n South African Journal of Higher Education - Higher Education in Africa : in defence of a liberal-communitarian conception of autonomy

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article makes an argument for a system of higher education governance that allows the university some freedom but one that manages to offer a critical examination of the lived circumstances of people and their worldview. This proposal for higher education autonomy on the continent is in tandem with Africa's experiences as well as giving space for universities to be globally competitive in the knowledge economy. The article proposes to do this firstly by examining how questions of autonomy are under ridden in different forms or structures of governance. This is followed by a short analysis of forms of governance that prevail in most universities on the African continent. The article ends in proposing situated autonomy, one that carries elements of both liberalism and communitarianism, as a better way of understanding autonomy given Africa's particular history and its trajectories.

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