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Imperialism, academe, and nationalism : Britain and university education for Africans, 1860-1960

Author: Apollos O Nwauwa
Publisher: London : Routledge, 2016.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Of all the aspects of British, 'cultural imperialism' the one which Africans found most seductive was formal Western education. Africans acquiring literacy in English were quick to realise that university education opened up prospects for economic advancement, individual attainment and dignity, and would ultimately provide the keys to political power and self-government. It is this political aspect of higher
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Apollos O Nwauwa
ISBN: 1138972371 9781138972377
OCLC Number: 956957107
Description: xix, 245 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. African Initiatives for a West African University and their Frustration, 1862-90 --
2. Indirect Rule, Education for Intermediaries, and the Impact of Criticism: The Beginnings of a Policy Framework for Education, 1900-34 --
3. The Ice Begins to Melt: Initiatives from London and the Plan for an East African University, 1932-39 --
4. Seizing the Initiative: The Academic Lobby and the Planning of Post-war Universities, 1939-43 --
5. The Asquith and Elliot Commissions, 1943-46: Laying the Foundations for University 'Imperialism' --
6. Colonial Territorial 'Nationalism' and the Implementation of the Asquith and Elliot Schemes, 1945-48.
Responsibility: Apollos O. Nwauwa.

Abstract:

Of all the aspects of British, 'cultural imperialism' the one which Africans found most seductive was formal Western education. Africans acquiring literacy in English were quick to realise that university education opened up prospects for economic advancement, individual attainment and dignity, and would ultimately provide the keys to political power and self-government. It is this political aspect of higher education that forms the core of this fascinating work. Using a wide range of papers from the British Colonial Office and colonial governments in Africa, the archives of several libraries and the writings of African nationalists, Dr Nwauwa examines the surprisingly long history of the demand for the establishment of universities in colonial Africa, a demand to which the British colonial authorities finally agreed, after the Second World War.

Dr Nwauwa examines the political motivation behind this concept, and tells the intriguing story of how, by 1943, the idea was taken up by the Colonial Office as a means of 'managing' African nationalism. The creation of university colleges, as part of an 'empire' of London University, became a reality in 1948, and one of the most important of the colonial reforms which led to decolonisation. This book is therefore essential reading for anyone interested in the themes of African nationalism, cultural imperialism, and the processes which led to decolonisation.

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