CFP: Academic Networking in Sub-Saharan and North Africa



Academic Networking in Sub-Saharan and North Africa:  

From Accreditation to Global Ethics

Place: Duke University,  April 27-28, 2018



Academic accreditation and scholarly networking are central features of the new kind of global university system: a system that is increasingly concerned with the ideas of ensuring accountability and expanding impact factors (competitive edge) of African countries' academic institutions. In addressing this concern, accreditation of universities matters. It is the pathway to adopting competitive standards; one that would insure a culture of continuous accountability and improvement at the delivery level and to help stakeholders to not only imagine but to also enact how to collect reliable evidence to support a sustained future.

There is also an ethical dimension to this concern. The rapid population increase in Africa has led to a growing demand for traditional “brick and mortar” universities, online course platforms, and global networking opportunities.  Delivering quality education at reasonable cost to such a large demographic demands a high level of ethical decision-making by African educators. The consideration of ethical questions surrounding 21st century higher education in Africa aligns well with many global signature programs that encourage ethical attitude in decision-making and outcomes. As scholars and students interact through global networking, they are challenged by issues of quantity versus quality, value versus efficiency, transparency versus privacy, and the local versus the global. One of the most daunting challenges of a academic network is how to ensure the application of rigorous ethical standards in its functioning. This workshop provides a valuable platform to unpack these issues.

Workshop Outcomes

The workshop hopes to attain the following outcomes:

  • Examine issues of ethical attitudes in academic decision-making as well as the role of universities in responding to social displacement, disruption and division
  • Discuss operational/ practical models of collaboration between universities regarding various challenges such as what to teach and how to teach and sharing best practice curricular experiences that extend learning beyond the classroom
  • Reflect on the criteria used and methods of data collection for accreditation in selected African states where the practice exists;
  • Collect and analyze data about academic accreditation in Africa's higher education sector
  • Promote collaboration and exchange between researchers, administrators and stakeholders from a variety of universities across the continent;
  • Publish selected papers in a monograph on the themes of the workshop

The workshop will explore these themes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives that make Africa a central focus; it thus aims at enriching the reflection on contemporary education reform in Africa by enhancing both ethical and achievement standards.


We invite proposals of up to 300 words. They should include names, email addresses and a short bio of the presenter. Proposals should address one of the following themes:

  • Studies of best practices in academic networking in Africa
  • Modalities of assessments and accreditation in Africa and beyond
  • Best practices in the field of academic accreditation
  • Lessons of ethical challenges faced by African universities. 


  • Proposals are due by February 28th, 2018
  • Accepted papers will be notified in early March 2018
  • Invited participants will provide a written draft paper by April 20th, 2018

Proposals should be sent simultaneously to: and

Queries about workshop venue, housing and transportation may be sent to

Sponsoring Entities:  Duke Center for International and Global Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke Africa Initiative, The Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke Office of Global Affairs & Research Africa.