Book section Open Access
Chapter 8 includes selected sections on the role of research in African universities from several chapters in Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education (Cloete et al. 2015). The chapter has been updated to include previously unpublished data, and draws on the empirical evidence to explore how universities are managing their contradictory functions, particularly as a group of elite African universities aspire to elevate the role of research. It provides a more in-depth analysis of the research policies and processes at African universities, and brings to the fore the need for system-level differentiation to ameliorate the tensions inherent in single universities – traditionally orientated towards training – attempting to strengthen research.