The constitution of the field of higher education institutions in Mozambique

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The aim of this study is to investigate the implications of the expansion and diversification of public and private higher education institutions in Mozambique. There are two distinct stages of that expansion. The first stage is characterised by the establishment of two public higher education institutions, namely, the Higher Pedagogic Institute (ISP) in 1985, and the Higher Institute for International Relations (ISRI) in 1986, joining the University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) founded in 1962. The second stage is characterised by the emergence both of more public higher education institutions, but particularly by the emergence of a new type of higher education service supplier, the private higher education institution. An accelerated process of expansion and diversification of higher education institutions begins in the mid 1990's. The first non-governmental higher education institution to open was the Higher Polytechnic and University Institute (ISPU), and the second was the Catholic University (UCM), a religious institution, both established in 1995. ISPU and UCM were followed in 1998 by Higher Institute of Science and Technology of Mozambique (ISCTEM) , a technological institute, and by the Mussa Bin Bique University (UMBB), an Islamic university. In 2000 the Higher Institute of Transport and Communication (ISUTC) was also established. Currently; there are 23 legal higher education institutions both public and private. Drawing on Bourdieu's theory of social field, this study analyses whether the constellation of higher institutions is functioning as a field. I hypothesise that as a result of the expansion and diversification of higher education institutions a very specific constellation is taking place leading to constitutive patterns and forms of interaction which resemble those identified by Bourdieu as typical of a field. The empirical work takes the form of an exploratory study designed to establish the structure of positions of higher education institutions in a social space of capital. The dissertation finds that institutions can be positioned in a hierarchical and structured space of capital on the basis of the differential distribution of different form of capital (cultural, economic, scientific, and social).The findings also suggest that well-established institutions are likely to have more capital and thus to be positioned in a dominant position in terms of symbolic capital. This is the case of UEM amongst the public institutions, displaying a high level of cultural capital (highly qualified academic staff), with significant number of its academic staff in higher positions in the academy, as also having a relatively larger number of income sources compared to Pedagogic University (UP), Higher Institute of International relations (ISRI) and the Police Academy (ACIPOL).

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 95-101).