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Students’ voices receive more attention than academics’ voices: A paradox in Ethiopian public universities


Mekonnen, GT and Kilpatrick, S and Kenny, J and Kember, D, Students' voices receive more attention than academics' voices: A paradox in Ethiopian public universities, Africa Education Review, 18, (3-4) pp. 59-74. ISSN 1814-6627 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© Unisa Press 2022.

DOI: doi:10.1080/18146627.2022.2150978


This study explored the voice of students in the Ethiopian higher education context. Stratified sampling and an exploratory research design were employed to understand students’ voices. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes and meanings. The strength of students’ voices was contrasted with other countries that have implemented the Bologna Process. In Ethiopian higher education, students’ voices get considerable attention. Students are aware of their rights in terms of influencing decision-making processes. The study recommends inclusive and shared forums where the university, academic units, their staff, and students are expected to participate in participatory governance systems in pursuit of their respective missions within the university. The findings have implications for other countries. To fully implement the intention of the Bologna Process, student participation in university governance should be encouraged, but not at the expense of the participation of academic staff.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:students' voice, participation, public universities, student representatives, governance
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Mekonnen, GT (Dr Geberew Mekonnen)
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, S (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
UTAS Author:Kenny, J (Associate Professor John Kenny)
UTAS Author:Kember, D (Professor David Kember)
ID Code:154636
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the DVC - Academic
Deposited On:2022-12-18
Last Modified:2023-02-09

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