Volume 12 Issue 1 (2023)

Tanzania’s higher Education Market Policy Reforms and the Quest for Fulfilling the Core University Mission

pp. 41-62  |  Published Online: October 2023  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2023.121.3

Neema Mariki Mkunde , Hillary Dachi


Background/purpose – The purpose of the study was to explore how the implementation of Market Policy Reforms (MPR) has contributed to public higher institutions (HEIs) achievement of the core mission of excellence in teaching, innovative research, and academic publications.   

Materials/methods – It employed a qualitative approach with a multiple case design. Data were collected from two public universities through interviews, focus group discussions, and documentary reviews. Primary data were thematically analyzed and presented as excerpts and narrations. Secondary data were presented in tabular format and illustrative figures.

Results – The findings showed that expansion in student numbers was disproportionate to the resources available. Teaching and assessments were emphasized at the expense of other core functions. Research and publication outputs were dependent on donor funding and international collaborations. Universities have built partnerships with communities, albeit on a small scale. The financial position of universities has improved but revenue streams have not substituted government subventions as a core source of funding.

Conclusion – The study concluded generally that MPRs have not significantly solved problems adversely affecting the quest by universities to achieve their core mission.

Keywords: Higher education, Neo-liberal policies, Market policy reforms, Tanzania


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