THE CHALLENGES OF MASSIFICATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND ITS RAMIFICATIONS WITH A FOCUS ON AFRICA: WHAT ROLE CAN INDUSTRY PLAY?

B. Mngomezulu

University of KwaZulu-Natal (SOUTH AFRICA)
Higher education in Africa has been a contested terrain since the advent of colonialism and apartheid (in the case of South Africa). Pre-colonial institutions of higher learning in Africa had a clear focus and were less confrontational (if at all) as evidenced in the universities established in places like Cairo, Morocco and Timbuktu. However, colonial and post-colonial higher education institutions were established within the wider political context. As such, their establishment was riddled by contestation as they could not be insulated from the wider political context. Some questioned the wisdom of establishing such institutions in the first instance. Once they were in existence, questions were asked as to how its curriculum content, research focus, teaching methodologies, etc. should be designed. National universities were established in order to address some of these issues. Lately, massification of higher education has become a new phenomenon. As more students enroll at tertiary institutions, several problems arise. Included in the list are: lack of funding, decrease in the quality of teaching, poor graduate students, etc. This paper will discuss these and other issues from an African perspective and look at the role of industry in the massification process.