Joint Appointments In Ethiopian Higher Education: Introduction Partnerships to Overcome Scarcity


  • M. Wray Witten Associate Dean, Faculty of Law
  • Mitiku Haile Mitiku Haile, PhD, President of Mekell.e University


Certain sectors of Ethiopian higher education (university level) are
encountering difficulty competing for lecturers. Most notoriously, law,
medicine and engineering faculties all appear to have lost lecturers
due to what, on first sight, often seem to be the higher wages, better
working environments, and steeper career paths of private
enterprises. By comparison, many have concluded that the career
structure of higher education appears rigid and unattractive.
But is the situation really that simple? Many potential lecturers
choose to work for government or nonprofit organizations with nearly
the same career opportunities as in higher education, apparently
motivated by public spirit and ideals. Thus, when we look more
carefully, the shortage of lecturers appears to be broader than just
the more visible drain to the richer private sector. It appears instead
to be the result of a total demand for experts that is both larger and
growing faster than the supply of trained and experienced people.
The resulting competition for potential lecturers is therefore great, the
shortages are obvious, and the defections from one type of
organization to a competing one are glaring