Examining expansion and trends in higher education in Mozambique, Africa

Abstract

Concerns about expansion in higher education (HE) have increasingly become a focus of educational policymakers in sub-Saharan countries. However, critical analysis and discussion of the expansion of higher education in Mozambique and changes in its composition have received little attention. We used historical track data provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher and Professional and Technical Education of Mozambique (MCTESTP) from 2008 to 2015 to examine the growth from 58,643 to 116,037 students in the social sciences, humanities and social services (SSHSS). The natural sciences, engineering, agriculture and healthcare (NSEAH) registered growth from 15,051 to 41,092 students. The total number of students registered annually in SSHSS and NSEAH in 49 public and private institutions averaged 84,083 and 28,114 students, respectively, totalling approximately 174,680 students. The data allowed assessing the expansion and trends of HE rooted in practices of isomorphism reflected in diversification and fragmentation of the country’s HE system. Our analyses identified coercive and mimetic practices in general patterns of the expansion of HE, revealed by drastic expansion from 2 to 49 institutions, which since 1995 have been fragmented and restructured in response to labour market, political forces, economic and educational market forces. The information presented will support educational policy makers to reformulate suitable models of expansion of higher education for a mass public in Mozambique, framed in the sub-Saharan and international contexts.

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Correspondence to Lucas Lavo António Jimo Miguel.

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Miguel, L.L.A.J., Tambe, T.A.F. & da Costa, C.S. Examining expansion and trends in higher education in Mozambique, Africa. High Educ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00666-4

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Keywords

  • Isomorphism
  • Diversification
  • Fragmentation
  • Massification
  • Mozambique