Higher education 


Context

logo ens supHistorically, higher education has remained the weak link of the education system, in particular in Africa. This situation is characterized by low investments in higher education and the lack of planning, which partly explains the overcrowding effect observed in higher education and research institutions. While the access rate to higher education reaches 76% in Western countries, African countries barely exceed 18 %.

Generally speaking, higher education in Africa is facing major challenges. The growth in student enrollment, perceived as explosive, is linked to a lack of infrastructure planning and insufficient resource allocation. A World Bank report indicates indeed that enrollments in Sub-Saharan Africa increased from 200,000 to 4,500,000 between 1970 and 2008/9.In 2020, Africa will number 9,600,000 students.

These challenges fit well in the international community’s concerns, integrated in 2015 into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in view of eradicating poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring that all human beings live in peace and prosperity. Among these 17 goals, SDG4 aims, in particular, to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

The SDGs are perfectly in line with the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025 and the CAMES Strategic Development Plan 2015-2019 (Plan stratégique de développement du CAMES, PSDC), which places the issue of the quality of higher education at the core of its concerns, in an increasingly globalized and demanding world in terms of service provision and exchanges.

CAMES committed to lead the group committed to higher education, due to the relevance of the theme, its consistency with its missions, and its regional dimension backed by its extensive experience in managing the harmonization of higher education, research systems, and policies, and guaranteed by a large number of experts in member countries and elsewhere.

 

Objectives

  • Bringing together the major stakeholders of the higher education sub-sector, in view of reaching a synergy of activities and sharing best practices;

  • Carrying out sub-thematic monitoring actions on governance, system reform at bachelor's, master's, and doctorate levels, quality assurance, professionalization, and management of higher education information systems;

  • Creating and feeding an information portal on higher education in West and Central Africa, with the involvement of all stakeholders;

  • Developing an analysis and monitoring framework for SDG4 activities, in particular on higher education.

 

Activities

The monitoring of the Task Team’s activities will be performed by the Steering Committee established by CAMES, in close collaboration with the Group’s Secretariat hosted by UNESCO Dakar Office, based on a shared action plan. The designated focal points will liaise between the Secretariat of the RCG4-WCA and CAMES.