Globalization Impacts on Adult Education: A Comparative Study of Adult Education Policies and Practices in Tanzania and Uganda (PhD project) (completed)
In this project Blackson Kanukisya examines how globalization affects the demand and supply of adult education by looking at national and institutional policies of adult education in which adults in non-formal secondary education is the type and level of adult education under investigation. The project involves, inter alia, comparative methodology where Tanzania and Uganda are case studies.
About the project
The central argument of the thesis is that nation-state education systems have been under reform(s) as a response to the effects of globalization on socio-economic and cultural aspects of life (education and adult education in particular is not left out). There seem to be a consensus among scholars that globalization has been affecting nation-states politically, socially, and economically. The effects of globalization commonly referred in the literature include multi-party system especially to former socialist and single party governments, liberalization of the economy and social services, increased role of the private sector, information flow, global labour markets, diffusion of culture to mention but a few. These effects of globalization, however, are uneven across countries and across sectors within the same country.
Different nation-states employ similar but also different strategies as a response to the effects of globalization. This is partly due to the history, socio-economic contexts and unidirectional nature and uneven effects of globalization on different nation-states, among others.
The lack of similarity and uniformity to the phenomenon of globalization, as noted earlier, sets its own agenda for comparative studies. So the question is, how countries especially those from the ‘South’, have responded to these contradictory processes in terms of adult education policies and practices? The interest is studying whether or not the effects of globalization on adult education are different or similar and if the responses employed are the same. Lastly, the study aims at examining the contemporary roles of adult education under globalization and to see whether these roles are the same or different in these countries. The foci of the study are at the individual level (micro), corporation/institution level (meso) and nation level (macro).
- To sum up, the following assumptions about the impacts of globalization on adult education and the responses and roles of adult education policy and practices employed by different nation states can be developed:
- Globalization affects national policies and practices of adult education and the effects are sometimes similar but also have unique features across countries, cultures and across sectors;
- Most nation-states are aware of the effects of globalization on the wider socio-economic, political, technological and cultural aspects. These nation-states are also aware of the impacts of globalization on adult education. Thus, different nation-states employ similar but also different strategies (depending on national/local context);
- Nation-states are aware of and appreciate the role that adult education had been playing in development in various aspects of human life. Capitalizing on that, different nation-states see the role of adult education in the knowledge-based and information-driven economy differently; and
- Some nation-states are aware of the role of adult education in this globalized world. However, the same globalization drives these nation-states away from acknowledging and investing in the education of adults for the sake of meeting international targets.
The overall aim of this study is to investigate the impacts of globalization on adult education and the extent to which Uganda and Tanzania have been able to respond upon those effects in terms of adult education policy and practice. Therefore, the empirical investigation is guided by three main objectives as follows:
- To examine the effects of globalization on nation-states with reference to adult education policies and practices in Tanzania and Uganda;
- To examine the responses of nation-states and institutions to the impacts of globalization on adult education policy and practice; and
- To investigate the role of adult education on this era of globalization
Adult education is important to development. Adult education (among other factors) has been acknowledged for bringing about political, social, cultural and economical development. This study is, therefore, an attempt to contribute to the growth of knowledge on adult education at international, national and institutional levels.
The study also is a resource for informing policy makers about the way globalization has been affecting education in general and adult education in particular and to disclose the things policy makers need to know and inject in their national educational policy. Moreover, the study contributes and gives solutions to the public debate on the challenges and opportunities that globalization poses in education in general and adult education in particular. With reference to Tanzania, the study contributes to the public debate on the need to revive the status of adult education in the country.
This study also contributes ontologically and epistemologically in the development of research in comparative adult education.
By communicating with end users of adult education programmes and policies (politicians, academicians, students, potential employers and public and private firms) about the important findings of globalization impacts on adult education and the ways that adult education plays an important role in accommodating the challenges brought about by globalization and associated issues and trends, the study is part and parcel on the knowledge about feasible and sustainable adult education reforms. Communication of the findings of this study will be done through publishing articles in academic and professional and/or international journals, and presentations in international conferences. The results of the study will also be presented in courses and programmes and/or seminars designed for doctoral students.
The Institute for Educational Research, University of Oslo is the host institution to this Ph.D project.
The Royal Norwegian Government through Quota Scheme and the Institute for Educational Research, University of Oslo