Doctoral Education in Commonwealth Africa (DECA) Phase II

Doctoral Education in Commonwealth Africa – Stakeholder Consultation
26 - 28 July 2017  |  Kenyatta University (Kenya), and The Open University of Tanzania (Tanzania)


Executive Summary

The development of doctoral education in Commonwealth Africa is critical for the future developments of these nations, their higher education systems and universities, as well as their knowledge ecosystems. Doctoral education is recognised as the crucial platform in developing the next generation of scholars, researchers, academics, scientists, and advanced knowledge workers for these nations. Therefore, doctoral graduates are considered as vital drivers of innovation and economic growth. However, Commonwealth Africa is not a monolithic entity but includes eighteen sovereign member states with a wide diversity of national strategies and priorities. They also have a range of higher education systems with the universities of varying missions, sizes and characteristics.

A synthesis report formulated for the stakeholder consultation in Kenya and Tanzania explores doctoral education across eleven Commonwealth African countries as case studies. This synthesis report discusses the trends, issues, and gaps in doctoral education across Commonwealth Africa and/or specific countries in terms of structure, funding, supervision, courses, academic talents, quality assurance, and technology based on country reports and a book written about doctoral education in one of the countries. More importantly, the synthesis report highlights good practices as well as policy recommendations at the systemic and institutional levels

The “Doctoral Education in Commonwealth Africa” project is a follow-up initiative of the policy brief presented and endorsed at the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in 2015. Subsequent workshops have been conducted in Cape Town and Kuala Lumpur to discuss doctoral education in the respective Commonwealth African countries, leading to an issues paper and country reports. And finally, the synthesis report.



Individuals participated in the consultative sessions were attached to the following institutions:



  • Commission for University Education (Accreditation Division)
  • Egerton University
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
  • Kenyatta University
  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Maseno University
  • Ministry of Education
  • Moi University
  • National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI)
  • The National Treasury
  • University of Nairobi
  • University of Rwanda



  • Ardhi University Tanzania
  • Dar Es Salaam Institute of Technology
  • Dar Es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)
  • Eckernforde Tanga University
  • Institute of Adult Education
  • Law School of Tanzania
  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
  • Mwalimu Nyerere College
  • Open University of Tanzania
  • Saint Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences (SFUCHAS)
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)
  • St John’s University of Tanzania
  • Teofilo Kisanji University (TEKU)
  • Tumaini University Dar Es Salaam College (TUDARCO)
  • University of Bagamoyo (UoB)
  • University of Dar Es Salaam (UDSM)



The stakeholder consultations provided constructive inputs and almost all facts in the synthesis report were verified. Good practices and policy recommendations represented in the synthesis report concreted and further improved. This has led to a negotiated final report for policy on Doctoral Education in Commonwealth Africa. Besides, network with Commonwealth African scholars in the area of doctoral education and postgraduate education has been widened.



A time of knowledge sharing and exchanging of insights facilitated doctoral education. However, there remains plenty of room for improving the quality of doctoral education and enhancing the support for individual candidates, supervisors, and institutions inthe provision of doctoral education.