This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Assessing the Effectiveness of Collaborations Between U.S.-Ghanaian Public Universities




Essamuah-Quansah, Elizabeth Ivy

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Partnerships between United States and West African universities continue to grow and have become an important part of contemporary higher education engagement. Example of these types of collaborations/partnerships is U.S. – Ghanaian public university collaborations. Some collaboration goals have been to increase access to quality teaching, delivery of modern instruction, advances in research, technology use, and developmental programs. Over the last decades, funding agencies, non-governmental and international organizations, governments and educational institutions have funded collaborative projects in Ghana aimed at capacity building. Most of these partnerships have been to promote faculty, staff, students, and to provide leadership development, professional training, outreach, and services. However, some collaborations have been successful in the past while others have not been successful. A qualitative cross case study method was used for this study because it seeks to make sense of things in its natural settings leading to understanding of the issue/problem under study (Creswell, 2013). The study focused on three paired U.S. and Ghanaian public universities and their collaborative work. Data was analyzed using atlas-ti and findings were discussed based on the emerged themes from the answered research questions. The five main findings that emerged from this study were: 1) combination of programs: capacity building programs specifically practical training and development programs focused on faculty and community practitioners, 2) benefits: technological advancement, community development; new academic programs, and joint grant writing, 3) internal challenges: employment freeze, unrealistic expectations, mismanagement of funds, equity issue, lack of human resources and other support, 4) program sustainability: support system, program evaluation and monitoring, building of longterm relationships, and 5) level of technology use and related benefits. The findings also revealed that the collaborations/partnerships benefitted U.S. and Ghanaian public universities but internal challenges within Ghanaian public universities tended to make some partnerships and or collaborations ineffective and unsustainable.