Damtew Teferra

Damtew Teferra is professor of higher education and leader of the Higher Education Training and Development at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. He also directs the online International Network for Higher Education based at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.

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Most Recent Articles

November 11, 2013
Now that African higher education is undergoing “massification,” the quest for PhDs for the proliferating new institutions has become paramount.
August 25, 2013
The issue of financing higher education is increasingly a matter of interest to diverse stakeholders: governments, universities, ministries, academics, staff, students, and families/guardians.
April 28, 2013
The unprecedented expansion of higher education in Africa is often described as “massive.” Still, the enrollment rate hovers around 5-6 percent.
January 13, 2013
With due consideration and appreciation to all players in the knowledge and discourse domain, universities remain the sole credible bastions of critical inquiry, though they remain largely overlooked and their potential poorly tapped. To be more direct, knowledge, innovation and discourse generated and developed by African universities, albeit meager, remain largely underutilized, and worse, often ignored.
October 22, 2012
Quantity without quality, particularly in the context of higher education, is simply meaningless and wasteful—perhaps dangerous. The ongoing phenomenon of mergers and consolidations taking place in South Africa, as controversial as it may be, has some lessons for Africa in an expansion mode.   
August 1, 2012
On July 17, 2012, the fight to block the deeply tainted Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences has been lost. Despite numerous powerful voices and massive criticism, the UNESCO Executive Board went ahead with awarding the prize.
June 3, 2012
The rush to enroll students to the Pan-African University (PAU) is well underway. The University is racing to disseminate the information on the program; to receive, screen, and select applications; to invite applicants to interview; and to guide and enroll/place students in the designated hubs. On the other hand, the faculty are also to be solicited, recruited and hired; the programs accredited; the academic infrastructure established; the governance structure put in place. All these in three months by September 2012!  The Pan-African University is far from ready to enroll students by September 2012. Considerable academic, logistical, technical, legal, management, governance, and public relation activities should be undertaken before rushing students to the system. Or else, the reputation of the program may be severely damaged at the outset.
May 9, 2012
Botswana has accepted tertiary education as a critical driver in creating an “educated and informed nation” for economic diversification and global competitiveness. The government has made a strategic choice to replace diamonds and minerals with human skills as a more reliable and sustainable economic and social development strategy.
March 27, 2012
If the intention of Mr. Obiang and his million-dollar facelift advisers is to remake his image without changing the circumstances that tainted it, the controversy has already compromised that intention. 
March 7, 2012
While the enrollment ratio in Africa still hovers around 5 percent, with considerable disparity by countries, the continent has made remarkable strides in expanding programs, liberalizing the higher education system, and diversifying the delivery mode. Norwegian development cooperation has been known for its long-term commitment, shared ownership and generous support to capacity building in higher education in Africa. The fact that the organization has organized events in different countries of the region to engage all the stakeholders is a further testimony to these qualities.

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