September 2018


Eight Vice Chancellors of African universities have proposed three interlinked actions to revive higher education and the development of research-active universities in Africa. In an article, Repositioning Africa in global knowledge production, published in The Lancet on August 30, 2018, proposes: differentiation of the higher education system across the continent; new funding mechanisms for research-intensive universities; and new accountability systems for research-intensive universities. These three approaches aim to create the conditions that will enable African universities to produce knowledge and provide internationally competitive research training. Such investment and restructuring will allow, in particular, early career researchers to increase the amount of time they spend on research and allow academics to devote more time to research training. The history of how research training has evolved over time in Africa is discussed in the article but a significant part of the current problem is limited funding of universities