Suboptimal Utilisation of Resources in Sub-Saharan African Higher Education Institutions: the Case of Teaching Space at Makerere University
Owolabi, S. O.
Bakkabulindi, F. E. K.
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Many higher education institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa are underfunded. Consequently, they are operating with encumbering resources constraints that threaten quality assurance. Accordingly, they are working to expand the availability of these resources. Notwithstanding, it is taken for granted that once available, these resources are optimally utilized and that, in instances expanding their availability is not possible, compromising on some elements of the quality of higher education is inevitable. The problem is that this presumption could disguise inadequacies in the utilization of the resources, with the consequence that the institutions’ need for the resources is exaggerated. Preoccupation with expanding the availability of resources could also stifle the innovation of creative ways of making the best use of the resources available. This means that the institutions need to evaluate their utilization of these resources—to pinpoint their need for the resources and potential for quality assurance. This paper reports the findings of a study that responded to this need, taking the case of teaching space at Makerere University. The objective of the study was to verify the hypothesis that the University is teaching space constrained. The findings were that the resource is overly underutilized albeit this was disguised by occasional overutilization of the same space, a concomitance that only multidimensional evaluation could unearth. Accordingly, the study gives credence to the hypothesis that shortages of resources at the University, and similar institutions, are ostensible. Therefore, it is recommended that these institutions subject their utilization of resources to rigorous evaluation.
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