African Perspective of the Challenges and Prospects of Massification of Higher Education

  • Dr. Simon Kibet Kipchumba
Keywords: Massification, Higher education, Challenges


This article provides an overview of massification on higher education in Africa over the past four decades. It discusses the forces behind its expansion, challenges and prospects in its attempt to offer quality education. In recent years, Africa's higher education has undergone an unprecedented transformation, including the phenomenal expansion of the sector in terms of numbers and diversity of institutions and academic programmes, rapid growth in enrollments, development of quality assurance frameworks, and enhancement of institutional governance, among other things. These transformations are a consequence of many new events, which have allowed the sector to start regaining its key position in terms of Africa's development. In Africa, the massification of higher education has taken place mainly because of advancement at primary and secondary education levels, therefore, resulting in a large group of graduates seeking access to higher education. Africa has witnessed increased enrollments into post-secondary training institutions, and therefore, higher education has faced challenges such as funding, institutional management and governance, quality and relevance and strain on its infrastructure. Massification in higher education in Africa is characterised by capacity expansion both in private and public universities in the wake of the high demand. Massification has brought in some of the prospects such as continuous improvement in education systems, innovations, knowledge management, and country’s development. The study concludes that the government should provide some assistance to universities and colleges but restrict their establishment and growth to those that can provide new programs in areas of critical need such as technology, economics and sciences.