Skip navigation
st. Mary's University Institutional Repository St. Mary's University Institutional Repository

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Ethiopian Private Higher Education and the Pursuit of Social Responsibility
Authors: Tsegaye, Shimelis
Keywords: Social Responsibility,PHEIs,Ethiopia
Issue Date: Jul-2004
Abstract: It is to be taken for granted that the university serves as a handmaiden to the burgeoning internationalization of scholarly communication and of knowledge in general. But it is also founded within particular cultures and embedded in a specific society and it is the child of the communities in which it is set. Because higher education is a public service and education a social good, the university has a public duty not only to go beyond its academic agenda and broaden its extra-curricular services deep into the realm of social and community life, but also to protect and advance local cultural, intellectual and scholarly traditions. They have also the responsibility to respect the rights of the consumers of their services with exemplary ethical integrity and moral concern. In spite of this, however, Ethiopian higher education institutions, both private and government, have failed to satisfactorily live up to fulfilling their social responsibility that may include, inter alia, spearheading socio cultural endeavours, nurturing the accumulation of social capital, safeguarding social justice, promoting environment protection, advocating social and political debates, designing conflict resolution mechanism, etc. They have also succeeded very little in providing good quality and socially relevant research and teaching services as well as in their socially crucial responses to the threats and opportunities posed by globalization. It is worth remarking, however, that some private colleges in the country have made a good start in fulfilling their social responsibilities in some areas like the promotion of environmental sanitation programs, the organization of research and discussion forums, the promotion of sports activities, and the like; but still, a more aggressive civic engagement is lacking. With the above background and theoretical notes, this paper attempts to address the extent to which private higher education institutions in the country especially those operating in Addis Ababa are pursuing social responsibility as a fundamental principle. In more specific terms, the paper explores into the extent of the sense of moral responsibility and ethical concern which Private Higher Education Institutions are exercising towards the consumers of higher education services as public goods; this will be done using such variables like quality, pertinence, finance and management, international cooperation/competition as well as the attempt to massify higher education and other related variables as gauges of the pursuit of social responsibility. The paper also attempts to look into the depth of engagement of Private Higher Education Institutions both as participants and leaders in promoting social, cultural, economic and to some extent, political activities that directly benefit the general public. More philosophically, this refers to the utilitarian gestures these institutions extend to the larger public as a practical expression of gratitude to the society to whom they owe their very raison d’étre. A semi-structured questionnaire is used to collect information from colleges selected on the basis of stratified random sampling technique. The data collection is further enriched through observations, group discussions, and reviews of documents, where available. Finally, following critical interpretations and some percentage descriptions of the findings, the paper makes suggestions that would help these institutions strive better to get engaged in championing this responsibility and be able to avail their services to the society in which they have been germinated to the level of expectation and ultimately be able to “survive” in this competitive world of fast evolving academic breakthroughs and scholarly excellence.
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 2nd National Conference on Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) in Ethiopia

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Shimelis Tsegaye (2004) Ethiopian Private Higher Education and the Pursuit of Social Responsibility.pdf288.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.