Accepted paper:

Legal, official, academic and trading norms in higher education in Democratic Republic of Congo (Universities of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa)

Authors:

Marc Poncelet (Université de Liège)

Paper short abstract:

Based on long-term field research, this contribution aims to pinpoint the modes of production, functioning and legitimization of the norms de facto underlying the educational and institutional practices in DRC’s public universities.

Paper long abstract:

Based on long-term field research, this contribution aims to pinpoint the modes of production, functioning and legitimization of the norms de facto underlying the educational and institutional practices in DRC's public universities. Three main issues have been raised regarding the distinction between official norms and practical norms: - How are the official norms produced by largely independent players (professors) inside institutions due to their negotiated membership of the Congolese public sphere, but also simultaneously of the global (academic) normative universe and of a knowledgeable corporatist identity? The key element being the strictly corporatist-academic (and not public) control of the access to the profession. - Can the methods to issue a 'price' be described as 'privatization' or do they provide a key to understand and justify the provision of a non-universal service (higher education only concern a minority of young people, requires the equivalent of the baccalaureate and is not compulsory)? - How does the official-legal recognition of the practical arrangements supply the 'need for state' in a swarming higher education sector? How does institutions remain 'public' in a widely liberalized sector where the state does not have any real independent control (regarding academic corporations) over the quality or the certification?

panel P202
Taking rules seriously: Between formality and informality in African bureaucracies