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Educating agricultural researchers: a review of the role of African universities

  • Beintema, Nienke M.
  • Pardey, Philip G.
  • Roseboom, Johannes

The number of higher-education institutions and the students enrolled in them has grown rapidly throughout Africa since the early 1960s. The number of universities increased from less than 20 in 1960 to nearly 160 by 1996; student numbers grew from 119,000 to almost two million over the same period, yet enrollment ratios in Africa continue to lag well behind developed and other-developing country norms. Funding for higher-education in Africa kept pace with the expanding institutional base during the 1960s and 1970s, but has fallen well behind the growth in student numbers since 1980. The pattern of the development of the agricultural sciences has matched the general pattern of development of the higher-education sector. Three quarters of the countries in Africa currently offer some tertiary training in the agricultural sciences. Only one half of the African faculties of agricultural sciences offer postgraduate degrees, and most of these programs were established in the past decade. Nonetheless, much of the rapid growth in the number of national scientists working in national agricultural research institutes continues to rely on scientists trained to the postgraduate (and also BSc) level outside the region.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 36.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:36
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  1. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  2. Saint, W.S., 1992. "Universities in Africa; Strategies for Stabilization and Revitalization," Papers 194, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  3. Eicher, Carl K., 1990. "Building African scientific capacity for agricultural development," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 117-143, June.
  4. Alston, Julian M. & Marra, Michele C. & Pardey, Philip G. & Wyatt, T.J., 2000. "Research returns redux: a meta-analysis of the returns to agricultural R&D," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(2), June.
  5. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-50, April.
  6. Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes & Beintema, Nienke M., 1997. "Investments in african agricultural research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 409-423, March.
  7. Eicher, Carl K., 1990. "Building African Scientific Capacity for Agricultural Development," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(2), June.
  8. Bennell, Paul, 1996. "Rates of return to education: Does the conventional pattern prevail in sub-Saharan Africa?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 183-199, January.
  9. Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes & Beintema, Nienke M. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 1999. "Cost aspects of African agricultural research:," EPTD discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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