Educational model and expansion of enrollments in sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type


Publication Date



This article relies on the concept of educational model to explain why African countries that were colonized by Britain and France experienced significantly different forms of educational expansion after independence. The authors argue that both models represented legitimate variants of world institutional processes that drove the expansion of mass education in the sub-Saharan region. Each model defined the nature of the relationship between the educational system and other institutions differently, in particular what should happen in school, who may teach, and who is responsible for the provision of education. Using panel data for 28 sub-Saharan nations between 1970 and 2000, the authors found strong model effects that persisted after they controlled for resources, pupil-teacher ratio (an imperfect measure of quality), and percentage Muslim. Specifically, the Francophone model contributed to lower mean enrollment levels, a slower expansion of enrollments from 1970 to 1985, and (3) a more rapid expansion of enrollments from 1985 to 2000. Gender differences are also discussed. Institutional theorists have minimized the importance of resources, but the findings presented here indicate that resources and the characteristics of the educational model matter for educational expansion.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Sociology of Education

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.