Strengthening Higher Education Leadership in Africa: A Study of Ghana’s Situation
John Gasu, CODESRIA, Dakar, 2018, ISBN: 978-2-86978-785-8
The liberal higher education landscape that has emerged in Africa is a product of a confuence of factors that defne the neoliberal agenda in the continent. The prior notions of state responsibility for funding higher education have largely disappeared. The hegemonic leverage that the World Bank came to wield in the scheme of higher education in Africa facilitated the minimalist approach to state funding in the continent. The state was thence expected to downscale funding to public institutions; as the imperative was for the latter to corporatise their operations. As the liberal landscape became inundated with commercial actors from within and without the country, the governance cultures in higher education shifted away from the collegial to managerialism. With the erosion of the old governance cultures, fears arose about the level of quality African universities would continue to exude as the drive for fund mobilisation through commercial teaching activities became pervasive. The fear has been about the potential loss of research output as an essential part of higher education, as commercialisation of teaching services becomes a signifcant source of mobilising funds. The debate is about whether African universities would become ‘teaching only’ institutions. The capacity and the ability of leadership in African universities to steer their institutions successfully and be visible in the global knowledge production industry is an issue of concern in this book. The context in which African universities now fnd themselves and the ability of their leadership to transcend the challenges so as to restore stakeholders’ confdence in service quality remain a nagging issue. The book places Ghana within the African framework by examining the ramifcations of the turn towards a managerial culture on the leadership capacities in six Ghanaian (public and private) universities. Measures taken by the various institutions to meet in-country and international competitions are also reckoned with.
John Gasu is a Political Scientist and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Political and Historical Studies of the University for Development Studies, (Wa Campus) Tamale, Ghana. John studied in University of Oslo and University of Ghana, Legon where he respectively obtained MPhil and PhD degrees in Political Science. He has published extensively in peer reviewed journals and also contributed chapters to edited books. His research interests are in governance especially in higher education, and social policy.