Higher Education in the East African Community

Part III

Regional approaches

Latin America & The Caribbean

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Middle East & North Africa

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North America

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Higher Education in the East African Community

Mike Kuria and Gaspard Banyankimbona


Higher Education (HE) in East Africa dates to 1949 when Makerere College was renamed Makerere College, University of East Africa. Since then, HE in the region has grown to more than 300 universities with over 2 million students today. This contribution argues that HE has always played a significant role in the integration of the East African Community (EAC). It demonstrates that education continued to unite East Africa even after the collapse of the East African Community in 1977, after only about 10 years of existence, before its revitalisation in 1999. The paper traces the evolution of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) from its formation as the Inter-University Committee in 1970 to its current status as EAC’s organ responsible for HE. The paper postulates that in the context of the current 6 EAC Partner States, despite the establishment of a regional quality assurance system, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of harmonisation of education and building a system that allows mutual recognition of qualifications, credit accumulation and transfer, mobility of staff and students, comparability of qualifications, and international recognition. It concludes that, nevertheless, the region is moving in the right direction.


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