfinance in Africa.

The last two decades have seen a number of African economies anxious to transform their structures. They have accepted that meeting the growing needs of large populations in a rapidly changing world requires new skills and the application of new technologies. They accept that proper development of skills and application of new technologies thrives in the presence of improved learning methods and significant research at different levels. This is what makes a changing role for universities essential in many countries. They should be relevant to the growing needs of their societies.

African universities have generally accepted this new role and are making efforts to meet the challenges. Different universities use different approaches depending on their own orientations, relationship with national governments, their strengths and weaknesses, and attitudes to change. The efforts have seen some universities move much faster than others, reflected by various indicators. The presentation will look at current efforts by some African universities to make themselves more relevant in the areas of skills development and research in the new dispensation.

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Fulton B, University of Sussex Brighton