Financing of Higher Education in Africa: A Case of Ethiopia Public Universities Revenue Diversification Strategies

Waweru Kennedy Munyua, Sewale Abate, Guyo S. Huka and Shano M. Dawe.


With the tremendous increase in university students enrollment experienced in Ethiopian public universities since years 2005, financing of university education has become topical issue among education stakeholders. This paper explores revenue diversification strategies being instituted by Ethiopia public universities to bridge the financing gap occasioned by the limited public funding and resource utilization by the universities.

The study which is exploratory in nature sampled eight public universities that have been in existence for more than three years. Among the strategies employed to varying degrees included private sponsored students programs such as the extension, summer, distance programs and short term trainings. In addition, service units such as student and staff lounges and university farms were commercialized. It is however only the private student programs that were found to significantly contribute to internally generated revenues. The paper underscored the ingredients for successful implementation of the revenue diversification strategies, which included supportive legal and regulatory structures, decentralized and participatory management. The limitations inherent in implementation of revenue diversification strategies included allocation of more time to teaching at the expense of research and a skewed potential for revenue diversification across faculties.

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