Educational Transformation and the Role of the Entrepreneurial University in Africa

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The notion of a ‘rebirth’ of entrepreneurship is evocative of social and political change; of innovation and creativity. It is also evocative of the need or desire to capture a by-gone age. However, this is not the essence of renaissance since it “implies a civilisation moribund and waiting to be renewed by inspiration from antiquity” (Masters, 2008:11). The entrepreneurial renaissance goes hand in hand with the African Renaissance, defined by Makgoba et al (1999) as ‘a unique opportunity for Africans to define themselves and their agenda according to their realities and taking into account the realities of the world around them. Furthermore, it is about Africans being agents of their own history and masters of their destiny’ (cited in Msila, 2009: 311). The entrepreneurial renaissance in Africa then should not merely be regarded as a rebirth but a more emphatic declaration of a new age, “an era apart, [and] a time of unprecedented achievement” (Master, 2008:11).This paper will explore the notion of transformation both of education and through education in Africa. It will evaluate the function of entrepreneurship in that process and, by corollary, the role of the entrepreneurial university; the Africanisation of education is also part of the debate. However, the concept of Africanisation is contested and so this paper will start by exploring its implication for education and entrepreneurship. Whilst the notion of the entrepreneurial university has been around for decades it is still contested; the paper will explore how and why. Some definitions of Africanisation imply an opposition to Western or European thoughts and traditions. However, Makhanya (2012) defines Africanisation as “acknowledging and introducing knowledge systems that are rooted in and relevant to Africa next to other knowledge systems in a quest to discover, explain and produce knowledge” (cited in Ratshikuni, 2012). From this perspective Africanisation strives for contextual and global relevance (ibid) alongside innovation. Using the ‘other knowledge systems’ as justification, and by way of comparison, the transformation of the higher education system in Europe is also explored. The Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education (COM(2006)208final) sets out a strategy for Europe which it hopes will result in more a differentiated, competitive and entrepreneurial higher education sector. The entrepreneurial university is seen to be at the heart of Europe’s higher education transformation. The similarities and differences between Africa’s and Europe’s transformation strategy will be explored. Through this process, the nature of the relationship between the university and society is seen to be changing as a new pact emerges. The nature of this pact and its implication for universities will be considered briefly before a final reflection on the entrepreneurial university and its role in educational transformation in Africa
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSystemic Entrepreneurship
    Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Issues and Case Studies
    EditorsGideon Maas, Paul Jones
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-50980-2
    ISBN (Print)978-1-349-50620-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event4th Systemic Entrepreneurship - Stellenbosch, South Africa
    Duration: 18 May 201420 May 2014


    Conference4th Systemic Entrepreneurship
    Country/TerritorySouth Africa


    • Entrepreneurial University
    • Africanisation
    • Collaboration
    • African Renaissance
    • Education
    • Transformation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Educational Transformation and the Role of the Entrepreneurial University in Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this