Globalization of Higher Education

Powerful Essays
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management Vol. 30, No. 3, August 2008, 215–229

Globalisation and higher education funding policy shifts in Kenya
Gerald Wangenge-Ouma*
Faculty of Education, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa This paper identifies, examines and discusses higher education funding policy shifts that have taken place in Kenya. The paper argues that even though Kenya’s higher education funding policy shifts, from free higher education to cost-sharing, and privatisation and commercialisation, are (to a greater extent) products of the country’s encounter with globalisation, local social, political and economic dynamics have been of equally significant influence. Thus, the country’s higher education funding policies have been products of a convergence of both the dynamics of globalisation and local contextual imperatives. Furthermore, the point is made that the shift from free higher education to cost-sharing, and privatisation and commercialisation, was symptomatic of a global transition from a development paradigm that was predominantly based on Keynesianism to a neo-liberal paradigm that privileges mean expenditure on social services (such as higher education) and the market logic. Keywords: globalisation; higher education; higher education funding; higher education funding policy shifts; Kenya; neo-liberalism

For years, many governments have been trying to come up with the ‘ideal’ way of funding public higher education. Because of this continued search for an ‘ideal’ funding framework for higher education, arising mainly from societal changes and emerging development paradigms, many countries have registered several policy shifts in their higher education funding frameworks. For many African countries, Kenya included, the higher education funding policy shifts cannot be separated from these countries’ encounter with globalisation. This paper identifies, examines and discusses the shifts that have taken place in



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