International Educator - January/February 2017 - 12

voices
B Y D AV I D T O B E N K I N

Expanding Higher Education in Ethiopia
An interview with University of Gondar President
Desalegne Mengesha Degefaw
is an Ethiopian university administrator and academic
who in December 2015 was named president of the University of Gondar (UoG), one of the
largest and most distinguished higher education institutions in the country, with more than
40,000 students in 10 colleges inside five campuses, 1,700 faculty, and more than 4,500 administrative staff and health professionals. Desalegne (he prefers to be identified by his first name)
has helped manage the institution's tremendous expansion in size and academic offerings. Over
the last seven years, UoG has expanded the number of undergraduate and postgraduate programs from 25 to 70 and from eight to more than 90, respectively, has added two new campuses
to three existing ones, and has expanded the number of students from 12,000 to 40,000. Desalegne has extensive international experience, having served as a Fulbright visiting scholar at
Ohio State University in 2013-14, where he strengthened existing partnerships between colleges and units between the two universities, and through current service as a 2015 NAFSA Global
Dialogue Fellow. He is also active in higher education initiatives within Ethiopia, one of Africa's
most populous countries, where he serves as the chair of the Forum of Public Higher Education Institutions in the Amhara region of the country and as a member of two national higher
education councils. He holds a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Addis Ababa University.
DESALEGNE MENGESHA DEGEFAW

IE: What are the big challenges for the expansion

and improvement of the Ethiopian and African
higher education sectors and how would you
recommend addressing them?
DESALEGNE: Financial shortages limiting support for infrastructure and facilities and low staff salaries are among
the many challenges to expanding and improving Ethiopian and African higher education. The Ethiopian scenario
on capital investment is improving, as the country now
allocates 25 percent of its annual GDP on education, with
much of this amount going to higher education expansion.
Huge laboratory and other facilities are now being built in
almost all universities in Ethiopia. However, salaries of both
teaching and nonteaching staff are very low and hence the
staff turnover, especially of teaching staff, is higher. Most of
the higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ethiopia are not
able to retain their teaching and research staff, especially
12  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B .17

at higher academic positions, due to the lower salary rates,
with a similar situation in most of the African countries,
especially sub-Saharan countries. Another important challenge in African higher education institutions, especially in
science and technology fields, is the shortage of laboratory
equipment, chemicals, and reagents.
IE: Efforts to greatly expand access to higher

education have challenged many African HEIs,
resulting in uneven quality in different academic
programs given inadequate time and resources for
natural growth. What are your thoughts on how
this can best be addressed, including any steps you
have taken at the University of Gondar, given its
tremendous growth in recent years?
DESALEGNE: Uneven quality of education happens
in many programs within a university in many African



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com