This chapter in the 2011 Africa Competitiveness Report analyses systems of higher education in Africa using five African countries— Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia— as case studies. Specifically, the chapter analyzes current enrolment trends, accessibility and equity, governance, quality and relevance, financing, university-industry linkages (UILs), and entrepreneurship education in tertiary education curricula. The idea is to look at what works well and what does not, to consider what challenges need to be confronted, and to discuss lessons learned and the way forward for reforming tertiary education in Africa.
The major challenges identified as facing tertiary education in African countries are how to expand access and at the same time improve quality and relevance, how to make it more equitable, and how to provide adequate financial resources. Overcoming these challenges will involve a massive expansion and restructuring of tertiary educational systems in particular, and education generally. Based on the evidence from the five countries, this should be based on three pillars: quantity and equity, quality and relevance, and financing.