Analysis of the Governance Frameworks of Public Universities in Tanzania: What is Known and Needs Knowing?

Siasa Issa Mzenzi


Little is known about governance frameworks of universities in developing countries. In response, this paper presents content analysis undertaken to review the governance frameworks of public universities in Tanzania, encompassing the Universities Act, 2005, the Universities (General) Regulations, 2013 and the charters of ten public universities. In order to understand the changes that have taken place, individual acts of parliament relating to public universities prior to 2005 are also reviewed. The analysis reveals that changes to universities’ governance frameworks through enactment of the Universities Act, 2005 have substantially increased both the institutional and operational autonomy of public universities. At the country level, the Act established the Tanzania Commission for Universities as a regulatory body and removed the government from direct control of public universities. At the institutional level, the Act allowed the establishment of a council and a senate as the two principal organs of governance primarily responsible for academic, administrative and financial university matters, and authorized the inclusion of both internal and external stakeholders on these two bodies. The governance requirements of the Act are reflected particularly in universities’ charters, with representation of staff, women, students and the private sector. This paper relies on analysis of governance frameworks, so actual governance practices may differ from the documentary evidence, yet this is one of few studies of the governance of higher learning institutions in developing countries, which are less represented in the university governance literature overall.

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[ISSN 0856 2253 (Print) & ISSN 2546-213X (Online)]