Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, 3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, *pedagogy

Publication Details

Africa Education Review Volume 12 | Number 3 | 2015 pp. 429–446

DOI: 10.1080/18146627.2015.1110908

Abstract

The dire need for eye care services and a dearth of human resources (HR) in sub-Saharan Africa motivated the setting up of new optometry programmes. However, to make a meaningful impact, geographical, gender, economic and educational disparities must additionally be addressed. A qualitative study utilizing purposive sampling to select academic leadership and students from optometry programmes in sub-Saharan Africa was conducted. Individual and focus group interviews produced data that were coded and analysed using a deductive thematic analysis approach. The themes that emerged as contributing to disparities in access through recruitment and selection were institutional barriers (student intake numbers, programme marketing, minimum entry requirements, absence of pre-medical programme) and socio-economic barriers (finance, poor secondary school education, lack of knowledge of optometry, geographic location of institutions, gender). To address equity, institutions should engage with communities, market via community radio stations, offer pre-medical and bridging programmes, partner with governments and private funders to offer loans and bursaries and affirm females and rural applicants in recruitment and selection. In conclusion, universities must be socially accountable in all facets of education including recruitment and selection.

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