The revitalisation of African higher education has been a policy imperative on the agenda of many international and African organisations in the last decade, as well as a focus for research and debate. Revitalisation is a theme which is itself framed by a larger set of current discourses about the powerful role of knowledge in society and in the economy, and about the possibilities and conditions for knowledge-based development. Central to the success of both the revitalisation and knowledge-based development agenda is a systematic and sustained approach to a package of issues relating to access, equity and quality in African higher education. This article examines trends and developments relating to these three issues in higher education in sub-Saharan Africa and reflects on their implications for a successful revitalisation strategy, as well as for knowledge-based development.

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