University education broadens opportunities for individuals by providing access to a breadth of skills needed to thrive in life, work, and citizenship. However African universities face pressing challenges ranging from funding constraints, and low enrolment rates to low technology adoption which curtail students’ ability to acquire employability skills needed to succeed in life after graduation.
Across these challenges, the use of modern technologies by African universities to support teaching and learning is far more dire than in any other region, thus restricting their ability to rise to evolving sector challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, only 29% of higher education providers in Africa moved online compared to about 65% in Asia, and 85% in Europe.
It is against this backdrop that the FIAU 2023 Annual Meeting themed: “Strengthening Africa’s Higher Education in a Post-COVID-19 World” was convened. This is particularly crucial in the context of efforts to realise the region’s sustainable development goals targeted around education and decent work, which were severely rolled back by the pandemic.
Held alongside the 22nd edition of the Association of African Universities (AAU) Biennial Conference for Rectors and Vice Chancellors (COREVIP) in Windhoek, Namibia, the 3rd FIAU Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria gathered more than 500 esteemed participants including serving and previous Vice Chancellors, university regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders from across the world to deliberate on the opportunities and critical issues facing African universities in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.