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Title: Private Higher Education Expansion and the Gender Issue in Tanzania: A Case Study of Women Representation in the Sciences
Authors: Mutasingwa, Lilian
Keywords: Higher education institute, gender issue, women representation in sciences, Tanzania
Issue Date: Aug-2015
Abstract: Communal justice and development in a country depends on the citizens’ access and equality to opportunities in all areas, education being the foremost. Education accelerates economic, political, social and cultural growth of nations. However, gender-based landscape that has characterized society and the higher education system perpetuated inequalities in opportunities which generate differential outcomes for females and males students. Subsequent to this developmental challenge, the government of Tanzania (GOT) committed itself to eliminate the imbalances in opportunities for women and men by taking different measures in Higher Education (HE). The important reform was the establishment of Higher Education Accreditation Council (HEAC) which was succeeded by Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU). The two institutions’ remarkable success is the facilitation and accreditation of a number of Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEI) which led to the increase of student enrollment. Pertinent to this has been gender equality promotion, gender mainstreaming, and bridging the gender gap in higher learning institutions (HLIs- both PHEI and public universities-PU) through different affirmative action and establishment of gender sensitive policies. In ensuring this, the need for accelerating participation, access and ensuring equity required the provision of loans to all needy students in HLIs where special efforts have been made to increase student enrolment with special emphasis on science programs. This has been made by lowering entrance pass marks through Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and establishment of higher education students’ loan board (HESLB). Also, to simplify monitoring of gender representation and access in all programs, TCU enroll all undergraduate students for both public and private universities through the institutionalized central admission system (CAS). The establishment of the CAS system makes it impossible to isolate the discussion of PHE from PU especially in enrollment. Through TCU initiatives, there are a number of HLIs each with an enrolment capacity ranging from five to ten thousand in their regular programs. However, there is a disproportional representation of the sexes in the programs where men outnumber women in sciences. The reasons for the female low proportion emanates from institutional, sociocultural and economic factors. The study relied on reviewing of published and unpublished documents accessed from different research and academic institutions and through internet browsing. The significance of this study is to enable national decision makers and other development practitioners working on Education to better understand the impediments to the increase of females in the sciences. Understanding these is critically important to promoting appropriate interventions associated with the disproportional of female representation in the science programs in HLIs in Tanzania.
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa

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