Towards meaningful strengthening of higher education systems for massive numbers of students in Ghana

Peachey, Anna (2014). Towards meaningful strengthening of higher education systems for massive numbers of students in Ghana. In: UKFIET Forum on Higher Education and International Development, 24 Oct 2014, London, UK.

Abstract

This paper presents the critical impressions of the researcher as a participant observer in a series of workshops led by the Ghanaian National Council for Tertiary Education and supported and facilitated by the Open University UK. The workshops represent the final stages in a long consultation process among key stakeholders in Ghanaian tertiary education (TE) to develop a workable solution for a meaningful increase in access to tertiary education for massive numbers of students in the country. The paper will describe the historic and current situation for tertiary education in Ghana, drawing on both domestic and international context. In 2014 there is unprecedented demand for TE among a population with a median age of around 20 years and where there are already high numbers of unemployed graduates. The paper will present the significant risks, challenges and opportunities involved in addressing this demand as identified by those who have most at stake, along with reflections on the process of providing expert and (relatively) objective institutional facilitation for what was inevitably a sensitive process of consultation required to support multiple agendas. Discussion and conclusions will describe the resultant, collaborative proposal and the next steps for all parties, including the means for rigorous interrogation, assessment and validation of the proposition. The paper will conclude with lessons learned.

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