Soapbox JP Bosman

FUBU or FOBO? What does African Higher Education Digital Educational Leadership look sound like?
JP Bosman, Stellenbosch University, Centre for Learning Technologies

“For us by us” (FUBU) or “For other means by other means” (FOBO) becomes an interesting question in the context of educational technology in Higher Education in Africa. It is about our identities as African Universities as we find our way in the very global and very market-driven  educational technology industry. The other big digital driver of higher education is of course the idea and concept of digitalisation, e.g. the Bologna Digital 2020 conceptualisation of digitalisation in the European Union (Rampelt, Orr & Knoth 2019). How do all these global forces impact on our African Higher Education institutions? And more specifically how does African educational leadership work in these more and more digital times?

It has been suggested that there is a paucity of research about African Leadership (especially empirical) and that there are very limited Africa-specific models or theories of leadership (Lerutla & Steyn 2017: 9-10). My initial research into how leadership works when a university has to change to incorporate the digital in its academic offering opens up interesting questions about the existence of a more African variety of educational leadership. It is important to study African Educational Digital Educational Leadership, but I think it is even more important to hear the voices of the African Digital Educational leaders!

I suggest that we build the body of knowledge around African Digital Higher education leadership through hearing the innovative leaders’ voices. Through hearing and engaging with the voices we will build our knowledge of how to lead in these very glocally digital times.

Lerutla, M., Steyn, R. (2017). Definition of leadership in Africa within the Twenty-first Century context: Empirical research on leadership in Africa. Alternation Special Edition 20:9-39.

Rampelt, F., Orr, D., Knoth, A. (2019). Bologna Digital 2020. White Paper on Digitalisation in the European Higher Education Area. Berlin: Hochschulforum Digitalisierung.