African University Leaders Gather to Discuss Next Generation of Educators

Grantees in this story

Johannesburg, South Africa, February 13, 2010 — Carnegie Corporation of New York convened a roundtable meeting here with leaders of African institutions of higher education to discuss the foundation’s grantmaking strategy to strengthen sub-Saharan Africa’s next generation of educators and university leaders. 

The two-day meeting, which included five vice chancellors and several deans of leading African universities, was an opportunity for Carnegie Corporation to further refine its partnership with leading African universities intended to improve post-graduate research and training capacity, leading to excellence in higher education.

The meeting was hosted by the foundation’s program director for Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Dr. Tade Aina and was attended by Prof. V. Baryamureeba, Acting Vice Chancellor of Makerere University; Prof. Cheryl De La Rey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria; Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, Vice Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand; Prof. Max Price, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town; and Prof. Cliff Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon. In addition to the vice chancellors and deans, the meeting was also attended by representatives of other foundations active in Africa as well as directors of library programs at African universities.  

Among the topics identified as priorities by many African countries and discussed at the meeting were the recruitment, development and retention of the next generation of African academics. To nurture new entrants to academia, as well as to keep those currently in the field, demands that funders address “push” factors, which usually occur within an individual’s country of origin and inhibit recruitment, development and retention by pushing academics — or those considering a career in academia — out of the profession and often out of the country. Funders must also contend with the deliberate and/or unintended outside actions that “pull” academics — or potential academics — to other countries or other professions.

The meeting also drew on earlier work to strengthen African higher education supported through the Partnership of Higher Education in Africa--a consortium of foundations that have invested over $400 million in African higher education programs over the last decade.