Digital Education Research Cluster in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda

Project Details


This research cluster is interrogating the effects of global edtech regimes on key disadvantaged groups: refugees, internally displaced persons, nomadic groups and women. This work will build on existing research including a Mastercard Foundation-funded project exploring pathways to higher education for refugees in Lebanon and Uganda with the School of Social and Political Science; current GCRF-funded research on digital education for internally displaced persons and nomadic groups in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda; and past partnership with USAID on research on the gender digital divide (USAID 2019). Given the region’s ‘young population profile, low investment in education and training, emerging skill shortages in key sectors and the importance of new technologies’ (Ayentimi and Burgess 2019), Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda are particularly susceptible to the erosion of educational autonomy consistent with calls for educational transformation to service the global imaginaries of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). The discourse of 4IR is representative of a growing wave of edtech policy, discourse, and practice increasingly entangling education in sub-Saharan Africa in commercial activity.

This research programme explores alternatives to this erosion by exploring community-owned internet networks (CN) and participatory models of educational development. It interrogates the role that community networks might play in extending higher education into underserved (largely rural) locales and key disadvantaged groups; it will do so in partnership with existing community networks, universities, and commercial organisations from Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. This programme advances a research and development agenda exploring a renewal of the local alongside digital and educational inclusion.

Layman's description

This project is exploring digital education in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda that builds pathways for marginalised groups into higher education and does so in a way that builds local educational autonomy.
Short titleDigital Education Africa
Effective start/end date1/03/19 → …


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