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Democratising Higher Education in Ghana and Tanzania: Opportunity Structures ad Social Processes

posted on 2023-06-07, 22:39 authored by Louise Morley
Higher education is now perceived in international policy discourses as a powerhouse for social and economic development. It is constructed as a central site for facilitating the skills, knowledge and expertise to enable low-income countries to escape their excluded status in the global economy. However, there has been scant research and theorisation on how higher education relates to poverty reduction. Access to higher education in most African countries is determined by gender, place of residence, level of education, family income and ethnicity or religion. Students in higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa are predominantly men, with women students represented in much smaller numbers and concentrated in non-science subjects. Both female and male students are also largely from socio-economically advantaged backgrounds and from elite secondary schools. Enrolment in higher education is rising – but participation rates from a range of social groups are not necessarily increasing. The findings so far from the study suggest that opportunity structures appear to reflect social inequalities, despite organisational, national and international policy interventions to widen participation.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Society for Research into Higher Education: Annual Conference 2007

Event location

Brighton, UK

Event type


Event date

11-13 December

Department affiliated with

  • Education Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


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