Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lucille L. Eckrich


There has been a surge of universities in general and private universities in particular in the last three decades throughout the world. This expansion has been unanticipated in some countries, but in others especilly in SSA expansion came as a result of public policy change. The current globalization movement can be attributed to most of the reforms taking place in higher education institutions although unique features have been observed in different contries and regions. This expansion has not been paired with resource increase and hence putting quality of education, accessibility, equality and quality issues into question. Scholars have expressed doubts in the sustainability of these universities if new forms of funding models are not designed/created.

Public policies play a big role in the sustainability or lack thereof of higher education institutions. Since policy changes with time and regimes constant reflection and study of the interaction between these universities and how these policies are applied becomes a necessity.

This case study employed mixed methods and was guided by a critical/neocolonial perspective to achieve threefold purposes: to explore how public policies affect the new generation private higher education institutions (PHEIs) in Tanzania as they endeavor to fulfill their missions; to investigate the dynamics between the government and one Tanzanian PHEI, which operates under sometimes unpredictable public policies, and the opportunities and challenges these policies have created for it and its stakeholders; and to investigate how this PHEI and its students are being funded, whether the available resources are enough to enable it to fulfill its mission, and whether such funding models can be sustained.

Higher education funding models include private resources of households; domestic government revenue; and external sources from multilateral organizations such as the IMF and World Bank, bilateral agencies, international nongovernmental organizations, international religious institutions, and private foundations. All these global and Tanzanian means of funding education have been utilized by the case study university at different levels and amount.

Major findings on how the case study university is funded were as follows: overdependence on school fees – a feature common to most private universities; government support categorized as direct or indirect; income diversification activities – entrepreneurship; different donations from organizations and individuals and international students’ fees.

According to case study university administrators who were interviewed, the Tanzanian university funding model based mainly on students’ loans is not sustainable. Since the case study university relies on school fees, some of which come from student loans and most established income diversification activities had not yet produced reliable results administrators deemed the funding model as unsustainable.

On the other hand most surveyed students also thought the current higher education funding model was unsustainable. The students’ loans program was considered insufficient, mismanaged and needing a lot of reform. Like administrators, students pointed out that the current case study university funding model was unsustainable because of overreliance on students’ school fees while the university had no full control of enrollment levels.

Based on the study findings following recommendations were made: due to major expansion in primary and secondary levels of education which have put more pressure on higher education demand in order to benefit from HE development contribution to the economy, the government policies will have to support both public and private initiatives of funding HE. Cost sharing policy has faced a lot of resistance in Tanzania from the government itself, students and parents. This policy was introduced from abroad and did not involve education stakeholders’ input in decision making. Multilateral organizations consulters did not consider the real context of the people especially their lack of capital. The government should reform this policy based on the realities on the ground. After severe experience of financial fragility of most HEIs financial diversification has been earmarked as the best option for institutional self-reliance. Although efforts are still in their infancy stage, they need to be enhanced in order to ensure universities’ financial sustainability


Imported from ProQuest Taabu_ilstu_0092E_11580.pdf


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