Reimagining The Africa Private University - Post Pandemic Challenges and Opportunities


The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly affected and tested sustainability of the models that are used to offer Higher Education. The pandemic disrupted over 1.5 billion students in the higher education sector in 185 countries (IAU, 2020). While normality is being restored, scars are still visible and therein lies opportunities for the reimagination of the sector.

The crisis was particularly unsympathetic to private universities that do not benefit from funding and rescue packages from governments. Some of these institutions closed shop, significantly cut down on their operations, as their revenue streams dried up. Cost cutting measures adopted by these institutions paid attention to sustainability in the short term and traded off long-term sustainability. These measures though necessary impaired the long-term perspectives of the university - in an environment where higher education is increasingly characterized as a public good.

In perspective, the social return on investment in private higher education is being questioned. Questions about employability of graduates, impact of research outputs, community outreach and resilience of these institutions need to be addressed. How can private universities model themselves to overcome these challenges?

Over and above this, the digital revolution and changing demographics of undergraduate and graduate and post graduate students which have proven to be critical drivers of change have rendered traditional business models redundant. Moreover, the pandemic has changed the way employers operate and relate with their employees and with the demand for flexible learning pathways at its peak – to what extent are private HEIs prepared to offer these pathways, especially in a highly regulated environment?

Against this background, the Institute of Higher Education, Research and Leadership Development (IHERLD), at the United States International University-Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya will host a 2-day hybrid conference from 23rd to 25th November 2022.

Conference Objectives
This two day conference will provide the stakeholders with a platform to discuss key issues such as:

  1. Making private universities more competitive for post COVID survival
  2. Sustainable business models for private universities
  3. Delivery channels and models for private universities
  4. Enhancing gender, equity and inclusion in Higher Education (HE)
  5. Nurture strategic partnerships to support sustainability of private universities.

Target audience:
The conference will bring together stakeholders in the African private higher education space including founders, presidents (vice chancellors), trustees, members of councils and management boards to discuss in depth the post pandemic challenges and opportunities that HEIs can pursue in light of their sustainability.

Pre-conference activities
The conference will be preceded by an interactive workshop that will seek to discuss two emerging issues:

  1. Resource mobilization for sustainability
Research shows that private universities derive 90% of their revenues from tuition fees. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic shook up the enrollment and engagement of students causing reduction in the streams of revenue by private universities.
This workshop will bring together key stakeholders such as Deans, fundraising officers, University advancement officers among others to explore the practical measures that private universities can adopt to diversify their steams of income beyond the main source: tuition fees sources.
  1. Human resource management in HE
The workshop will also discuss in depth the dynamics in human resource management and the pathways to achieving resource optimization by private universities.

To participate, please sign up through this registration link in advance.
For more information or clarifications, please feel free to contact Anne Maina: - 0730 116 325 or Felix Kiptoch: - 0730 116 441

The Conference fee is USD $1,000


About Institute Higher Education, Research and Leadership Development (IHERLD)

Hosted by USIU-Africa, the institute endeavors to provide strategic and functional leadership development opportunities, research, partnerships, policy dialogues for key stakeholders in higher education, and capacity building on competency based education.


  •   Nov 23, 2022 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  •   Nov 24, 2022 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  •   Nov 25, 2022 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


  •   USIU-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya & Virtually (Zoom)