Our university: Ethnicity, higher education and the quest for state legitimacy in Kenya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In East Africa, no other country has witnessed as great a surge in university institutions as Kenya. The intent of this paper is to explore the persistence of the ethnic configurations in the surge of higher education in Kenya, within the context of the country's history. Outlining the major flashpoints in the country's history will be significant in contextualizing the contemporary ethno-configurations of university developments. The thesis of the article is that the current development of universities along tribal (In this article, the terms ethnic and tribe are used interchangeably to denote the feelings of belonging based on identifiable attributes including kinship, commensality, and a common cult.) lines, though rationalized on a desire to meet increased demand and to provide high level manpower has historical antecedents, and is informed by the state's quest for political legitimacy. By tolerating-albeit latently-ethnic patterns to inform university development, the state, which has suffered a legitimacy crisis since independence, opens an avenue to justify its raison d'être and sustain mass loyalty. Therefore, despite repeated calls to enact policies and strategies that would stem the tide of mushrooming universities along ethnic lines, the state has only demonstrated a minimal political will to act.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-63
Number of pages21
JournalHigher Education Policy
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

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university development
Kenya
legitimacy
ethnicity
university
education
manpower
East Africa
history
kinship
loyalty
ritual
persistence
ethnic group
demand

Keywords

  • East Africa
  • Ethnicity
  • Kenya

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Our university : Ethnicity, higher education and the quest for state legitimacy in Kenya. / Munene, Ishmael I.

In: Higher Education Policy, Vol. 26, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 43-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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