Post-pandemic expressions of (digital) ujamaa: The case of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA)

Maryam Ismail, Michael Gallagher, Said Ali Said Yunus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The pandemic continues to exert significant pressure on the core practices and
structures of higher education throughout the world, most visibly realised for
many in significant and uneven shifts into the digital to perform the work of
the university. The universities of Tanzania, and more broadly throughout East
Africa, are no exception in this respect. Yet the sheer ubiquity of the pandemic
and the familiar patterns of higher education responses to it (remote teaching,
predominantly) cloud the specificity of the underlying contexts in which the
work of the university is taking place. Each higher education context renders
their response to the pandemic differently based on the contingency of actors,
artefacts, and material available to them. The post-pandemic university is, or
perhaps should be, articulated as contingent and contextually specific, drawing
on its own past to inform its future state.

As such, this chapter sets out to explore the digital and pedagogical trans-
formations that have occurred at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) as
a result of pre-pandemic initiatives being reintroduced and accelerated into
pandemic responses. Through this exploration, SUZA is positioned as a site of
both transformation and resistance where institutional memory (past projects
and developments around digital education), necessity, and the digital were
increasingly bound in shaping and reinterpreting the pedagogy for pandemic
and potentially post-pandemic contexts. This effort was largely framed through
SUZA’s core mission of community orientation, which surfaces elements of
Nyerere’s concept of ujamaa (self-reliance).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding the Post-Pandemic University
Subtitle of host publicationImagining, Contesting and Materializing Higher Education Futures
EditorsMark A. Carrigan, Hannah Moscovitz, Michele Martini, Susan L. Robertson
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)9781802204575
ISBN (Print)9781802204568
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • digital education
  • ujamaa
  • Tanzania
  • Zanzibar
  • blended learning


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