Capacity building using PhD education in Africa

Mindel van de Laar, Shivani Achrekar, Lucy L. Larbi & Friederike Rühmann


Globally the field of doctoral education is changing, with a move towards more internationalisation and away from traditional education. More PhD educational programmes use blended and e-learning elements and have an increasing number of working professionals enrolled in a PhD, or PhD students with jobs engaged in writing a dissertation. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the PhD scene reflects this change. Yet, not much is known about PhD capacity in Africa. While in terms of scientific output the continent is left behind, and thus doctoral education is an area to focus on, research on the effectiveness of doctoral education, and how to improve the educational offering is lacking. In this study, we offer an update of the literature related to doctoral education in Africa, an overview of the needs in the field according to both African PhD fellows and their supervisors, and a discussion on the role of e-learning innovations in supporting capacity building.

Keywords: Doctoral education, community of learning, Sub-Sahara Africa, E-Learning

JEL Classification: I23, I24, I25, I26, O15, O55