Towards Authentic African Higher Education based on African Epistemology




epistemiology, afrocentric, colonialism, eurocentric, reductionist ideology, plurality


Aim. The purpose of this article is to challenge the notion that a largely Eurocentric education is the best one for African universities. It is not by any means suggested that Eurocentric notions should be discounted, but rather that African education should be devoid of any form of subordination and be allowed to assume its rightful equal place and space, in an interconnected global education arena alongside a range of epistemologies and ontologies.

Methods. A literature review was conducted on the topic and the researchers surveyed scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to the area of research. The review conducted to a lesser or greater extent enumerates, describes, summarizes, issues relating to the theme.

Results. Knowledge should be sought for its value to communities through individuals and it should perpetually produce sensible, empathetic, and responsible citizens. African education must inter alia reflect a multiplicity of perspectives and notions that are grounded on local knowledge.

Conclusion. The existing form of Eurocentric university education in Africa certainly has defects when viewed Afro-centrically.

Originality. Decades after the demise of colonialism [if it has in fact ended], African universities still embrace a Eurocentric epistemological paradigm and are for the most part consciously or unconsciously disparaging or ignoring Indigenous African knowledge systems. This is far from liberating, and it is argued in a novel way that what is required is a vigorous promotion of African scholarship which is infused with African values, philosophies and knowledge that can also be promoted to our erstwhile colonisers and others.


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Author Biographies

  • Angelo Nicolaides, Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, 3886, South Africa

    He serves at the University of Zululand in South Africa as an HoD in the Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics. He serves on the Council of Higher Education of South Africa as a panel expert  as well as being a reviewer for the Department of Higher Education Academic Outputs Evaluations, The International Association of Ethics in Education (IAEE) as well as the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) and The Research Ethics Association of South Africa (REASA). He is also a member of SAIMS (Institute of Management Scientists), a Senior Member South African Quality Institute (SAQI), a member of the Southern African Society for Quality (SASQ) and the SABPP (Master HR Practitioner-Education and Training) and consults with both SMMEs and Corporations. He has authored 23 books and 104 articles in accredited journals and serves on the editorial boards of 7 international and local journals

  • Jean Steyn, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, 3886, South Africa

    Professor of criminal justice, and Head of the Department of Criminal Justice, within the Faculty of Arts, at the University of Zululand.  Jéan is an Expert Advisor to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and member of the eThekwini Municipality Civilian Oversight Committee of the Durban Metropolitan Police Service. He has been the Chair of the Policing Portfolio of the Criminology and Victimology Society of Southern Africa, as well as Editor-In-Chief of the Southern African Journal of Criminology.

    He is an honorary appointee of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, honorary member of the International Police Association, and the Police Association of South Africa. Professor Steyn is a blindly nominated and blindly elected member of the South African Academy of Science and Arts. Jéan is a member of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management, as well as a member of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management. Jéan has acted as an expert witness in various court cases. Professor Steyn has received multiple awards, including but not limited to, distinguished awards for executive and specialised leadership, Faculty Senior Researcher of the Year, Faculty Junior Researcher of the year, teaching awards, community engagement awards, and best practitioner in industry awards. Jéan has been a visiting professor to numerous universities, over time, in the United States of America, Europe, Scandinavia, and India. He has published widely, and extensively, in high impact international and national journals, books and book chapters; specialising in police occupational and organisational culture, and advanced quantitative research methodology in criminology and criminal justice (some other fields published in are forensics, law, psychology, sociology, higher education, and science, amongst others).



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How to Cite

Nicolaides, A., & Steyn, J. (2023). Towards Authentic African Higher Education based on African Epistemology. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 14(2), 116-128.