Doctoral student attends conference in Ghana, makes valuable connections


Susan Namalefe (second from left) with colleagues from Calabar, Nigeria at the
8th Annual Regional Conference of the Higher Education Research and Policy Network in Legon-Accra, Ghana.


Susan Namalefe recently attended the 8th Annual Regional Conference of the Higher Education Research and Policy Network (HERPNET), an African higher education group, in Legon-Accra, Ghana. Namalefe is a Higher Education doctoral candidate in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education.

At the conference, she presented her research titled "Exploring Alternative Approaches to Funding Higher Education in Africa," which focused on finding practical alternatives to government funding for higher education due to the growing importance and demand for higher education in Africa.

In a poll of conference attendees, Namalefe's paper was named the third best paper presented out of 110. "That was a great 'Aha' moment for me," she said. "This conference experience revived my confidence and motivation as a scholar. Soon after I returned, I submitted a proposal which was accepted by the Comparative and International Education Society."

In March, Namalefe will present her paper titled "Funding Higher Education in Africa, A Resource Dependence Perspective" at the Comparative and International Education Society's 2014 annual conference held in Toronto.

"Attending the conference in Ghana provided a forum for me to engage with professionals in the field," added Namalefe. As a result of the conference, she was also invited to contribute a chapter to a book by African scholars of higher education and is working on a study of peer review processes with colleagues she met at the conference.

In addition to making the presentation, Susan worked with the African Higher Education Review (AHER) editorial board on revision of the guidelines for the journal's submission and review processes. AHER is an online journal sponsored by HERPNET. Namalefe works as a graduate research assistant for Marc Cutright, associate professor of higher education at UNT's College of Education and director of UNT's Center for Higher Education. Cutright serves as editor-in-chief for the journal and is currently in Africa as a Fulbright Scholar to Uganda for the 2013-2014 academic year.