Politics and Higher Education in East Africa (From the 1920s to 1970)

SKU:   978-1-920382-11-7
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Political independence in Africa during the early 1960s and mid-1970s inspired Africans to fight for independence in other spheres of life, including education. In East Africa, the development of higher education which reached its apogee in 1963 with the establishment of the Federal University of East Africa happened within the broader political context of the time. Having succeeded in bringing the British colonial government to its knees, the East African political and academic leadership vowed to Africanize the higher education sector epitomized by the Federal University. They called for the Africanization of academic and administrative staff, the curriculum, as well as teaching and research methods. But the development of higher education in East Africa happened both as part of British hegemony in the region and as a result of African agitation for higher education. Britain wanted to insulate Africans from potential politicisation if they travelled abroad. East Africans on the other hand needed higher education facilities that would produce manpower needed to consolidate political independence and ensure economic independence from Britain. In both instances, the motivating factor behind the development of higher education was political. The spirit of nationalism which swept through East Africa united the region against the British. Once political independence was achieved, national interests prevailed over regional interests. In the process, the development of higher education was negatively affected. Therefore, the demise of the Federal University in 1970 did not come as a surprise. The university was a still born entity. It was accompanied by many challenges from its inception to its eventual collapse in 1970. This confirms the view that “education and politics are inextricably intertwined.”

Publication Date: 2012
Author(s): BHEKITHEMBA RICHARD MNGOMEZULU
Format: Softcover
Pages: 288

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