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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Makerere's myths, Makerere's history: a retrospect
Author:Sicherman, CarolISNI
Periodical:Journal of Higher Education in Africa (ISSN 0851-7762)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
educational history
higher education
Makerere University--History
Abstract:Stemming from her experience of writing a history of Makerere University, Uganda, the author examines how the myths that have grown up around the university in the eighty-five years since its founding in 1922 have obscured a clear view of the evolving institution, which she defines as 'a university in Africa' rather than 'an African university'. The first myth, of an egalitarian paradise enjoyed by fully-funded students, was questioned even during its heyday by intellectuals disillusioned by the failure during the 1960s to fulfil the late colonial dream. In the aftermath of the tormented 1970s and 1980s, a variant myth declared that new funding formulas made Makerere even more egalitarian. Proponents of this myth claimed that anyone who qualified for admission could attend; however, since government scholarships went to increasingly smaller proportions of the student body, only those who could raise the necessary funds themselves could take advantage of the supposedly widened access. After questioning the meaning of 'African' in a sociopolitical context still strongly flavoured by foreign influence, the author moves to consider the challenges that researchers may encounter in writing about universities in Africa: challenges that differ according to whether the researcher is an insider or outsider. The paper ends by asking what African academics can do to rid Makerere of the diseases threatening its institutional health. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]