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Title: The Status of Quality and Relevance of Ethiopian Private Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs): Dynamic Conception and Challenges in Teaching-Learning Practices
Authors: Moges, Birhanu (PhD)
Keywords: Effective teaching, instructors’ characteristics, private higher intuitions, quality, relevance
Issue Date: Aug-2015
Abstract: Higher education is becoming a major driver of economic competitiveness in an increasingly knowledge-driven global economy. The imperative for Ethiopia to improve employment skills calls for quality and relevance teaching-learning practices within educational private higher institutions. The importance of educating people to ensure a country’s continuous competitiveness and sustainable development is unquestionable. This paper examines the learners’ purpose of acquiring private higher education, the basis for effective teaching-learning practices, the assessment of the quality and relevance of private higher education, the challenges faced by learners and instructors, as well as suggestions for improvement. Effective teaching-learning practices in private HEIs have a positive effect on students’ learning by active and collaborative methods and development through a combination of content mastery, command of a broad set of pedagogies and communications skills. The quality of instructors’ characteristics are depend on the abilities and the skills to transfer knowledge of their subject matter and enhancing the learning process through good communication, diagnostic skills, understanding of different learning styles and cultural influences, knowledge about learner development, and the ability to marshal a broad array of techniques to meet student needs. In this study a mixed-method approach using a descriptive survey design was used. The three experienced private HEIs (St.Mary's/ Kidist Mariam, Unity and Rift Valley) were selected as a sample. It also systematic and random sampling technique were used. The method of enquiry made use of both interviews and questionnaires. Data gathered from two groups (students & instructors) and 25 item Likert scale questionnaires were completed by a sample of 69 students and 24 instructors. The paper concludes that the quality of higher education in developing countries like Ethiopia is influenced by complex challenges that have their roots in commercialization, general funding, and human population growth. Appropriate policies and homebred professionals (both academic and administrative) are necessary for improving the quality and relevance of HEIs. Both instructors and students in this study conducted in the selected private HEIs of Ethiopia depicted the effective university instructor as someone who: (1) is respectful, (2) makes classes interesting, (3) is fair in evaluating, (4) cares about students’ success, (5)shows a love for their subject, (6) is friendly, (7) encourages questions and discussion, (8) is always well prepared and organized, and (9) makes difficult subjects easy to learn. Findings of students’ and instructors’ suggest that effective teaching is the blending of both personality and ability factors. The key factor, however, remains the instructors’ personality. The study has implications for instructors to prefer innovative instructional strategies as cooperative learning while teaching. It was also forwarded that the techniques used in the approach should be diversified rather than using only group discussion and group assignment in and out-sides of the classroom. It was also suggested that the private HEIs should have to prepare detail and clear guidelines used for implementation of effective teaching-learning practices.
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa

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