Models of Higher Education Governance: Rethinking the Ethiopian Experience


  • Mengistu Hailu Assistant Professor, Mekelle University


: The conceptualization and role of higher education has evolved
over the years depending on the philosophies of the times and other social
demand imperatives. The Ethiopian higher education governance model in
the last six decades could be described as the state centered model.
HEIslack the financial, personnel and substantive autonomy. Regardless of
change in regimes, it did not show any significant changes to respond to
changes in social demands and the governments' own strategic goals.
Despite its contributions to socio-political change of the nation, where HE
students are credited for propelling the transition from a long held feudal
system, HEs contribution to economic and social growth of the nation has
been stifled. This could be attributed to the governance model the sub sector
followed in its entire history. There has been rapid expansion of the sub
sector in the last two decades and a half, but relevance, quality, and outcome
of the sub sector are being questioned given the deficit skill set and mounting
unemployment rate of the graduates. All these factors call for a significant
structural change in the governance of the sub-sector. The governance of
Ethiopian higher education institutions should evolve commensurate to the
emerging mission and social demand for higher education by reconsidering
the current relationship of the state, the HE institutions and the market.