The Ethiopian experience: a higher education system in context Prof Kate Ashcroft
What I will cover • The context • What sort of place is Ethiopia? • What education (especially HE) is offered? • The 13 new Higher Education Institution Study: • Curriculum and pedagogic issues – what does the country need? • Organizational and qualifications structures – what is realistic and desirable? • Resourcing issues – what can the country afford?
What sort of place is Ethiopia • Ethiopia is a happy country • Ethiopians are a strikingly beautiful people • People are friendly and unthreatening and someone is always willing to go out of their way to help you • People are generally honest and violent crime is rare
The Ethiopians are a cultured people • The Ethiopian monarchy was 3000 years old • The Royal family is believed to be descended from the Queen of Sheba and Solomon • Ethiopia was never colonized • It still uses the Gregorian Calendar, so is about to celebrate the millennium • Ethiopia has its own way of telling the time • The calendar has 13 months
Ethiopian Christianity is a unique religion • The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest in the world: it was established in 300 AD • It has books in its bible such as the Book of Enoch • It is a schism of a schism of a schism • Its practices have evolved from ancient Judaism • Ethiopia’s Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world. Most emigrated en mass to Israel in the 1970s • Ethiopia’s religions live in harmony with each other
Every day living is enjoyable for most people • The food is good and varied in most places • There are little shops and businesses everywhere • There are comfortable, middle class homes BUT • There are many homeless and beggars too – poverty is real
Ethiopia has varied wildlife and a wonderful climate • A beautiful country, endlessly interesting • More species of bird than any African country except South Africa • A wide variety of wildlife in remote areas
Ethiopia’s countryside is stunningly beautiful • Varied: mountains mostly, but green plains, deserts and the Rift Valley • The climate is pleasant in most of the country for most of the year with temperatures averaging around 70 degrees • Elsewhere, climates vary from a little chilly to steamy hot • Plenty of water in most places, but not harvested
But, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries: Why? • Terms of trade and treaties made in the past • Lack of colonization and outside influences • Authoritarian history • Border disputes • Role of the church • Harmful traditional practices and beliefs • A very conservative and traditional society, with strong authoritarian tendencies • A very bureaucratic country • High birth rate • Land tenure
Some statistics • The average age at death is 46 • HIV AIDS rate 7.3% (Millennium Aids Campaign Ethiopia prepared FHAPCO). Teachers are one of two high risk groups for HIV/AIDs: supply less than numbers dying. • Most primary teachers have only one year of training after grade 10: 17 year olds teach class of over 100. • Worst in the world for road traffic accidents • Female genital mutilation and abduction are illegal, but common • Forced early marriage – the average age of full marriage (sexual) is 12 and a half and 11 is common
Some more statistics • The 3rd poorest country in the world • 85% of the population live in the countryside • Most have no access to sanitation or running water, even in the towns • The average person lives on considerably less than 50p a day • Around 50% of the population is Christian, 40% Muslim and 10% animist • There are 86 languages spoken in Ethiopia
BUT there are reasons to be cheerful • Ethiopia as a country is determined to modernise (and if anything a little too ambitious) • ICT is a priority: The plan is to have 12,000 regional hubs • The big push is quality of teaching and numbers in education at all levels, starting with primary • There are thriving towns and modern and traditional businesses • There is little religious tension
More reasons to be cheerful • More primary education for girls means later marriage and fewer children • Power has been devolved from the centre to local authorities • There have been (imperfect) general elections • The war with Eritrea has not been active for 8 years • Infrastructure development (roads, water and ICT especially) is proceeding fast • Very little corruption
Ethiopia using education to develop Education from 1996/7 to 2004/5: • 54.7% more primary schools, from 10,394 to 16,563 • 85% of the new schools are in rural areas. • Primary Enrolment Rate grew from 34.7%, to in 79.8% (71.5% for girls and 88% for boys). • 53.5% more secondary schools from 369 to 690 in • Enrolment Rate grew from 8.4% to 27%: girls from 7% to 19.6%. • Public technical/vocational training colleges grew from 17 before 1994 to 199
My role • Volunteer for two and a half years, paid on a local salary • Higher education management advisor to the Minister of Education and Vice Minister for HE • Acting Director of the Higher Education Strategy Centre (a mixture of HEFCE and HEPI)
What I did • Chaired a National Committee of Enquiry into Governance, Leadership and Management in HE • Developed a formula to distribute a block grant to universities • Studied what should be the partnership between the public and private sector HEIs • Researched what the 13 new HEIs to be opened in the country should do I will some aspects of cover the 13 new HEIs Study
Higher Education is expanding very rapidly • From 1996/7 to 2004/5 HE grew from one university to 9. • Student numbers grew from 35,000 to 187,500 in 2004/5 • 13 new HEIs are to be opened in the next couple of years • Numbers in existing HEIs are to double by 2009
The context for Higher Education is changing very rapidly New HE Proclamation: • More autonomy • More independent Boards • Move from line budgets to block grant • Student and staff rights • A quality assurance agency • Pedagogic support units • The Higher Education Strategy Centre
What the 13 new HEI study looked at • Curriculum and pedagogic issues – what does the country need? • Organizational and qualifications structures – what is realistic and desirable? • Resourcing issues – what can the country afford?
Methodology • An extensive literature review • Analysis of various government policies and strategies • 50 interviews with a range of representatives of ministries, donor organizations, NGOs and employers • Regional workshops with representatives from Education, Health, Capacity Building, and Finance and Economic Development Bureaus, representatives of local business or industry, heads of TVET colleges, heads of a secondary school and representatives from HEIs in each region • Studies of relevance to the research by contracted researchers each focused on a particular region or sub regions • Visits by research assistants to four regions
Is the Ethiopian HE a system? If a higher education system is defined as: • a set of interrelated institutions • each with its own function within the system, • each with its own goals, • each of which makes a particular contribution to the functioning of the country Ethiopia has a collection of institutions rather than a system.
Recommendations: New forms of HEI Not all the new HEIs can or should be university colleges • Universities (Adama) • University colleges (Dire Dawa and Dilla) Affiliated higher education colleges (the rest) - with a close relationship with an existing university - with close regional ties - offering 12 + 1 and 12 + 2 only • Need for a more developed qualifications framework
PhD (MSc + 3) MA/MSc+1 absent MA/MSc (BA/BSc + 2) BA/BSc +1 absent BA/BSc 12+1 & 12+2 absent Grade 12 The Present Qualification Pyramid in Ethiopia
Recommendations: A New Qualifications Framework • 12 + 1: Higher Education Certificate • 12+2: Associate Degree • 12+ 3: Bachelor’s Degree • Bachelors +1: Post Graduate Certificate • Bachelor’s +2: MA/MBA/MSc • Bachelor’s +3: MPhil • PhD
Recommendations: Pedagogic issues All courses should include: • Entrepreneurialism • Work focus and problem solving • HIV/AIDS issues • Inclusivity issues Implies • Less curriculum • New methods of staff development • Focus on what Ethiopia needs
Recommendations: New sources of funding • Higher rates of graduate tax • Charges for services such as food and lodging (perhaps supported by food vouchers for the poorest) • Local recruitment (to save on lodging provision) • Admitting some fee-paying students over and above those allocated by Government.
Recommendations: Staffing • Focusing mainly on one and two year higher education qualifications and a limited number of programs • Paying postgraduate degree holders as ‘master instructors’ to design the programs, give the lead lectures, do lesson plans for seminars; and second mark a proportion of assignments • Employing graduate assistants to undertake seminars and first marking of assignments • (The existing universities) expanding post graduate training for instructors rapidly and making it relevant for Ethiopia’s new HEIs • Less PG study abroad
Recommendations: ICT • ICT in distance learning: where there is demand, in mixed media mode; in cooperation with each other and international HEIs • In administration: systems for procurement and supplies; asset monitoring; transport; estates management; finance, registry; human resource management; libraries; committee records etc • All new HEIs have broadband quality ICT in all classrooms; instructor offices; administrative offices; classrooms and libraries and the hardware to make these functional.
More on the 13 new HEI project and the other studies www.higher.edu.et