CFP: Understanding Higher Education in Contemporary Africa

Ogechi Anyanwu's picture
Call for Publications
December 31, 2015
Kentucky, United States
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, History Education

Understanding Higher Education in Contemporary Africa is a multidisciplinary and comparative study of higher education in post-colonial Africa. Edited by experts in the field of higher education development in Africa, this book seeks to capture the often forgotten educational issues that continue to dictate the direction of education in modern Africa. The independence of African countries, especially in the 1960s and 1979s brought a revolution of rising expectations on the part of Africans. Those expectations were unsurprising as most African countries in the early 1960s and 1970s had successfully liberated their countries from colonial rule. They expected to enjoy the benefits of their struggles. Nowhere was this anticipation more evident and pronounced than in the people’s desire to obtain higher education degrees. Access to education was elitist during the colonial period. Due to cost considerations and the desire to maintain ‘high academic standards,’ European colonial governments made little investments in expanding educational facilities and curriculum in their colonies to accommodate rising demand.  

In response to social demand—and eager to train the human resources critically needed to champion economic development and social transformation—leaders in post-colonial African countries engaged higher education as a vehicle for social, political, and economic development. To postcolonial African people, education, as shown in Education and Nation Building in Africa, held “the key that will open the door to a better life and the higher living standards they were promised as the reward of the struggle for nation liberation.” Postcolonial leaders reflected the prevailing public mood in their speeches. Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanzania, declared that universities must “join with the people of East Africa in the struggle to build a nation worthy of the opportunity we have won.” Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the president of Côte d’Ivoire, sought to engage universities in realizing the expectations of modern economy. As he rightly stated, the “problems of political, economic, and cultural development of our societies, and rising of the standard of living constitute immediate objectives [and] require us to enlist the help of all the institutions of our states.” In his address at the inauguration of Haile Selassie 1 University in 1961, Emperor Haile Selassie, the president of Ethiopia stressed that “universities today stand as the most promising hope for constructive solutions to the problems that beset the modern world … and the money spent in coordinating, strengthening, and expanding higher education in Ethiopia is well invested.”

Has higher education in Africa fulfilled the hopes and expectations of the people more than five decades since independence? This book seeks to answer that question. The editors would like to invite you to contribute a chapter in this edited book intended to give both instructors and college students a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the centrality of education in understanding modern Africa. The book will show how religion, politics, economy, and society intersect, shedding light on the pre-colonial informal educational system, the imposition of Western styled-elitist education, and the “Africanization” of Western education in postcolonial Africa—themes that run through modern nations of African state like interwoven threads. Each manuscript should explore any of the themes below using one or two countries in Africa as a case study. We have designed the themes to guide scholars, but contributors are free to develop topics within the broad themes suggested. Each chapter should discuss the higher educational traditions upheld by the chosen country during the colonial period, the changes that occurred following independence and a comprehensive assessment of higher education policy outcomes in recent years. The editors welcome scholarly submissions from academics and researchers in the field.

Please consult the list of themes below and submit a 300-word abstract of your proposed paper to,, on or before December 30, 2015. You will receive notifications of acceptance of abstracts on January 15, 2016. If your proposal is accepted for publication, you will be requested to submit a complete essay on May 30, 2016 not more than 13,000 words. Papers must be original and should not be previously published or simultaneously been reviewed elsewhere for publication. All articles will be peer-reviewed before they are accepted for publication. For any further inquiries, do not hesitate to contact the editors.



  1. Admissions and the Politics of Entrance to Higher Education
  2. Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa
  3. Massification and Expansion of Higher Education  
  4. Cultism and Social Life in Higher Educational Institutions
  5. Curriculum Expansion in African Universities
  6. Brain Drain, Brain Gain and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education  
  7. Military Regimes and Higher Education in Africa
  8. The World Bank, IMF, and Higher Education Financing
  9. Academic Freedom and Political Interference in University Administration
  10. Private Providers of Higher Education
  11. The impact of Terrorism and War against it on Africa’s Higher Education
  12. The Fate of Women in Africa’s Higher Education
  13. Mother Tongue and the Politics of Language
  14. Corruption and Management of Universities
  15. Innovation and Success Stories in African Universities
  16. Publish or Perish: Promotion and Academic Standards in Africa
  17. African Higher Education in the Digital Age


Dr. Ogechi E. Anyanwu

Associate Professor of History 
Eastern Kentucky University
310 Keith Building
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: (859) 622-1375

Dr. Michael Mwenda Kithinji                     

Assistant Professor of History 

University of Central Arkansas

Irby Hall 421

201 Donaghey Avenue

Conway, AR 72035

Phone: (501) 450-5650

Fax (501) 450-5617



Dr. Iddah Aoko Otieno
Professor of English & African Studies

Bluegrass Community & Technical College

101 Academic & Technical Building

470 Cooper Drive Lexington, KY 40506-0235

PHONE: (859)-246-6341

FAX: (859)-246-4670


Contact Info: 

Dr. Ogechi E. Anyanwu

Associate Professor of History 
Eastern Kentucky University
310 Keith Building
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: (859) 622-1375

Contact Email: