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Public Humanities – Thinking Freedom in the African University

“This is a major intellectual intervention since the neo-liberalisation of our universities which has had devastating effect on intellectual freedom, critical thought and creativity. It is my hope that the essays in this book will rekindle the debate on the University as a public space and reignite the struggle to reclaim education as the commons and not a commodity for sale.”

Issa Shivji, Professor Emeritus, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“The essays composing this book are an excellent illustration of how, through an exercise of interdisciplinarity, it is possible to combine theory and practice in the analysis of the context of knowledge production on the continent, addressing themes that are fundamental to African academics. The questions raised become more important in the context of an uncertain future generated by the threats
from COVID-19, which force us to rethink our institutions and their role, but also to permanently find alternatives to produce scientific knowledge from within.”

Professor Teresa Cruz e Silva, Centro de Estudos Africanos,

Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique

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African Universities in the Twenty-First Century, Volume I: Liberalisation and Internationalisation (Printed)

As the twenty first century unfolds, African universities are undergoing change and confronting challenges which are unprecedented. The effects of globalisation, and political and economic pressures of liberalisation and privatisation, both internal and external, are reconfiguring all aspects of university life: teaching, research, and their public service functions; such that the need to redefine the roles of the African universities, and to defend their importance have become paramount. At the same time, the universities must themselves balance demands of autonomy and accountability, expansion and excellence, diversification and differentiation, and internationalisation and indigenisation. In a climate in which scholarship and production are increasingly dependent on ICTs, and are becoming globalised, the universities must address the challenges of knowledge production and dissemination. The need to indigenise global scholarship, to their own requirements, meanwhile is ever- pressing.

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