A political history of higher education in East Africa: The rise and fall of the University of East Africa, 1937--1970
Mngomezulu, Bhekithemba Richard
Odhiambo, E. S. Atieno
Doctor of Philosophy
From the 1920s Britain started formulating educational policies for its African colonies as part of the overall imperial policy, and in response to African agitation for higher education. In 1937, the publication of the De la Warr Commission Report set in motion a long drawn-out process of establishing the federal University of East Africa. Subsequently, territorial and inter-territorial tensions regarding the nature and function of the envisaged regional University emerged and continued up to independence. After independence, the spirit of nationalism and the divergent policies followed by East African nation-states exacerbated the tensions regarding the anticipated University. When the University was inaugurated in June 1963, these tensions made it inevitable that the University would split. In a sense, the University of East Africa was a stillborn entity. This study explores the tensions within the history of the University of East Africa with the view to establishing why it was established and why it disintegrated in 1970. The study analyzes these tensions at four levels: (i) the tensions which emerged between the British authorities and East African constituencies when the idea of a regional University was conceived during the colonial period; (ii) the tensions obtaining between the British government and its Governors and Directors of Education in East Africa during the 1920s and 1930s; (iii) inter-territorial tensions in East Africa before and after independence; and (iv) sustained tensions within each territory.
African history; Political science; Higher education