The Expanding use of the English language for research and its Implications for Higher Education Institutions and Researchers
A Case study of Three African Flagship Universities
The knowledge era or the knowledge society has made universities one of the central institutions for the production of new knowledge and scholarship. In line with this development, many African universities, that were often regarded as teaching-learning laden, are reorienting their mission and vision embracing research intensiveness as one of their aspirations with the goal of becoming globally or regionally competitive and locally relevant. This qualitiative research focusing on the use of the English language for research in selected African flagship universities in Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa is conducted against a backdrop where questions related to research productivity are becoming more central not only to higher education institutions but to higher educational research pertaining to the continent. Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of capital, field, and habitus in general and specifically that of linguistic capital as an aspect of cultural capital are used to inform the conceptualization and the analysis of the research. To explore issues pertaining to the interlinked concepts of language and (de)colonization in research, postcolonial perspectives on language and education are used to guide the study. The study is expected to contribute to our understanding of (English) language and research in African higher education.
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