Terence Yuh Yong


In conjunction with the neoliberal prescriptions of the Berg Report of 1981, most African countries adopted the World Bank’s knowledge economic policy as a defining tool for university’s contribution to economic development amid a wide range of challenges. Through the lens of the international regime theory and non-positivist theoretical approach, this study uses a case study design and qualitative research paradigm to investigate how Cameroon’s public universities responded to the knowledge economy objective and how it affected their processes between 1993 and 2016. Using semi-structured interviews to collect primary data from academics, top management, and administrative support staff at the University of Buea, including documents and secondary data sources, results indicate that overall, reduced, and irregular public expenditure has weakened the ability of Cameroon’s public universities to create, valorise, disseminate, and apply knowledge to enhance economic development. Particularly, the policy has induced a complex-type relationship between the higher education governing structure and public universities, giving rise to new and confusing dimensions in the character of public universities in Cameroon. Hence, the study concludes that international education policy strategies could be a potential source of diversion and confusion in the national education systems of receiving countries.


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World Bank, knowledge economy, neoliberalism, education policy, public universities, Cameroon, Africa

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