Dr Sam Fongwa
In August 2016 Dr Samuel Fongwa joined the Human Sciences Research Council as a post-doctoral research fellow at the level of Research Specialist. Dr Fongwa?s work is broadly focused on understanding the linkage between higher education and development. This research focus is teased out in two main facets. Firstly, is the relationship between universities and development from a spatial perspective (national, regional and local) using both forward and backward linkages. This relationship also seeks to explore aspects of innovation systems on development especially in lagging and less developed settings. Secondly, Dr Fongwa is interested in research graduate outcomes from universities. While the employment outcomes are important, Sam is also keen on an expanded understanding of graduate outcomes using a human development lens.
Dr Fongwa has studied both in Cameroon where he obtained his BSc degree in Environmental Science and Geology, as well as in South Africa where he obtained his BA Honours, Masters and Doctoral degrees. His Honours and Masters degrees in Development Studies and Education respectively were obtained at the University of the Western Cape while his doctoral degree in Development Studies was obtained from the University of the Free State. Dr Fongwa has worked in various research capacities. He was part of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy in Africa (HERANA) project coordinated by the Centre for Higher Education Transformation in Cape Town. He assisted in the 2012 OECD review of higher education in the Free State Province before joining the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (UFS) in reviewing higher education systems in the SADC country. Prior to joining the HSRC, he completed a three-year British Council funded project on universities and graduate employability across four South African universities where he was the researcher. He has also been part of a number of research partnerships both nationally and internationally. These include the Council on Higher Education; CODESRIA diaspora programme on supporting higher education and Humanities in Africa and the ESRC Newton Fund/NRF research collaboration projects .
Dr Fongwa has published his work in co-authored books, chapters and journal articles both locally and internationally. Some recent publications include: Researching graduate outcomes in South Africa: Towards an expanded discourse. in Education as Change; South Africa?s knowledge-development policy nexus: Implications for place-based development in the Eastern Cape Province in Development Southern Africa; University, knowledge and regional development: Factors affecting knowledge transfer in a developing region in African Education Review; The scholarship of university-community engagement: Interrogating Boyer?s model in International Journal of Educational Development; University as Regional Development Agents: A Counterfactual Analysis of an African University in African Education Review. His chapter, Re-visiting Student Participation in Higher Education governance at the University of Buea, Cameroon: 2004-2013 was published in Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism.
He is a member of AfricaLICS and a reviewer on a number of local and international academic journals such as Compare: Journal for Comparative and International Education, and the Journal of Higher Education in Africa and Development Southern African. Dr Fongwa is currently working on projects including a tracer study of natural science graduates; National Research Foundation (NRF) funded research projects on Community Engagement (CE) and Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) CE, as well as a study titled `Higher Education and the Public Good?.