A wealth of quantitative and qualitative data has been assembled in these SADC country profiles and there is much to digest. However, four main observations arise from this compendium.
First, there has been a tremendous demand for higher education provision in all Southern African countries. Governments have responded positively to this need and this has resulted in the growth of the number of public and private institutions across the region.
Second, growth in the regional higher education sector brings with it the concomitant demand for qualified and experienced staff. This poses one of the biggest challenges for institutional and national policy-makers. To deliver quality outputs, higher education institutions face a tremendous challenge in recruiting, developing, renewing and retaining capable human resources.
Third, it is encouraging to note that countries are increasingly establishing structures to assist and support the governance and quality of higher education. These include mechanisms such as tertiary education councils and entities responsible for quality assurance.
Finally, this volume highlights the low levels of internationalisation of universities in the SADC region. Apart from small strides made in Mauritius, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa, the data in this volume point to slow, uneven and low levels of regional and international collaboration. Clearly the priorities of most SADC countries remain at increasing country-level participation.