Funding Higher Education in Ethiopia: Challenges and Prospects

"During the last two decades, there has been a massive expansion of higher education in Ethiopia. This increased the number of universities from two to thirty-one in a period of eleven years (2000–2011), followed by a rapid increase in enrolment, which desperately necessitated funding higher education in the country. In order to shift a portion of the burden of higher education costs from the general tax payer to the primary beneficiaries of higher education (i.e. students), cost sharing was introduced in October 2003, and Ethiopia has chosen a modified version of the Australian model of Graduate Tax. To attain a sustainable financing of higher education, there are two essential and complementary measures to be taken, namely the efficient use of available resources and supplementation of government funding. The efficient use of public funding presumes institutional autonomy and reforming of the budget management system. Supplementation of public funding calls for diversification of funding sources and strategies through a combination of various schemes that include rationalization of social expenses, cost sharing by beneficiaries, reorientation of student admissions, expansion of distance education, faculty and institutional entrepreneurships and development of the private sector."