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Financing Higher Education in Africa


  • World Bank


This report demonstrated that the key for success in a globalized world lies increasingly in how effectively a country can assimilate the available knowledge and build comparative advantages in areas with good growth prospects and how it can use technology to address the most pressing environmental challenges. Higher-level institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa that is equipped to impart quality education and conduct relevant applied research can play a critical role in producing workers with the skills to assimilate technology and make effective decisions that help industry to diversify into a broader range of products. Good-quality and relevant higher education is also a key to stimulating innovations in new varieties of crops, new materials, or sources of energy that would facilitate progress toward reducing poverty, achieving food security, and improving health. This report is a follow-up to the 2008 study. It examines current practices in financing higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking into account the significant differences that exist among countries. Drawing on experience from around the world, the report also examines the range of policy options that could be considered in tackling the financing issue. The report also carries an encouraging message. It shows that a full range of options do exist and that some African countries and institutions have started implementing them. Private higher education is experiencing spectacular growth in Africa. Cost-sharing programs are being implemented in many universities, accompanied by student loans and financial aid for low-income students. Higher education is being diversified to offer lower cost and more effective delivery alternatives. In a few cases, impressive reforms to improve internal efficiency have been implemented, and governments are increasingly adopting more effective budget management practices.

Suggested Citation

  • World Bank, 2010. "Financing Higher Education in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2448, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2448

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William Saint & Christine Lao & Peter Materu, 2009. "Legal Frameworks for Tertiary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa : The Quest for Institutional Responsiveness," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13526, April.
    2. World Bank, 2002. "Constructing Knowledge Societies : New Challenges for Tertiary Education," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15224, April.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2013. "Republic of Sierra Leone : Higher and Tertiary Education Sector Policy Note," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16787, The World Bank.
    2. Rita van Deuren, 2013. "Capacity Development in Higher Education Institutions in Developing Countries," Working Papers 2013/30, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Rita van Deuren, 2012. "The challenges of higher education institutions in developing countries: Why capacity development matters," Working Papers 2012/16, Maastricht School of Management.
    4. Gega Todua, 2017. "Financing Education Abroad: A Developing Country Perspective," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp608, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.


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