Tertiary education in Africa

In response to my diatribe, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Shanta Devarajan, points me to his article on tertiary education in Africa:

This paper identifies the twin problems of higher education financing in Africa—inadequate resources and poor use of existing resources—and traces them to the preponderance of free, public tertiary education in most countries, despite a weak economic rationale for such an approach and unintended consequences of inequitable access and politicization of higher education.

It proposes a reform of higher education finance based on principles of rationalizing government’s role, taking into account the politics of such reforms and the institutional changes needed for a well functioning system of tertiary education in Africa.

Sadly I barely have time to eat my breakfast this week, so I won’t be able to comment. But there is a lively debate in the comments section over at Shanta’s blog. Recommended.