The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1959, to encourage the creation, acquisition, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge for national development. In pursuit of its objectives, the Academy maintains a keen interest in education at all levels, especially at the level of higher education (HE), through the many lectures, publications, and public fora it has organized on education in Ghana. The GAAS Chapter on Education further provides a forum for engagement with stakeholders in the education sector.
In fulfilment of its mandate, GAAS has designed a project to gather evidence, share information and provide a platform for building consensus and contributing to policy formulation on higher education in Ghana. It has received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to implement a project on ‘Motivating Higher Education Reforms in Ghana- Towards Equity and Sustainability,’ over the period 2022-2024.
Among the significant problems the project has identified in the higher education sector are the following:
● Rapid expansion of universities and growth in intake in the last two decades without requisite expansion or growth in infrastructure, leading to significant overcrowding of teaching and learning facilities;
● Unplanned and inadequate investment in infrastructure development;
● Ageing faculty and inadequate staff development;
● Poor learning outcomes because of the above, leading to challenges with the employability of students;
● Weak research culture and inadequate research funding and infrastructure; and
● Increasingly weak governance at many public universities.
Government and universities have formulated several policies and reforms to deal with aspects of the above-enumerated problems, either in response to demands from stakeholders or through the initiative of the higher education institutions (HEIs) themselves. Several studies have also been undertaken over the years to shed light on the problems and outcomes of policies and reforms. However, there is the absence of a platform for independent persons and groups to reflect on the challenges of the HE sector on a regular and sustained basis. There is also a dearth of arrangements for providing a sounding board for different stakeholders, undertaking regular reviews of current policies, and assessing independent research evidence to inform new policy considerations. To address this gap, the project will offer a platform for reflection and a search for workable and sustainable solutions to some of the endemic challenges of the HE sector.
The project will:
i) critically examine past, present, and future (planned) reforms in the higher education sector;
ii) offer a platform for an open and objective discussion of the state of higher education and HE policy, and iii) build consensus around policy recommendations that promote equity and sustainability.
In addition to mapping changes in the sector, the project will commission studies on selected policies and trends that will serve as background papers for the policy dialogues that will be organized, to culminate in a national conference on higher education reforms.
Responsibilities of the consultant/s
GAAS seeks the services of higher education experts and researchers to develop background papers on the following thematic areas to inform a comprehensive mapping of the state of HE and HE policy changes and interventions since 1992 focusing on:
a) Increase in the number of public universities;
b) The development and growth of private universities;
c) Upgrading of polytechnics into Technical Universities;
d) Diversification of revenue sources, including cost-sharing arrangements, the establishment of the GETFund, and proposals to wean public universities off the government budget;
e) Governance of universities, including the regulatory regimes in place, the proposed Public University Bill, and models of management; and
f) Capacity of public universities to initiate internal reforms.
Each background paper will:
i. provide detailed assessments and analysis of issues in the proposed thematic area as well as past and current efforts to address such issues, including instances of inaction;
ii. identify the drivers, actors, interests, politics and resources underpinning policy changes in the thematic area, the extent to which the changes attained their objectives and any modifications that resulted;
iii. examine the responses of HEIs to the policy changes and the extent to which they have enhanced productivity, equity, and sustainability within the institution and society;
iv. investigate new and innovative models and recommend possible policy options.
In addition, the selected consultant/s will:
1. Attend and present the background paper at a scheduled policy dialogue session; 2. Produce a policy brief to be submitted to relevant government agencies.
The expected deliverables are
- A 25-30-page paper, with an executive summary, on the chosen topic;
- A policy brief is to be developed after the dialogue.
Qualification and Experience
- Higher degree (PhD or equivalent) in the humanities, social, or natural sciences;
- Extensive knowledge of the landscape of higher education in Ghana and Africa;
- Demonstrable experience in research writing skills and development communications.
Duration of the Assignment
The timeframe for the preparation of the background papers is approximately two months, with all papers to have been completed by 28 April 2023.
GAAS and the consultant will agree on a fee, to be paid as a lump sum, on submission of a satisfactory background paper. A separate agreed fee will be paid for the development of the policy brief.
How to submit a proposal:
If you meet the criteria outlined above, please submit your CV and a proposal of a maximum of five pages on one of the identified thematic areas to Francis P. Ankrah (firstname.lastname@example.org), including:
- A brief statement of the consultant’s understanding of the scope of services.
- A brief description of the consultant’s experience that illustrates relevant qualifications and skills.
- Examples of similar projects developed for past or current clients, with examples of or links to published information.
Proposals should be sent via email by 30 January 2023, followed by selection, agreement and start of work, to enable submission by 28 April 2023. Please include the subject line: ‘Call for expressions of interest: GAAS HE Project.’