Harmonization of higher education in Africa and Europe: Policy convergence at supranational level

  • Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College, United States
Keywords: higher Education, harmonization, Bologna Process, regional integration, African Union


While the Bologna Process in Europe is the leading example, regional efforts towards harmonization of higher education are taking place in every corner of the world. In Africa, such a process has its roots from decades ago, although more coordinated activities are only recent phenomena. This paper looks back at the harmonization processes in Africa and Europe, and argues that although the process in Africa has been influenced by its European counterpart, the former has its own unique features, among other things, in its thematic and sub-regional initiatives. The paper notes similarities and differences between the two processes, appreciates the strengths and shortcomings of the African process, and highlights the importance for the African Union to more effectively utilize its leverage as a coordinating body, with a wider and more meaningful involvement of higher education institutions and other stakeholders. It also calls for more exploration into the potential strengths and risks in harmonization initiatives strongly rooted at sub-regional level.

Received: 06 March 2018
Accepted: 04 May 2018
Published online: 31 May 2018


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Author Biography

Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis, Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College, United States

Research assistant and doctoral student at the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College (USA). He has previously served as a faculty member at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) and as consultant for the World Bank (Washington, DC). He is also the immediate past managing editor of the International Journal of African Higher Education. His main research interest includes higher education partnerships, internationalization of higher education, higher education and development, scientific diaspora engagement and policy and governance in higher education. Mail: ayenachew@gmail.com


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How to Cite
Woldegiyorgis, Ayenachew Aseffa. 2018. “Harmonization of Higher Education in Africa and Europe: Policy Convergence at Supranational Level”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 5 (2), 133-57. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-5(2)-2018pp133-157.