A new International Journal of African Higher Education has been launched, drawing on experts in the region and internationally to chart the development of a sector undergoing rapid expansion and massive change.
“The journal is intended to serve as a platform for deep understanding, meaningful dialogue, and critical analysis of key and central issues of higher education on the continent,” says the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr Damtew Teferra, in the maiden edition’s editorial.
The journal is published by the International Network for Higher Education in Africa, INHEA, jointly hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal – UKZN – in South Africa and the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College in the United States, in cooperation with the Association of African Universities.
Teferra – professor of education, leader of higher education training and development at UKZN and founding director of INHEA – said the journal would be published without cost to authors and users as a reputable, refereed and free online journal, and would initially be published twice a year.
The maiden edition was inaugurated at two events last month – the 6th International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa held in Bujumbura, Burundi, and the 8th Annual Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference at UKZN.
“It was very well received – which is not surprising in light of growing interest in the field, but very few journals,” Teferra told University World News
The maiden edition includes articles from some of Africa’s leading higher education researchers as well as international contributors from Europe and the United States.
The articles look, among other things, at higher education and economic growth in Africa, massification, growth and equity, quality assurance, graduate education, and the regionalisation, internationalisation and globalisation of African higher education.
Lack of information
Despite the expansion of higher education in Africa “and its underlying massive developments, accurate and current information is hard to come by, and the academic landscape is characterised by a dearth of prominent and reliable journals that chronicle African higher education,” writes Teferra in his editorial.
“To the consternation of many, the conversations on African higher education by and large take place rather erratically, in spaces beyond the borders of the continent.”
There are very few journals dedicated to studying higher education in Africa. “Most of this valiant handful of journals emerged quite recently, with the result that their credibility, quality and sustainability are yet to be gauged. A few of them are known to be struggling – and in some cases, it is not clear if they are even still in business.
“As a result, Africa lacks a central, solidly established, widely circulated and reliably documented periodical on higher education that will help promote and sustain the dialogue on the numerous developments, engagements and initiatives of the sector taking hold on the continent.”
On the editorial board of the International Journal of African Higher Education are representatives from the African Union Commission, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Center for International Higher Education, International Association of Universities, Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa and UNESCO.
“We anticipate that this journal will fulfil its promise of becoming a reputable and widely referenced journal that chronicles African higher education through active and close interaction with the networked community of ‘invisible colleges’ in Africa and the world.”
The journal is supported by Association of African Universities, Boston College Libraries, Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
* The journal is inviting manuscripts for consideration. Journal enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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