Strengthening University Governance in Sub-Sahara Africa: The Ghanaian Perspective
International Journal of Educational Management, 2018, vol. 32, issue 4, pages 606-624
Posted: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 15, 2018
Purpose The incentive to strengthen university governance is espoused by a number of implications but among these three are very conspicuous: improve quality of university education system, and thus provide students and the general public value for money; enhance the utilization of resources invested in university education; and nevertheless contribute significantly in human capital formation, guaranteeing effective and efficient public leadership and services to society. However, there are dearth studies on how this can be realized in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Ghana. The purpose of this paper is to explore pertinent issues for desirable university governance and how it can be achieved in the sub-region drawing from the Ghanaian perspective.
Design/methodology/approach This is a qualitative study seeking to explore the questions: what is needed to ensure desirable university governance? And how can it be achieved? Data were collected from primary sources and bolstered with secondary sources. In-depth interviews (structured and semi-structured guides) and documentary evidence were used to collect data from 19 participants in selected public and private universities in Ghana.
Findings The study examines key governance issues such as funding, accountability, infrastructure, trust, and regulation. The paper further identifies and discusses dilemmas (weakness in legislative instruments, quality assurance, increased enrollment and self-regulation) institutions of higher learning have had to contend with in the discharge of their duty.
Social implications In an effort to make a difference between poverty and wealth, knowledge becomes an indispensable means and university education is at the center of such knowledge. The call for public universities to be managed like businesses continuous to be as contentious as an issue, as the term governance and the discussion might not end any moment soon. For the proponents of this idea, public universities are no longer getting the needed resource support from the state and by implication the state does no longer view university education as a social good and, therefore, they must find their own way of operating by introducing reasonable fees to generate revenue. However, the school of thought that is against this idea thinks that university education must continue to be treated as a social good because it is geared toward the development of the country and is expensive and if not subsidized, who can afford. The poor and disadvantaged will be marginalized and so the state must directly or indirectly continue to fund university education in return for accountability.
Originality/value This explorative study is a contribution to the discourse of university governance. It primarily focuses on issues that could serve as a catalyst in enhancing university education. This has important implications for equipping universities in Ghana and within the African sub-region with similar challenges for a better output to meet the development needs of its ailing economies and reposition it as a major firebrand to instill competition on the global arena of lifelong learning.
Keywords: Ghana, Education Policy, Sub-Sahara Africa, Management, University Governance
JEL Classification: I2, I20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation